Tax Deduction Checklist
The best tax deductions checklists are found in three places:
Your past years’ tax returns; With your tax professional; and Through an online tax website
Past Years’ Returns
Just by looking at the deductions you have been able to take in the past, you will get a good idea of what deductions you can take this year. If you had mortgage interest, real estate taxes, IRA contributions, and charitable contributions last year – you probably have them this year as well. The same is true of medical expenses, various taxes, that safe deposit box you keep, and if you are required to pay certain expenses, like alimony. Finally, any business deductions you have taken in the past, for a home office, travel, mileage, etc. is likely to follow a pattern you have created and budgeted consistently.
Tax professionals are great at helping you identify deductions for one time occurrences and helping you organize your records and thoughts on how to approach the deductions that are available. You may need advice on issues that you have never faced before and those that run the risk of gaining or losing large sums of money. If so, your tax advisor is a great resource for addressing these issues.
TurboTax Online, for example, has exceptional checklists for going over everything you need to consider before preparing your return and making sure you don’t miss anything important. It asks interactive questions, points out possible deductions you may forget, and reminds of the things you need to have or consider when taking a specific deduction.