Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Ten Important Tax Tips For Individuals

Posted by Hopeton on March 4, 2009

By Marlon Green

1. Home insurance premiums maybe tax deductible. To qualify the insurance policy must be for home acquisition debt on a first or second home and the insurance contract must have been issued on or after January 1, 2007. Mortgage Insurance premiums are reported on for 1098 which is sent out by your lender.

Marlon Green

Marlon Green

2. Job search expenses that you incur while looking for employment related to your current occupation are deductible, even if you do not get a new job. These expenses include but are not limited to employment agency fees, resume preparation fees, travel and transportation fees.

3. Tax preparation fees incurred in the year you pay them are deductible. These fees include any amount that you pay to a CPA or tax preparation professional, tax software programs and tax publications, and the fee you pay for electronically filing your return.

4. First-Time Homebuyer credit applies to individuals who purchase a home after April 8, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. This credit only applies to your main home located in the United States and will either increase your refund amount dollar for dollar or reduce your tax bill.

5. Education Tax Credit options should be carefully considered when preparing your tax return. The Hope Credit applies for the first two years of post-secondary education at any accredited college or vocational school and can be worth up to 1,800 per student. The Lifetime Learning Credit applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses with a credit up to $2,000 per tax returns. There is also the Tuition and Fees deductions up to $4,000 per student and The Student Loan Interest deduction up to 2,500 per return.

6. Charitable contributions are deductible in the year that you paid them as long as you itemize your deductions. Be sure to obtain a written receipt from the charity of your choice when you are giving $250 or more. Make sure that the organization is recognized by the IRS as a qualified organization under 501(c) (3) regulations.

7. Medical Expenses are deductible if you spend more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income on non reimbursed medical expenses which include co pays, prescriptions, and mileage to and from medial facilities.

8. The Real Property Tax deduction maybe claimed by individual who elects not to itemize and can claim an additional standard tax deduction for state and local real property taxes. The maximum amount is $500 for singles and $1,000 for a joint return.

9. Claiming Dependents who are full time students, live with you and whom you provide half of their support, and are between the ages of 19 and 24 will increase your refund when filing your tax return.

10. Educator Expenses are deductible up to $250 for classroom supplies that you purchased during the year. You may claim the deduction even if you do not itemize deductions. You must be an eligible educator who worked at least 900 hours during the school year.

Marlon Green is a member of the Austin Cen-Tex Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and the owner of MSG Accounting Services.  He may be reached at mgreen1@mail.com.

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