From January to April, journalists, bloggers and the likes, become tax advisors. They post lists of deductions and credits after skimming through the top search results for “tax deductions” on Google. This list they create is no different than what they posted in the prior year. If well planned, written and executed, these lists become quite popular.
Here’s the problem: 90% of these lists are trivial and of no use to average taxpayer. 10% are written by CPAs who use jargon you will not understand.
Because you don’t itemize. Less than 35% of taxpayers itemize according to latest IRS stats.
Donate your car, get a tax deduction. NOT IF YOU DON’T ITEMIZE. Paid for LinkedIn membership, get a deduction. NOT IF YOU DON’T ITEMIZE. Medical expenses, oh that’s deductible. NOT IF YOU DON’T ITEMIZE. Gambling losses as a deduction to charity. YOU CAN’T DEDUCT THAT EVEN IF YOU ITEMIZE.
– Most amazing deductions that you don’t know about happen to be itemized deductions, others are found on page 1 of 1040 starting from line 23 (2012).
– Before reading through the list, scroll to bottom and see who wrote it.
Here’s an unrelated cartoon:
Cartoon by Mike Beckom