From January to April, journalists, bloggers, and the like, become tax advisors. They post lists of deductions and credits after skimming through the top search results for “tax deductions” on Google. They created this list no different than what they posted in the prior year. If well-planned, written and executed, these lists become pretty popular.
Here’s the problem: 90% of these lists are trivial and of no use to the 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 the latest IRS stats.
Donate your car, and get a tax deduction. NOT IF YOU DON’T ITEMIZE. I paid for a LinkedIn membership to conclude. 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 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 the bottom and see who wrote it.
Here’s an unrelated cartoon:
Cartoon by Mike Beckom