That time of year is upon us, and while it appears many people wait until the last minute to get their taxes taken care of, I prefer to get mine done within a week of receiving my W-2 (s) ! For 2017, there’s no reason to pay more than $70 to get your taxes done if you aren’t itemizing and/or have a complicated return. Turbo Tax, Tax Act and Credit Karma are ALL processing Federal and State returns for FREE, but if you’d like the bonus security of not having to worry about what to do if you accidentally submit incorrect information, being audited and a few other features they offer a fee to “have your back.” If you decide to go this route and it is your first time, or you’re
a worrying wanda like me; I would suggest trying out two of the services above (do not submit your 1st return, simply save it on their site and go back to it later) to see if your numbers are consistent, and confirm you’re on the right track! Below, I have listed some credits and deductions that I wasn’t aware of last year so I thought I’d share with you all. No, I am not a tax professional, but I am always on the hunt to find ways to receive the most money back without having to pay a ton to get them done.
CREDITS FOR DC RESIDENTS:
PROPERTY TAX CREDIT
As the name suggests, this credit is for DC property owners, but ALSO renters that earned below $50k ($60k if 70 or older). The credit is $1,000 for this tax season.
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE HOUSING CREDIT
This credit is for government and public service employees of DC who may be eligible for the first time homebuyer’s credit! The credit is $2,000 and is available up to 5 consecutive years if the employee remains eligible.
DEDUCTIONS ANY ELIGIBLE USA TAX PAYER CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF:
JOB SEARCH EXPENSES
Again, this one is pretty straight forward, this deduction includes expenses for a resume that can include production, designing and editing you paid to a professional. It also includes job board membership fees, travel expenses to/from interviews and interview clothes (clothes that you would not regularly wear on the job). Start searching your email for receipts !
2nd JOB EXPENSES
If you work at two different locations (same or different employers) on the SAME DAY you can deduct costs of transportation from the first job to the second job (No, you can’t deduct your commute back home, LOL) ! In DC, this could be the metro fare that you pay from job A to B weekly/monthly added up for the year or the duration you held the second job. If you have a car, you would monitor the mileage driven weekly/monthly and probably multiply the miles driven by the current federal mileage rate ($0.54 cents) to the get the amount to deduct,I did not work two jobs on the same day in 2016 so I am not sure, but this
seems about right.
I truly hope you can take advantage of at least one of the above credits or deductions. Share if you have any additional tips !