Tax items to consider before you file your tax return

Filing head of household or single:

  • Filing head of household gives you a lower tax rate than filing single. Persons you can claim on your return to file as head of household.
  • A qualifying child – a son, daughter, or grandchild that
    lived with you at lease ½ a year.
  • Your mother and or father – if they don’t claim them self on a return, you can claim one or both.
  • A qualifying relative –brother, sister, grandparent, niece
    nephew, consin if the relative
    lived ½ year with you.
    All of the above persons must met certain test

Filing itemized deductions or standard deduction:
reasons to file an itemized return- schedule a

  • you own a home, coop, or condo.
  • you a had large amount of medical bills
  • you had state and city incme tax payments
  • you purchased some high cost items for sales tax
  • you contribute large amounts to church or charties
  • you had a loss on something very value

Did you work 2 jobs for the year:

  • check the total amount of social security you paid. You
    might have over paid your social security for the year
    see form 1040 line 71.

Did you sell your home:

  • if you sold your main home, you can exclude from your
    income a gain up to $250,000 or $500,000 if you file a joint
    return.

Items that may or may no be income:

Debts –money that you owe that is cancelled or forgiven
is income to you.

Life insurance proceeds –not considered part of your income

You sell a life policy for cash –the cash received over the
policy cost is taxable to you

Unemployment benefits – are taxable to you in year received

Alimony/child support – alimony received is taxable. Alimony
paid is deductable.
child support received is not taxable
and the amount paid is not deductable

Educational expenses:
eductors –if you are a qualified eductor you can deduct $250
for education expenses purchased for students.
see form 1040 line 23

Student loan interest paid – deuctable on your tax return up
to $2,500, see form 1040 line 33

Educational expenses paid – you can claim a deduction or a tax credit for qualified educational
cost for you, your spouse, and your
depentents for a deuction see line 34
for a tax credit see line 50

Employee compensation:
Bonuses and awards –taxable to you in the year received

Sick pay – money paid to you by your employer is taxable
to you as salary

Accident/ health insurance – payment received are not
taxable to you.

Educational assistance – you can exclude up to $5250 from
income for, assistance from your
employers\

Transportation benefits – not taxable when offered by your employer.

Tax credits you may claim:
Child and dependent care credit – see 1040 line 49

Additional child tax credit – see 1040 line 52

Educational expense credit – see 1040 line 50

Home energy credit – see 1040 line53

If you have a choice between taking a deduction or a tax credit, it is better to take the tax credit.

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