15 of the Most Easily Overlooked Tax Deductions

Excerpted with permission from Ernst and Young Tax Guide 2001. The following list will serve as a reminder of some deductions you can easily overlook when you prepare your return. It is not intended to be all-inclusive, nor applicable to everyone. The circumstance of your situation will determine whether you qualify.

1. Accounting fees for tax preparation services and IRS audits.

2. Cleaning and laundering services when traveling for business purposes

3. Commissions and closing costs on sale of property

4. Contact lenses, eyeglasses, and hearing devices

5. Contraceptives, if bought with a prescription

6. Costs associated with looking for a new job in your present occupation, including fees for résumé preparation and employment of outplacement agencies

7. Depreciation of home computers and cellular phones, if used for the convenience of your employer and required as a condition of your employment

8. Education expenses to the extent required by law or your employer or needed to maintain or improve your skills

9. Employee’s moving expense

10. Fees for a safe-deposit box to hold investments (e.g., stock certificate)

11. Legal fees incurred in connection with obtaining or collecting alimony

12. Out-of-pocket expenses relating to charitable activities, including the standard mileage deduction

13. Part of health insurance premiums if self-employed

14. Points on a home mortgage and certain refinancings

15. 50% of self-employment tax

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