For some people, filing taxes can be a big hassle and difficult to understand. For example, you’re constantly left there scratching your head, wondering why your taxes went up again. For others, it’s simple. You have it down pat by filing them yourself with the help of TurboTax, H&R Block or Credit Karma. But did you know you may not be getting a break on some things that you should be? Pay attention to this information because it could help you out next year, whether you file your taxes yourself or get someone to do them for you! Here are four lesser known tax deductions that can be a difference maker when you file your taxes.
1. Teacher, Teacher
Are you a teacher? Do you know someone who is? Then y’all should know about this tax break. K-12 teachers can deduct up to $250 for classroom materials. This can be extremely helpful if you’ve run out of budget already from your employer or your employer doesn’t have much of a supply budget at all for you to work with throughout the school year.
2. Lifetime Learning
Have you graduated from college and are not interested in pursuing additional secondary education? Did you never go to college after you graduated high school, but want to dabble in some supplemental educational classes? Then you’re in luck. The Lifetime Learning credit can help you save $2,000—a.k.a. 20%–of the first $10,000 you spend on your education, post-high school. Your age doesn’t matter here. All that matters is you’re attempting to make a strong push to further your education in some fashion. Though keep in mind, your income can affect how much of a credit you receive here.
3. Your Charitable Efforts Are Appreciated
Do you know that if you donate your time, money or items to charitable organizations, you can get tax deductions for them? Well, you sure can! Even if you make something from scratch, you can get reimbursed for the materials you used in the process. For example, if you construct new playgrounds for a charity that helps young children, you can get a credit for the wood, screws, glue, or anything else you needed to build the playgrounds. If this applies to you, then it’s probably a good idea to keep yourself organized for when it comes time to file your taxes. Save your receipts and organize them as necessary to easily apply it to your taxes later.
4. Your Children Can Help
If you have children, then you probably have a few different deductibles because of them. But one deductible is the Child and Dependent Care Credit. For working parents, you can receive a credit of up to $1,050 if you have one child 13 years old or younger and a credit of up to $2,100 if you have two or more children 13 years old or younger. These credits apply to your taxes if you have sent your children to summer camp, mini-camps or day care programs.
These four tax deductions can significantly help you when the time comes for you to file your taxes next season. It’s a good idea to do more additional research to see if you apply to any other deductions so you know, or you can let your accountant know!