HCPLive Network
PERSONAL FINANCE

10 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions

Laura Joszt | Wednesday, January 08, 2014
The government takes enough money from your paycheck throughout the year — there’s nothing wrong with not paying a dime more than you have to. But many people unwittingly overpay because they missed out on deductions they could have benefited from.
 
Sometimes tax breaks expire only to be reinstated by Congress. Some deductions are not commonly known and thus missed. And some people just don’t have the time to comb through it all to see what they’re eligible for.
 
However, plenty of people do take advantage of deductions (you need to itemize, though, which can be a whole other headache). According to TurboTax, the 45 million Americans who itemized deductions claimed a total of $1.2 trillion dollars, while the rest of taxpayers claiming the standard deduction accounted for just $747 billion.
 
Here are 10 deductions that filers often overlook (in no particular order).
 
Reinvested dividends
Okay so technically it isn’t technically a deduction. Physician investor readers will be happy to learn that any reinvested dividends aren’t exactly deducted so much as if you pay attention you can avoid being taxed twice. According to Taxslayer.com, many people are taxed once when the dividends are reinvested and later when they are included in the proceeds of sold shares. There are enough costs involved with investing that can eat into a gain — don’t let this happen to you.
 
“Forgetting to include the reinvested dividends in your cost basis — which you subtract from the proceeds of sale to determine your gain — means overpaying your taxes,” TurboTax explained.
 
Points on refinancing
Last year would have been a good year to refinance your mortgage. And with interest rates at historic lows, most people probably did so. Any points paid to refinance a home can be deducted on a monthly basis over the life of the new loan.
 


RELATED ARTICLES
If investors want better outcomes, they would be better served if capital were allocated by diverse teams. And the issue is not just about white males. When a team or market is dominated by any ethnicity, it tends to make worse decisions.
The issue of transparency in healthcare, particularly where pricing and payment information is concerned, has been widely debated for years. Is there a benefit to making this information readily available to the general public?
Only if you know where to shop, goes the old punch line. But a recent Wall Street Journal article cites new research on the long-argued subject that is worth riffing upon.
RECENT CLINICAL ARTICLES
New rules announced Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will have many restaurant chains posting calorie counts on their menus, and the rules even apply to movie theater popcorn and ice cream parlor fare.
Eating a serving a day of yogurt may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published online Nov. 25 in BMC Medicine.
A moderate amount of physical activity in daily life may reduce risk of Parkinson's disease, according to a new study published online Nov. 19 in Brain: A Journal of Neurology.