"Everyone remembers to claim common deductions, like home mortgage interest and self-employment expenses," said Mark Steber, Chief Tax Officer of Jackson Hewitt, "but there are additional tax deductions, credits, and strategies that can lessen a taxpayer's final tax bill or increase a refund. Jackson Hewitt Tax Pros can help find those deductions and prepare clients for the tax reform changes for 2018."
Here are five examples of commonly overlooked tax credits and deductions that Americans should be aware of – and that the pros at Jackson Hewitt always ask their clients about:
Earned Income Tax Credit
This credit is worth up to $6,318 this year. Unfortunately, nearly one in five people who qualify, fail to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Just because a taxpayer didn't qualify last year, doesn't mean they don't qualify this year; one-third of the EITC-eligible population changes each year based on age, marital, parental, and financial status.
If a taxpayer moves for a job that is at least 50 miles away from their original home and held that job for at least 39 weeks, they can claim their moving expenses - even if the taxpayer doesn't itemize deductions.
Big Life Changes
If taxpayers got married or had children, they qualify for credits and deductions. Plus, if a couple got married in a church or historical site, the fees paid to the venue may be considered a charitable donation for tax purposes.
While toning and fitness workouts to improve general health are considered personal expenses, some taxpayers may be able to deduct their gym membership as a medical expense. For example, if a doctor diagnoses their patient with a medical condition such as obesity or hypertension, or a physical or mental illness, and prescribes workouts at a gym or participation in a weight-loss program to treat the illness, the membership dues may be tax-deductible.
Additional Medical Expenses
Many taxpayers don't know that their medical transportation expenses, including tolls, parking, and mileage for trips to health facilities and doctor's offices, are all tax deductible – as well as medical aids, such as crutches, canes, orthopedic shoes, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. Due to tax reform, taxpayers who itemize their deductions are able to write off qualifying medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income, which is a change from 10 percent, for tax years 2017 and 2018.
"In addition to finding every tax deduction and credit available, taxpayers are also curious as to how changes to the tax code will affect them," said Steber. "While most changes won't impact filings until 2019, each taxpayer will be impacted. They should be sure to ask their Tax Pro how the new withholding tables will affect their paychecks this year, as it's the first thing they will see change as a result of the reform."
Taxpayers should see a Tax Pro at their local Jackson Hewitt store today to find out what additional tax deductions and credits are available to them. Visit Jackson Hewitt online to find an office near you.
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an innovator in the tax industry, with a mission to provide its hard-working clients access to simple, low-cost solutions to manage their taxes and tax refunds. Jackson Hewitt is devoted to helping clients get ahead with Maximum Refund and 100% Accuracy guarantees. With close to 6,000 franchised and company-owned locations, including 3,000 in Walmart stores, and online and mobile tax solutions, Jackson Hewitt makes it convenient for clients to file their taxes. For more information about products, services, and offers, or to locate a Jackson Hewitt office, visit www.JacksonHewitt.com or call 1 (800) 234-1040.
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