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Please explain all of the credits and deductions that are available related to retirement and investment.

IRA Deductions Generally, any contributions that you (or your spouse, if applicable) made to a Traditional IRA qualify as a deduction on your return. Roth IRA contributions are not deductible. Sometimes this deduction may be limited

Please explain all of the deductions and credits that are available related to my job.

Educator (Teacher) Expenses: If you or your spouse worked as an educator, you probably spent money on supplies, materials, and other teaching aids to help you do your job. Most of these expenses are deductible on your return. As long as you worked in a public or private school teaching kindergarten through grade 12, you can deduct qualified expenses (up to $250 per educator) that you paid out-of-pocket. Qualifying expenses include books, software, supplies, and materials. Moving Expenses: If you moved to a new home during the year, you may be able to deduct many of the moving costs. To be deductible, the move must meet three of the following requirements: * Your move is closely related to the start of work * You meet the distance test * You meet the time test For more information, please review Form 3903 . Business Use of Home: If you used part of your home for business purposes (as an office or for daycare), you may be entitled to a deduction for this. Unfortunately, this is not a very common deduction because you generally must use part of your home: * Exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business, * Exclusively and regularly as a place where you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your trade or business, * In the case of a separate structure which is not attached to your home, in connection with your trade or business, * On a regular basis for certain storage use, * For rental use, or * As a daycare facility If you meet ALL of the above tests, you qualify for a deduction for the business use of your home. Additional Tests for Employee Use * Your business use must be for the convenience of your employer, and * You must not rent any part of your home to your employer and use the rented portion to perform services as an employee for that employer Traveling expenses: If you traveled for your job, many of the expenses you incurred may be deductible on your return. You can only deduct those expenses that you paid and were not reimbursed for. For a travel expense to qualify for deduction, the travel must have been primarily in relation to your job. Qualifying travel expenses include: * parking fees * tolls * transportation (such as taxis and shuttles) * lodging * airplane travel * car rental for business purposes * any meals and entertainment You can even deduct expenses for the business use of your personal vehicle (such as mileage) Other Job-related Expenses : Finally, you can deduct any other unreimbursed expenses that are considered "ordinary" and "necessary" for your job. "Ordinary" just means that it is a common and accepted expense for your profession. "Necessary" just means that the expense is helpful and appropriate. The expense does not have to be required to be deductible. * Looking for or finding a job * Uniforms * Union or Professional Association dues * Tools * Other job supplies For additional information, please refer to the instructions for Form 2106.

Please explain all of the deductions that are available related to my home.

Mortgage Interest Paid: Generally, any interest that you pay on a home mortgage can be deducted on your return as long as 1. The proceeds from the mortgage were used to buy, build, or improve your home AND 2. The loan is secured by your main home or second home. This includes interest for first mortgages and second mortgages, home equity loans, and refinanced mortgages. Generally, your lender will send you a Form 1098 with an amount in Box 1 listing the amount of mortgage interest that you paid. A home can be a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, boat, or similar property. It must provide basic living accommodations including sleeping space, toilet, and cooking facilities. Real Estate Taxes: You are allowed to deduct any real estate taxes (commonly called property taxes) that you paid on real estate that you own and did not use for business. This also includes taxes paid at closing when buying or selling a home. Keep in mind, you can deduct any qualifying real estate taxes that you paid to state, foreign, or local government agencies (such as your town office, county, parish, or other tax assessor). Mortgage Insurance Paid: Another common deduction related to your home is Qualified Mortgage Insurance Premiums. The most common type of mortgage insurance premium is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). However, you can also deduct mortgage insurance paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Rural Housing Administration (or their successor organizations). Your qualified mortgage insurance is usually reported on Form 1098, Box 4 or on a year-end statement. Home Energy Credits: If you purchased and installed qualifying energy-efficient property in your main home you may be eligible to take a tax credit. You must have purchased new energy-efficient equipment, and the equipment must be expected to remain installed for at least five years. Here are a few common examples of home improvements that could qualify as tax credits: solar hot water heaters, solar electricity equipment, and wind turbines. The credit which runs through 2016, is 30% of the cost of qualified property. There is no cap on the amount of credit available, except for the fuel cell property. Generally, you may include labor costs when figuring the credit and you can carry forward any unused portions of this credit. Qualifying equipment must have been installed on or in connection with your home located in the U.S.; fuel cell property qualifies only when installed on or in connection with your main home located in the U.S. For more information, please review IRS Form 5695: Efficient Home Improvements . Mortgage Interest Credit Certificate: If you were issued a qualified Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC), you may be eligible to claim a Mortgage Interest credit. To qualify for this credit, the MCC must have been issued by a state or local governmental unit or agency under a qualified mortgage credit certificate program. D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit: If you purchased a main home in the District of Columbia during 2011, you may be entitled to an additional credit. See Form 8859 . This credit is no longer available for current purchases but can still be carried forward from prior years when the credit was allowed.

Tips to Start Planning Next Year's Tax Return

having to scramble for misplaced tax documents necessary to complete your return come tax time. 4. Consider Itemizing Your Deductions : If you normally claim the Standard Deduction, you may be able to reduce your tax liability if you

Special Charitable Contributions for Certain IRA Owners

with regular distributions. If nondeductible contributions are transferred to an eligible organization, a charitable contribution deduction may be allowed if itemizing deductions. 9. More information about qualified charitable distributions can

Please explain all of the deductions and credits that are available related to my auto and my other personal property.

Car Registration Fees If you own a car, you probably pay a yearly fee for car registration. All or part of this registration fee may be an additional deduction for you on your return. The IRS will allow you to deduct any taxes included in your registration fee that you are charged based on your vehicle's value. This does not include the yearly tag fees but only the Ad Valorem Tax which is in addition to the tag fee. Example: Your state charges a yearly motor vehicle registration tax of 1% of value plus 50 cents per hundredweight. You paid $32 based on the value ($1,500) and weight (3,400 lbs.) of your car. You can deduct $15 (1% × $1,500) as a personal property tax because it is based on the value. The remaining $17 ($.50 × 34), based on the weight, is not deductible. Property Taxes on Personal Property (motor homes, boats, etc.) Personal property tax is deductible if it is a state or local tax that is: * Charged on personal property, * Based only on the value of the personal property, and * Charged on a yearly basis, even if it is collected more or less than once a year. A tax that meets the above requirements can be considered charged on personal property even if it is for the exercise of a privilege. For example, a yearly tax based on value qualifies as a personal property tax even if it is called a registration fee and is for the privilege of registering motor vehicles or using them on the highways. If the tax is partly based on value and partly based on other criteria, it may qualify in part. Common examples of property that are taxed like this include mobile homes, boats, motor homes, airplanes, and other recreational vehicles.

What can I include as Prior Year or 4th Quarter Estimates?

If you are itemizing your deductions, the IRS will generally allow you to take a deduction for state and local taxes that you paid during the tax year. This deduction can even include amounts that you may have paid toward a prior year's

Tax Tips for Newlyweds

is most advantageous for you collectively. Change in Standard or Itemized Deductions If you did not qualify to itemize deductions before you were married, that may have changed. You and your spouse may save money by itemizing rather than

Colorado Subtractions from Income

Taxpayers who claim the federal standard deduction instead of itemizing their deductions on the federal return may be able to subtract a portion of their charitable contributions made during the year. Enter only the amount in excess of $500

Arizona Subtractions from Income

are included in your Arizona gross income, you must reduce the subtraction by such expenses. If you are itemizing deductions on your Arizona return, you must exclude such expenses from the amount deducted. Note : Do not subtract interest