Don’t Forget Tax Deductions On Your Tax Return
April 15th has become a notorious day in the United States, but the day when we all must file our tax returns has similar connotations all around the world. When I was young I remember the anxious environment that often accompanied the approach of that dreaded day.
Since my birthday was on the 14th of April, my parents would often have the double duty of preparing a small party or a dinner out, and then rushing to put the final touches on their tax returns. After a while, they began to file for a tax delay, allowing them to file somewhat later than everyone else, which eased the tension that had usually surrounded my birthday.
But most people file on the 15th, usually filling out a 1040 or some slight variation on that form. Everyone who makes over $5,000 in one year in the United States is forced by law to fill this form out, and to pay a portion of their earned income to the state and national governments.
Although the more money you make, the more you are usually taxed, it is often possible that some of the things you have bought are deductible from your tax, such as items that you had to buy for your job (a PDA for a stock broker or new, more comfortable shoes for a waiter). As these are by necessity not part of your income, they should not, and are not taxed.
Charitable donations are also usually counted as a deduction from your tax. Most charities will advertise this fact, and give you the necessary info and receipts that you might need to claim your return.
When that tax return does come around, it can be a joyous day, or a major frustration. There is nothing better than knowing that a check, no matter how small, is coming from the government. Making sure that you fill in all your forms correctly, and knowing what and how much you can deduct, can save you from a hard break when your tax return comes in, and being organized ahead of time will help make the 15th of April a slightly less hectic day.