As taxpayers, we Americans are always on the lookout for any break we can get through tax deductions, tax credits and income exclusions. But the thing that many tax payers don't know is that these so called "tax breaks" are actually costing Uncle Sam a lot of money. Like us, the U.S. Treasury is not immune to financial emergencies, and if you've ever needed to turn to title loans to handle a financial emergency of your own, you might have a better understanding of what our government has to deal with when tax revenues fall. Here's 8 tax deductions that could keep more money in your pocket instead of Uncle Sam's:
Medical costs from weight-loss programs, prescription glasses and even transportation to your doctor's office could all be tax deductible. If you own your own business, you could even qualify for a 100% deduction for the cost of health insurance premiums for your employees.
If you're moving for work, you could claim a deduction for your moving costs, including the cost of your moving truck, moving supplies, hotels and even the cost of traveling to your new town to search for a home.
For students, the government won't help you out with a break on school supplies. However, the tuition and fees deduction can take up to a whopping $4,000 off your total taxable income. Not only that, but students can also take advantage of American Opportunity Tax Credit for higher education, which is worth up to $2,500.
Have you given back to your community lately? Beyond the standard deduction for charitable donations, you could also deduct certain expenses such as clothing and supplies if they were purchased for a charitable event. You could even deduct the cost of gas for transporting your kid's scout troop to an event or activity.
Beyond the cost of daycare or after care for school age children, if you've signed your kids up for summer camps, the expense could be deducted if the program meets certain supervisory guidelines.
Have you looked for a job in the past year? Certain job-hunting expenses, such as resume preparation fees and the cost of joining a job-search website can be deducted.
If you serve in the military reserve, your travel, food and lodging expenses can be deducted. If you drove to a training site, you can claim fees associated with parking, tolls and up to 54 cents per mile traveled.
If you have a retirement account set up, you could get a tax credit for up to $1,000 of the first $2,000 you contributed.
If having too much house is draining your bank account, there are other ways in which you may be entitled to more money from Uncle Sam. For example, you can deduct up to 30% of the cost of installing energy-efficient solar panels or geo-thermal heating units. You save on your utility bill and get a break on your taxes - a true win-win. Before filing your taxes this year, it may pay to speak to a professional tax preparer to see what tax breaks you and your family qualify for.