Dangerous tax deductions to avoid

Don't Waste Your Money

a a a a
Share this story

It's the height of tax season, and right now most of us are organizing our paperwork, looking for those 1099's,  and trying to figure out what to deduct this year.

But we have a warning about some former deductions no longer valid in 2014.


Were Valid Deductions....Until Recently

Did you donate an old car to charity?  You can no longer deduct the Blue Book value, as you could until a couple of years ago. Now you can deduct only what it sold for, which is often half the Blue Book.

Also, you can no longer deduct the sales tax you paid buying a new car.

And be very careful taking a deduction for energy efficient appliances or insulation, unless your purchase specifically qualified under last year's rules.  

The days of almost every washing machine and refrigerator qualifying for a tax break ended in 2011.  Nowadays, it must be a specific energy efficient heat pump, water heater or other device to get a break.

Deductions You Can Never Take

And from the "doesn't that stink" file, some things that you might think would be tax deductible, but are not.

The IRS warns that you cannot deduct:

    -Legal fees, in most cases.

    -Pet care expenses, even if its expensive surgery costing thousands of dollars.  Human medical expenses are deductible, pet care costs are not.

     -Points paid when refinancing.  You can deduct "points" only on a new home purchase.

    -Commuting costs.  Driving to client meetings while on the job is deductible, but the gas you spend getting to work is not.  Many people make this error, the IRS says.

    -Health club dues, unless it is under doctor's orders.

Many people who are trying to lose weight would probably say "doesn't that stink?"

You  need to a specific prescribed plan from a doctor for a gym or exercise plan to be tax deductible.

If you're itemizing, either work with a professional, or look up the latest IRS list of what is deductible and whats not, so you don't get in trouble, and so you don't waste your money.
 

______________________________

Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More DWYM
Secrets to avoid the soaring price of beef
Secrets to avoid the soaring price of beef

John Matarese has ways of avoiding soaring steak prices

Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair
Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair

John Matarese reports on the wait for ignition switch repairs

Scammers using Netflix to steal from millions
Scammers using Netflix to steal from millions

A dangerous new phishing scam is targeting the sensitive information of millions of Netflix users.

You Win Wednesday freebies
You Win Wednesday freebies

John Matarese shares the latest freebies. Click here for App of the Week

IRS phone scam targeting thousands
IRS phone scam targeting thousands

John Matarese has a warning about a major tax scam this spring.

iPhone 6 plans leaked: Bigger, thinner
iPhone 6 plans leaked: Bigger, thinner

John Matarese has a preview of Apple's upcoming new iPhone.

Tesla could change the way you buy a car
Tesla could change the way you buy a car

John Matarese looks at the new controversy over car sales

Beware of home deed letters in your mailbox
Beware of home deed letters in your mailbox

John Matarese has a warning about a strange letter many people are receiving.

Best places to find free public Wi-Fi
Best places to find free public Wi-Fi

John Matarese lists the best places for finding free public Wi-Fi and a caution before you use the service.

Prom or bridal dress shopping online? Beware
Prom or bridal dress shopping online? Beware

John Matarese has a caution for anyone trying to save money by dress shopping onlin.e