Tax filing in 2014; surprising changes


It never hurts to review new tax law. This year has some surprises and some warnings.

Big changes

Some things you are probably aware of: this is the first year that same sex couples can file jointly. That’ a big change indeed. Taxes will go up for the highest earners among us; less of a surprise. There are some interesting deductions for energy efficient homes and for those of us who maintain an office in our residence. Those are all worth looking into with your CPA if they apply to you.

Fun deductions

This year, if you are going to deduct moving expenses, be aware that the cost to ship your pet is now tax deductible. You are eligible to deduct a sum from your taxes for your Rex or Fluffy if you move your animals across the country like a personal effect.

You can also make beautiful music and beautiful deductions if your doctor prescribed clarinet lessons as a way of correcting an overbite. No kidding. It’s strange, yes, but it’s not alone. You can also deduct the cost of support stockings, wigs for those with hair loss resulting from disease, and other medical fixes. Check out the others in IRS publication 502.

If you are a legal whale hunter, you can write off up to $10,000 of whale-hunting-related expenses. Not many will qualify for this one. Whale hunting is still limited to a small group and to a short season. It’s also a sacred tradition whereby only a few whales are killed.

Professional meat processors in South Carolina can earn a $50 rebate by donating a processed deer carcass to a charity which uses it to feed the hungry.

Attention bingo players: bingo-playing taxpayers can deduct the amount they lost up to the amount they won. You must submit a detailed calendar with win/loss notes. It’s not just bingo. The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct wager losses for other games too. Check with your accountant.

Source: Christian Science Monitor


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