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J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2015: Your Complete Guide to Everything Deductible

Book Description

The must-have guide to tax write-offs, with clear advice from a trusted expert

J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2015 answers the most common tax question—"what can I deduct?" Updated and expanded for 2014 tax filing and 2015 tax planning, this straightforward guide uses plain English to explain the many available deductions and credits, allowing you to quickly recognize ways to reduce what you owe and maximize your returns. By stripping away all the rules and strategies that don't apply to the individual taxpayer, this book presents a clear, concise reference that can streamline the filing process. You'll find the qualification guidelines for each individual deduction or credit, plus expert instruction on how to actually take those deductions and credits that fit your particular situation.

Every year, millions of Americans overpay their taxes by billions of dollars, collectively. Why? Because tax laws are confusing, and the threat of an audit makes taxpayers so afraid of errors that they fail to take even perfectly legal write-offs. 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks puts a stop to the confusion and fear, providing trusted, expert guidance toward filing correctly, on time, without leaving money on the table.

  • Learn how your family, your home, your car, and your job or business can lower your tax bill

  • Factor in educational costs, medical expenses, travel, and entertainment

  • Understand which items are nondeductible and which are tax-free

  • Develop a strategy for handling savings, investments, interest, charitable giving, and more

  • A topic as fundamental and universal as deductions and credits merits a clear, in-depth guide catering to the average individual taxpayer, without irrelevant information or chapter upon chapter of incomprehensible legalese. J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2015 is the guide you've been searching for, with clear, concise, practical instruction on paying what you owe, and not a cent more.

    Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
      1. Tax-Favored Items
      2. Limits on Qualifying for Tax-Favored Items
      3. Standard Deduction versus Itemized Deductions
      4. Overall Limit on Itemized Deductions
      5. Impact of Deductions on Your Chances of Being Audited
      6. How to Use This Book
    2. Chapter 1: You and Your Family
      1. Personal Exemption
      2. Dependency Exemption
      3. Child Tax Credit
      4. Earned Income Credit
      5. Dependent Care Expenses
      6. Adoption Costs
      7. Foster Care
      8. Child Support
      9. Alimony
    3. Chapter 2: Medical Expenses
      1. Employer-Provided Health Insurance
      2. Premium Tax Credit
      3. Itemized Medical Expenses
      4. Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction
      5. Long-Term Care Coverage
      6. Flexible Spending Arrangements for Health Care
      7. Health Reimbursement Arrangements
      8. Health Savings Accounts
      9. COBRA Coverage
      10. Medicare
      11. Continuing Care Facilities and Nursing Homes
      12. Accelerated Death Benefits
      13. Decedent's Final Illness
      14. Medical Insurance Rebates
    4. Chapter 3: Education Costs
      1. Employer-Paid Courses
      2. Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants
      3. American Opportunity Credit
      4. Lifetime Learning Credit
      5. Job-Related Education
      6. Tuition and Fees Deduction
      7. Student Loan Interest
      8. Interest on U.S. Savings Bonds
      9. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
      10. Qualified Tuition Programs (529 Plans)
      11. Seminars
      12. Educational Travel
      13. Cancellation of a Student Loan
      14. Penalty-Free Withdrawals from IRAs
      15. Government Reimbursements
    5. Chapter 4: Your Home
      1. Mortgages
      2. Mortgage Interest Tax Credit
      3. Home Equity Loans
      4. Points
      5. Refinancing
      6. Prepayment Penalties
      7. Late Payment Penalties
      8. Mortgage Insurance
      9. Reverse Mortgages
      10. Cancellation of Mortgage Debt
      11. Penalty-Free IRA Withdrawals for Home-Buying Expenses
      12. Real Estate Taxes
      13. Cooperative Housing
      14. Minister's Housing Allowance
      15. Home Sale Exclusion
      16. Moving Expenses
      17. Energy Improvements
    6. Chapter 5: Retirement Savings
      1. Traditional IRAs
      2. Roth IRAs
      3. IRA Rollovers
      4. 401(k) and Similar Plans
      5. Self-Employed Retirement Plans
      6. SEPs
      7. SIMPLEs
      8. Retirement Saver's Credit
      9. Custodial/Trustee Fees
      10. Employer-Paid Retirement Planning Advice
      11. Charitable Transfers of IRA Distributions
      12. Loans from Retirement Plans
      13. MyRAs
    7. Chapter 6: Charitable Giving
      1. Cash Donations
      2. Appreciated Property Donations
      3. Used Clothing and Car Donations
      4. Intellectual Property Donations
      5. Real Estate Donated for Conservation Purposes
      6. Bargain Sales
      7. Volunteer Expenses
      8. Tickets to Fund-Raisers, Raffles, and Sporting Events
      9. Membership Fees to Nonprofit Organizations
      10. Student Exchange Program
      11. Donor-Advised Funds
      12. Appraisal Fees and Other Costs
      13. IRA Transfers to Charity
      14. Record Keeper for Your Charitable Giving
    8. Chapter 7: Your Car
      1. Business Use of Your Personal Car
      2. Employer-Provided Car
      3. Vehicle Registration Fees
      4. Car Accidents and Other Car-Related Problems
      5. Donating Your Car
      6. Credit for Electric Drive Vehicles
      7. Credit for Other Plug-in Electric Vehicles
    9. Chapter 8: Investing
      1. Penalty on Early Withdrawal of Savings
      2. Loss on Bank Deposits
      3. Capital Losses
      4. Capital Gains and Qualified Dividends
      5. Worthless Securities
      6. Loss on Section 1244 Stock
      7. Margin Interest and Other Investment-Related Borrowing
      8. Safe-Deposit Box Rental Fee
      9. Subscriptions to Investment Newsletters and Online Services
      10. Home Computer Used for Investments
      11. Fees for Financial Advice
      12. Amortization of Bond Premium
      13. Municipal Bonds
      14. Savings Bonds
      15. Gain on the Sale of Small Business Stock
      16. Gain on Empowerment Zone Assets
      17. Foreign Taxes on Investments
      18. Exercise of Incentive Stock Options
      19. Losses from Investment Ponzi Schemes
    10. Chapter 9: Travel
      1. Business Travel
      2. Temporary Work Assignments
      3. Conventions
      4. Medical Travel
      5. Charitable Travel
      6. Moving for Work
      7. Educational Travel
      8. National Guard and Military Reservist Travel
      9. Frequent Flier Miles
      10. Recordkeeping for Travel Expenses
    11. Chapter 10: Entertainment
      1. Meals and Entertainment
      2. Company Holiday Parties and Picnics
      3. Sporting and Theater Events
      4. Home Entertainment
      5. Entertainment Facilities and Club Dues
      6. Recordkeeping for Meals and Entertainment Expenses
      7. Gambling Losses
    12. Chapter 11: Real Estate
      1. Vacation Home
      2. Home Office
      3. Timeshares
      4. Rentals
      5. Low-Income Housing Credit
      6. Rehabilitation Credit
      7. Deduction for Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings
      8. Special Breaks for Certain Disaster Victims
    13. Chapter 12: Borrowing and Interest
      1. Home Mortgage Interest
      2. Student Loan Interest
      3. Borrowing from Retirement Plans
      4. Investment-Related Interest
      5. Business Interest
      6. Accrued Interest on Bond Purchases
      7. Below-Market Loans
      8. Bad Debts
      9. Debt Forgiveness
    14. Chapter 13: Insurance and Catastrophes
      1. Casualty and Theft Losses
      2. Disaster Losses
      3. Disaster Relief Payments
      4. Damages
      5. Disability Coverage
      6. Accelerated Death Benefits
      7. Legal Fees
      8. Appraisal Fees
      9. Damage from Corrosive Drywall
    15. Chapter 14: Your Job
      1. Job-Hunting Expenses
      2. Dues to Unions and Professional Associations
      3. Work Clothes and Uniforms
      4. Subscriptions to Professional Journals and Newsletters
      5. Work Tools and Equipment
      6. Miscellaneous Job-Related Expenses
      7. Educator Expenses
      8. Home Office Deduction
      9. Prizes and Awards
      10. Performing Artists
      11. State or Local Government Officials Paid on a Fee Basis
      12. Repayment of Supplemental Unemployment Benefits
      13. Jury Duty Pay Turned Over to Your Employer
      14. Impairment-Related Expenses
      15. Military Benefits
      16. Fringe Benefits
      17. Income Earned Abroad
    16. Chapter 15: Your Business
      1. Start-Up Costs
      2. Equipment Purchases
      3. Payment for Services
      4. Supplies
      5. Gifts
      6. Hobby Losses
      7. Self-Employment Tax Deduction
      8. Home Office Deduction
      9. Farming-Related Breaks
      10. Domestic Production Activities Deduction
      11. Other Business Deductions
      12. Business Credits
      13. Net Operating Losses
    17. Chapter 16: Miscellaneous Items
      1. State and Local Income Taxes
      2. State and Local Sales Taxes
      3. Certain Federal Taxes
      4. Tax Refunds
      5. Tax Preparation Costs
      6. Tax Audits
      7. Legal Fees
      8. Gifts You Receive
      9. Inheritances
      10. Life Insurance Proceeds
      11. Estate Tax Deduction on Income in Respect of a Decedent
      12. Rebates and Discounts
      13. Government Benefits
      14. Alternative Minimum Tax
    18. Appendix A: Items Adjusted Annually for Inflation
    19. Appendix B: Checklist of Tax-Free Items
    20. Appendix C: Checklist of Nondeductible Items
      1. Nondeductible Items
    21. Index
    22. End User License Agreement