Category Archives: Itemized Deductions

Legal Fees on Cancelled Debt

Today TaxMama hears from Carole in the TaxQuips Forum, with this interesting question. “Can a person deduct legal fees paid to lawyers that negotiated their debt (both personal & business credit cards as well as a mortgage on their personal home) as an itemized deduction? I’ve read that legal fees for collecting or producing taxable income […]

Employee Business Expenses

Courtesy of IRS If you itemize deductions and are an employee, you may be able to deduct certain work-related expenses. The IRS has put together the following facts to help you determine which expenses may be deducted as an employee business expense. Expenses that qualify for an itemized deduction include:

Medical Massages

Today TaxMama hears from Angela in the TaxQuips Forum, who wants to do this. “I’m trying to maximize my deductions and this is the first time I’m able to use medical deductions. My husband is unemployed and has high co-pays and COBRA payments. When I was reading the IRS info on what can be deducted, […]

Loss on Surrender

Today TaxMama hears from Karla in the TaxQuips Forum, with this question.  “Is the loss on surrender of life insurance deductible on 1040?”

New Law Encourages Cash Donations for Midwest Disaster Relief

IR-2008-133, Nov. 25, 2008 WASHINGTON –– Taxpayers who make qualifying cash contributions for disaster relief efforts in the Midwest could benefit from a recently passed law that suspends the percentage-of-income limits that would normally apply when taxpayers deduct the contributions on their 2008 federal tax returns. Under the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act, an individual […]

Is Your Hobby a For-Profit Endeavor?

FS-2008-23, June 2008 The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to follow appropriate guidelines when determining whether an activity is engaged in for profit, such as a business or investment activity, or is engaged in as a hobby. Internal Revenue Code Section 183 (Activities Not Engaged in for Profit) limits deductions that can be claimed when […]

Charity vs Standard Deductions

Today TaxMama hears from Anne in Minnesota, who wants to know, “Can an individual deduct charitable contributions and car donations on tax forms if unable to itemize deductions?” Dear Anne, You are giving away your age. Many, many years ago, in deepest, darkest memory, we used to be able to take charitable contributions deductions without […]

New Rules May Impact Your Charitable Contributions

Did you make a cash contribution to your favorite charity? Have you recently spent a weekend cleaning stuff out of your garage or basement and then donated the items to a local charity? Charitable contributions can be tax deductible, but you must have the proper records to support your deduction. Due to the Pension Protection […]

Generous Contribution

Today TaxMama hears from Bob in CT, who tells us. “I arranged a grant for $40,000 for a 501©(3) organization. Normally I require a finder’s fee of 20%. This time, I did not charge a fee to this organization, and essentially gave it back. Is the $8,000 I actually donated by not taking it, a […]

Per Diem Income

Today TaxMama hears from Scot in Los Angeles who tells us, “I am working on a television show that is moving around the American north west. Our crew is receiving $40 a day each in per diems. Should this money be taxed? If yes, will members of the crew who don’t itemize lose money?”