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TRUSTDale Tip of the Day: *Commonly Missed Tax Deductions to Put Cash in Your Wallet

Everyone loves a good tax deduction. Unfortunately, as taxpayers scour their drawers for every last cab receipt, they might be overlooking bigger deductions and credits that are not widely known. Five tax experts reveal their "tricks of the trade" on deductions and credits.

Old School Books Used For Work

If you're a student you can't deduct the books you buy for school. But once you graduate, as long as you're actually using the books for work, you can amortize those books as part of your "professional library." Amortization basically means you're writing off the purchase over a longer period of time. That's not a bad deduction considering that many students spend thousands of dollars on text books.

The usual rules for itemized deductions apply here. If you're self-employed, you can itemize to your heart's content. But if you work for a company, you can only itemize your library if all your work-related expenses exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income, says Manhattan CPA Cohen.

Unemployed 'Vacations'

"The best time to go on vacation is when you're unemployed," says Cohen, only partly joking. If you're looking for a job, and land some interviews in Orlando, Fla., the IRS doesn't care if you stop over at Disneyland for a night.

You do have to limit your deductions to fair expenses related to your trip: your airline ticket, the hotel you stayed in the night before your interview.

"You can bring your wife too. The hotel costs the same whether she's with you or not," he says. Just make sure that the primary purpose of your trip is related to your job hunt.


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