12 Common Tax Write-Offs You Can Claim On Your Next Return (2023)

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Taxpayers may be able to take advantage of numerous deductions and credits on their taxes each year that can help them pay a lower amount of taxes—or receive a refund from the IRS.

You may be able to write off the following twelve common write-offs, which include both tax credits and deductions. Additionally, you may be entitled to write-offs on your state taxes, so check your state tax department’s website to see if you qualify.

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1. Property Taxes

Property taxes may be deductible if you itemize, but a limit comes into play.

Under a massive tax overhaul that was signed into law in 2017, deductible state and local income taxes (SALT), including property taxes, are capped at $10,000.

The limit is scheduled to last through the 2025 tax year, unless Congress extends it.

2. Mortgage Interest

The interest you pay for your mortgage can be deducted from your taxes. The write-off is limited to interest on up to $750,000 ($375,000 for married-filing-separately taxpayers) of mortgage debt incurred after Dec. 15, 2017.

3. State Taxes Paid

Again, you can deduct state income taxes that are paid, but the write-off is limited to up to $10,000, which includes all deductible state and local taxes.

4. Homeowner Deductions

You can deduct mortgage insurance premiums, mortgage interest and real estate taxes that you pay during the year for your home.

5. Charitable Contributions

Generally, you can deduct charitable contributions of cash totaling up to 60% of your adjusted gross income, or AGI. Donations of items or property also are considered deductible charitable contributions.


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6. Medical Expenses

Medical and dental expenses qualify for a tax deduction, though you can deduct only the costs that exceed 7.5% of your AGI.

To claim medical-related expenses on your 2022 tax return next year, they must have been paid in 2022, unless they were charged to a credit card. In those cases, you can deduct the expenses in the year you charged the card, not necessarily the year in which you repaid them.

Trips to your doctor’s office or hospital appointments qualify for medical mileage. For 2022, you can deduct 18 cents a mile for travel you made for medical purposes through June 2022. The amount has increased to 22 cents a mile from July 1, 2022, through the end of the year.

7. Lifetime Learning Credit Education Credits

The lifetime learning credit allows people to claim a tax credit for taking classes at a community college, university or other higher education institution. The maximum amount of expenses you can deduct is up to $10,000 for an unlimited number of years. However, the top credit you can receive per tax return is worth $2,000.

The credit allows for a dollar-for-dollar reduction on the amount of taxes owed. The expenses can include tuition, fee payments and required books or supplies for post-secondary education for yourself, spouse or dependent child. The credit isn’t refundable, which means it can be used to pay any taxes you owe, but you can’t receive any of it as a refund.

The amount of your credit depends on your income. You should check IRS Publication 170 to determine the income qualifications.

Note: This credit can’t be claimed in the same year as the American opportunity tax credit using the same expenses.

8. American Opportunity Tax Education Credit

The American opportunity tax credit offers a tax break for the first four years of higher education. The maximum annual credit is $2,500 per eligible student. If the amount of taxes you owe is zero because of this credit, the IRS says 40% of any remaining amount of the credit (a maximum of $1,000) can be refunded to you.

The credit is worth 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified education expenses paid for each eligible student and 25% of the next $2,000 of qualified education expenses.

“If you, your spouse, or child are in school, make sure to look deeper into education credits,” says Daniel Fan, managing director and head of wealth planning at First Foundation Advisors, an Irvine, California-based financial institution. “For students who are in the first four years of college, this credit could provide greater tax savings than the lifetime learning credit.”

Qualifying expenses include tuition, fee payments and required books or supplies for post-secondary education for yourself, spouse or dependent child.

The amount of your credit is determined by your income. This credit can’t be claimed the same year the lifetime learning credit is claimed.

9. Retirement Credits

The contributions you make to a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or a traditional or Roth IRA give you a tax credit of 50%, 20% or 10%, depending on your adjusted gross income that you report on Form 1040. Any rollover contributions do not qualify for the credit.

The maximum contribution amount that qualifies for the credit is $2,000 ($4,000 if married filing jointly), making the maximum possible credit $1,000 ($2,000 if married filing jointly). The IRS has a chart to help calculate your credit.

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10. IRA Contributions

The maximum contribution for 2022 in a traditional or Roth IRA is $6,000, plus another $1,000 for people who are 50 years old or more. Your contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deductible.

11. Self-Employed Health Care Premiums

If you’re self-employed, you can deduct 100% of the health insurance premiums you pay monthly for yourself, your spouse and your dependents, whether or not you itemize deductions, says Robert Charron, a CPA in charge of the tax department at Friedman, a New York-based accounting firm.

If you have kids under 27 at the end of 2022, you can also deduct their premiums—even if they aren’t dependents.

However, you can’t claim this deduction if you’re eligible to participate in a subsidized health plan from an employer for either yourself, your spouse, dependents or kids under 27.

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12. Student Loan Interest

Student loan interest can be written off your taxes, but the maximum interest you can deduct is $2,500. The amount you may write off depends on your income. Review the previously mentioned IRS Publication 970 for more information.

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What Is the Standard Deduction?

The standard deduction is an automatic deduction from your taxable income that you can receive without any itemizing.

Before deciding to claim the standard deduction, it’s a good idea to compare your standard deduction amount with your total itemized deductions.

For the 2022 tax year (meaning the taxes you’ll file in 2023), the standard deduction amounts are: :

  • $12,950 for single and married filing separate taxpayers
  • $19,400 for head of household taxpayers
  • $25,900 for married taxpayers filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)s

Tips for Writing Off Your Expenses and Charitable Contributions

Keeping a good record of your income and deductible expenses in a spreadsheet throughout the year can make filing taxes a lot quicker and easier.

“Preparing and organizing everything for your taxes can seem like a daunting task, but a lot of people come across the same common mistakes,” Fan says. “Don’t forget to always include all sources of income, make sure you are looking for and including all possible deductions, and understand the difference between a deduction and a credit.”

Some common mistakes people make include:

  • Not listing all income
  • Not accounting for all possible deductions
  • Not taking advantage of contributions to retirement accounts to increase tax-deductible contributions.

If you are filing taxes with several deductions, start by gathering all the appropriate paperwork, such as Form 1098 for mortgage interest rate deductions. For other deductions, which are based on expenses or contributions, keep accurate records.

“If you itemize your deductions, then keep track of qualified medical expenses, charitable contributions made, or any other deductions which can be itemized,” says Fan. “If you are likely to take the standard deduction, then record keeping will not be as important.”

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What items can you write-off on your tax returns? ›

File 100% FREE with expert help
  • Sales taxes. You have the option of deducting sales taxes or state income taxes off your federal income tax. ...
  • Health insurance premiums. ...
  • Tax savings for teacher. ...
  • Charitable gifts. ...
  • Paying the babysitter. ...
  • Lifetime learning. ...
  • Unusual business expenses. ...
  • Looking for work.
Feb 12, 2023

How much can you claim in tax write-offs? ›

For tax year 2022 the standard deduction is $12,950 single and $25,900 married filing jointly ($12,550 single, $25,100 married filing jointly for tax year 2021 ). Mortgage interest: You can write-off the interest you pay on the first $750,000 of home loans on homes purchased after December 15, 2017.

What is a tax write-off example? ›

Expenses are anything purchased in the course of running a business for profit. The cost of these items is deducted from revenue in order to decrease the total taxable revenue. Examples of write-offs include vehicle expenses and rent or mortgage payments, according to the IRS.

Can you write off gas on taxes? ›

If you're claiming actual expenses, things like gas, oil, repairs, insurance, registration fees, lease payments, depreciation, bridge and tunnel tolls, and parking can all be deducted." Just make sure to keep a detailed log and all receipts, he advises, and keep track of your yearly mileage and then deduct the ...

Can I write off home improvements? ›

In general, home improvements aren't tax-deductible, but there are three main exceptions: capital improvements, energy-efficient improvements, and improvements related to medical care.

What are the 5 most common items that can be deducted for itemized deductions? ›

Itemized deductions include amounts you paid for state and local income or sales taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, and disaster losses.

How do you write-off a car? ›

If you use your car only for business purposes, you may deduct its entire cost of ownership and operation (subject to limits discussed later). However, if you use the car for both business and personal purposes, you may deduct only the cost of its business use.

How do I write-off my phone bill on my taxes? ›

Your cellphone as a small business deduction

If you're self-employed and you use your cellphone for business, you can claim the business use of your phone as a tax deduction. If 30 percent of your time on the phone is spent on business, you could legitimately deduct 30 percent of your phone bill.

What are 100% write-offs? ›

A 100 percent tax deduction is a business expense of which you can claim 100 percent on your income taxes. For small businesses, some of the expenses that are 100 percent deductible include the following: Furniture purchased entirely for office use is 100 percent deductible in the year of purchase.

Can you write-off work clothes on your taxes? ›

Work clothes are tax deductible if your employer requires you to wear them everyday but they cannot be worn as everyday wear, such as a uniform. However, if your employer requires you to wear suits – which can be worn as everyday wear – you cannot deduct their cost even if you never wear the suits outside of work.

What tax deductions can I claim without receipts? ›

How can you claim a tax deduction without a receipt?
  • Bank statements are a handy substitute. ...
  • Ask your accountant to check your income statement. ...
  • Check your online account or ask the retailer for another receipt. ...
  • Petrol usage (with a logbook) ...
  • Car expenses (without a logbook) ...
  • Home office expenses.

What items are not tax deductible? ›

What Is a Non-Deductible Expense in Business?
  • Personal Expenses. As mentioned above, ordinary expenses related to personal or family expenses aren't deductible. ...
  • Political Contributions. ...
  • Commuting Expenses. ...
  • Certain Gifts. ...
  • Travel Expenses for Extra Travelers. ...
  • Anything Illegal. ...
  • Meals and Entertainment.
6 days ago

What can I write-off on my taxes without a receipt? ›

What does the IRS allow you to deduct (or “write off”) without receipts?
  1. Self-employment taxes. ...
  2. Home office expenses. ...
  3. Self-employed health insurance premiums. ...
  4. Self-employed retirement plan contributions. ...
  5. Vehicle expenses. ...
  6. Cell phone expenses.
Nov 9, 2022


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