Maria Puglisi and her dad - out of their home since Superstorm Sandy - need a surge of cash. They can't save the house cracked to its foundation.
"You don't want to leave money on the table, especially if it's allowed by the IRS," Alan Kahn of AJK Financial said.
1) DON'T MISS DISASTER DEDUCTIONS
CPA Alan Kahn says storm victims like Maria can turn disaster into deductions on your taxes. Maria is due for an additional 10 to 12 grand off her taxes because of losses Remember, if you're taking this kind of deduction mark "Sandy" on your return.
2) DEDUCT RE-FI POINTS
If you're home's still standing and are refinancing, you can deduct points you pay for at closing.
"That can be a couple of thousand dollars of deductions," Kahn said.
3) GREEN HOME IMPROVEMENT TAX CREDITS
And if you've made your home more energy efficient - new doors, windows, insulation - that's deductible.
The deductions are even bigger if you've gone solar.
"You can get an income tax credit of 30 percent of the entire cost," Kahn explained.
4) COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS DEDUCTIONS
If you're saving for college through a state's 529 plan, you can claim a deduction of $5,000 per child.
"Between a husband and wife, that's 10-thousand, that could save you 8 or 900 dollars on your state income tax return," Kahn said.
If your kid's already in college, student loan interest is deductible, as well.
"Up to 2500 dollars in tax deductible, remember it's based on income qualifications," he said.
5) CHILD CARE CREDIT
If you're a working parent, child care is deductible.
"Up to a max of 3000 dollars for one child up to a max of 6000 dollars for 2 or more children," Kahn said.
6) LONG TERM HEALTH CARE INSURANCE CREDITS
And don't miss getting a 20 percent credit on the cost of your long term care insurance, it's a deduction just like any other medical expense people often miss.
"Credits are valuable on your returns. They're a direct reduction of your taxes," Kahn said.
7) CHARITABLE DONATIONS
So many people gave clothing supplies, furniture to Sandy victims and even volunteered to help. You can't write off your time , but if you drove to the shore to lend a hand, your gas mileage is a deduction.
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