Get Your Tax Refund

If you did not file a tax return in the past three years, perhaps because you did not meet the filing threshold or you encountered a life event that put you on hold, maybe it's a good idea to meet with a tax professional and determine if you are due a refund!

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Real Estate Taxes

Real estate taxes are deductible in the year they are paid to the county tax office. If taxes are paid into an escrow account, they are deductible when actually paid to the taxing authority, not when they are paid to the escrow account or agent. If you pay late and incur penalties and interest, those are not deductible; only the tax portion.

What if you paid someone else's real estate tax? For example, you pay your parents' property tax bill or when you sell your

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A List of Medical Expenses


Clients so often call to ask if one or another expense can be deducted as a medical expense. There are the obvious ones, like visits to the doctor, dentist and chiropractor. It is clear these are deductible. But what about maternity clothes? Or acupuncture? Well the former is not allowed and the latter is. So here's a list of some unusual ones that can be deducted:

Acupuncture, alcoholism (treatment, meals and lodging while at the center), ambulance service, artificial limbs and teeth, braille books/magazines, dyslexia language training, a doctor recommended (in writing) exercise program for a specific condition, eye surgery for nearsightedness, fertility treatment (if medical condition required it), legal fees paid to authorize treatment for mental illness, lifetime care advance payments (if part of the advance fee is allocated to medical care and the percentage is specified in the agreement with the retirement home, mattresses and boards bought specifically to alleviate an arthritic condition, wheelchairs, guide dogs (including their food and vet costs), Medicare Parts B, C, and D and A if not covered under Social Security), entire cost for medical care, including meals and lodging if the main reason for residence is to obtain medical care, reclining chair on doctor's written advice, smoking cessation programs (no doctor recommendation necessary), tuition for a mentally disabled person, prescribed therapeutic swimming costs, weight loss program prescribed by doctor for obesity or other specific condition.

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Are Traveling Expenses Tax Deductible?

In general, a taxpayer may deduct ordinary and necessary traveling expenses incurred while away from home in the conduct of a trade or business. Internal Revenue Code Section 162(a)(2) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.162-2 allow for a deduction when individuals are away from home if it is reasonable for them to need to sleep or rest while their duties require them to be away from the general area of their tax home for a period substantially longer than an ordinary workday.

It doesn't always have to be that you are away for more than 24 hours. In some cases, travel expenses may be deductible even though you are away for part of the day. So, for example, a pilot that flies a charter trip and needs to rest because of duty time limits.

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Tax Benefits for Military Members

There are many tax benefits for members of the military, their families and disabled veterans. Here are tips designed to help service members and their families take advantage of all tax benefits allowed by law.

• Certain combat pay can be excluded from income.

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Tax Considerations for Veterans with Disabilities

Veterans with disabilities may be eligible to claim a federal tax refund based on an increase in the veteran's percentage of disability as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This could include a retroactive determination. Also eligible may be the combat-disabled veteran applying for and granted Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC), after an award for Concurrent Retirement and Disability.

To claim a refund, the disabled veteran will need to file an amended return. All documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and DFAS should be reviewed and included with the tax return.

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Combat Zone Relief

Are you currently on active duty? A taxpayer serving in a combat zone may qualify for relief from certain IRS compliance actions, such as audits or enforced collections, until 180 days after the taxpayer has left the zone.

Do You Qualify?

If you are currently serving in the military and are stationed in a combat zone and received a notice from the IRS, you can notify the IRS of your status.  Provide to the IRS your name, address and date of deployment to the combat zone.  As always, never include sensitive personal information in an email, such as your social security number.  This notification can be made by an authorized agent or representative, such as an Enrolled Agent.

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