This installment in our series about tax deduction involves deductions that are easily overlooked.

It’s hard to overlook the big charitable gifts that you made during the year, by check or your payroll deduction (if you do that, check your pay stub in December). After all you get letters from the institutions that detail it all.  However, the little things add up too. Remember that you can write off out-of-pocket costs incurred while volunteering for a charity. For example, ingredients for dishes you prepare for a nonprofit organization’s soup kitchen and stamps you buy for a school’s fund-raising mailing count as charitable contributions. If you drove your car for charity in 2018, remember to deduct 14 cents per mile, plus parking and tolls paid, for your philanthropic journeys. The rate will be 14 cents per mile in 2019 as well.

Let’s not forget the property we contributed as well. Whether is a drop off of dated style clothes, although with lots of life left, or furniture it was easier to have the charity pick up then arrange for a special trash pick up or your old “Kar” or boat that you gave to the “Kids”, it is all part of the charitable deduction.  Now with a higher percentage of income allowance, lets use our charitable work for something else for ourselves.

Oh, and a reminder, keep those receipts. You’ll need an acknowledgement from the charity documenting the support that you provided if your contribution totals more than $250.

Hey gambling winners, those of you who get Form W-2G, don’t rush and file without looking at what gambling losses you might have also incurred.  So, if you took a trip to Las Vegas but didn’t do so well, you can deduct your gambling losses. This deduction is only available if you itemize, but it is limited. In addition to losses suffered at a casino or racetrack, deductible gambling losses also include the cost of non-winning bingo, lottery and raffle tickets.

Go back as soon as you feasibly can and build a diary of gambling activity that includes the date and type of wagering, name and location of gambling establishments, names of people with you when you gamble, and amounts that you won or lost.  You can take deductions up to the amount of your gambling winnings, those amounts that you report as taxable income.

When we find ourselves working to meet the deadline for our personal tax filing, it is easy to miss those things that are not readily available in the file the we keep our tax papers in. Take the time to sit back and elaborate on all you do, all year long, and not just mention on your return what jumps into your mind during in those short sessions.

Whether you are a business, individual, or non-profit – we will outline specific steps you can take to minimize taxes, maximize loan eligibility, or enhance the value of your property. With one call or email we will provide you with a professional, complimentary financial Statement evaluation – no obligation. Just visit or contact us at, or call (212) 397-2970 and we will be happy to help you and answer your questions.

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