Education tax credit claims to be processed beginning Feb. 14
Energy efficient home improvement tax break is back ... until Dec. 31

Don't overlook these 2012 tax breaks

First, for you wisea... uh, acres (yeah, wiseacres; let's use that term) popping off about the headline, no I'm not about to list 2,012 tax breaks. These tips (coming up after a few more prefatory words) total 10 and are for tax year 2012, that return you're working on right now.

Todays Tax Tip pencil iconSecond, once again life, work and taxes have conspired to make sure that I don't get around to posting the Daily Tax Tip as quickly each day as I had hoped. OK, busted. Some days I don't get to posting the day's tip at all.

But I eventually get them all listed in the special tax tips pages. January and February are live now, with March and April going up when they roll around.

Third, I am caught up now! And the tax tip there in the upper right of the page about overlooked tax tax breaks is today's, Friday, Feb. 8's piece of tax advice. Yay! Please join me in cheering!

Finally, since another tax tip will take this one's place as the featured tax tidbit sometime tomorrow, I'm posting today's tip's relevant points here now.

10 tax breaks you shouldn't miss: While the Internal Revenue Service says that our duty as good U.S. taxpayers is to meet our tax paying obligations each year, we all know the real goal of filing returns.

It's to make sure Uncle Sam gets as little of our money as possible.

To accomplish that, we taxpayers need to claim every tax deduction, credit or other income adjustment we can.

But it's easy to miss some. Here are 10 that are often overlooked:

  1. Job hunting expenses (an itemized deduction under miscellaneous expenses)
  2. Moving costs (an adjustment to your gross income, also known as an above-the-line deduction)
  3. Retirement Saver's Credit (a tax credit, which is better than a deduction because it reduces your tax tax bill dollar-for-dollar)
  4. Noncash charitable gifts (or how you can make at least some itemized tax deduction use of volunteering at your favorite nonprofit)
  5. Travel expenses for military reservists (another above-the-line deduction)
  6. Child and dependent care costs (another valuable tax credit)
  7. Points paid to refinance a mortgage (one of the many homeowner related tax breaks, in this case an itemized deduction)
  8. Many medical costs (again for itemizers, but you need a lot so don't forget things like some weight reduction expenses)
  9. Educational expenses (including the American Opportunity tax credit that the IRS will start accepting claims for on Feb. 14)
  10. Energy efficient home improvements (another credit that was renewed as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, better known as the fiscal cliff tax bill)

Of course there are eligibility requirements and IRS rules to follow. And even if you don't have to itemize, you'll have to fill out some worksheets and an extra form or two.

But check these tax breaks out. If you're eligible for any, make sure you claim them on your 2012 tax return.

You also might find these items of interest:


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