Jackson Hewitt(R) Cautions Taxpayers Not to Miss Out on Commonly Overlooked Tax Credits and Deductions
PARSIPPANY, N.J., March 6 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Each year, many U.S. taxpayers fail to claim all of the deductions and credits available to them on their annual income tax returns -- leaving tax refund dollars on the table. To help taxpayers avoid this filing pitfall, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) shares some of the most common overlooked credits and deductions -- and reminds taxpayers that working with a knowledgeable preparer is the best way to uncover all of the tax considerations which may apply to them.
"No one should miss out on legitimate credits or deductions when filing their tax return," says Mark Steber, vice president of Tax Resources, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "The average consumer is simply not aware of all the tax considerations that may apply to their particular situation. This is why working with a knowledgeable tax preparer can make a real dollars and cents difference. A tax preparer who is up-to-date on the tax code is best equipped to identify all of the applicable deductions based on changes to the law, common missed expenses such as medical or property costs, or deductions related to an individual's job."
When filing a 2007 tax return, Steber advised taxpayers to pay close attention to these commonly overlooked deductions and credits:
- Mortgage Insurance Premium Deduction: New beginning this year, homeowners who bought or refinanced a home in 2007 can treat the mortgage insurance premium that they paid for the year as tax deductible. This deduction should be reported on Schedule A in the same section as mortgage interest.
- Medical Expenses: Taxpayers can deduct transportation costs such as tolls, parking, and mileage related to medical appointments -- including visits to health facilities, doctor's offices, and laboratories. In addition, medical aids such as crutches, canes, hearing aids, eye glasses, contact lenses and orthopedic shoes may also be deductible.
- Adoption Credit: Those who adopted in 2007 may be able to take a credit for qualified adoption expenses of up to $11,390 per child. The credit is phased out if a taxpayer's adjusted gross income exceeds $170,820.
- Home Energy Credits: Energy-efficient updates to a primary residence may allow taxpayers to claim from $50 up to $500 in nonrefundable credit. This credit is based on 10 percent of the cost of installing select items such as windows, exterior doors, metal roofs, new insulation, circulating fans, qualified hot water heaters, central air conditioning or furnaces. Under the current guidelines, 2007 is the last tax year for which these energy credits are available.
Important Deductions That Many Miss
There are several deductions that are based on an individual's profession, such as:
- Education expenses paid to maintain or improve job skills
- Job-related professional journals, magazines, and newspapers
- Payments made by the self-employed for health insurance
- Work-related expenses for handicapped individuals
- Required uniforms and work clothes that are otherwise not suitable for street wear
- Business gifts up to $25 per customer or client
- Select home office expenses (if the home is the primary place of business)
- Dues to unions or professional organizations
- Cellular phones required for business
Major life events -- from getting married or divorced, having or adopting a baby, buying or selling a home or even getting a new job -- may also trigger credits or deductions. "Be sure to speak with your tax preparer about any significant life changes that occurred in 2007," adds Steber. "The right insight and advice from a knowledgeable preparer can help add to a refund, if eligible, or reduce a tax liability."
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with approximately 6,800 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States during the 2008 tax season, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The Company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) office nearest to you, call (800) 234-1040.
SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.