Monthly Archives: August 2012

Getting the Most from Your Deductions

No one likes to pay any more taxes than they have to. One simple way to avoid this is to get the most from your deductions and expenses. This means keeping track of all of your tax deductible expenses throughout the year. Once the last-minute rush to gather up all of your receipts begins, expenses are often overlooked that can reduce your tax liability.

Here is one strategy for charitable contributions: each time you make a charitable contribution, obtain a written receipt to acknowledge your donation, which should contain the name of the charity, the date, and the amount contributed. When donating household goods, such as clothing, you can use a guide, such as the one at www.salvationarmyusa.org to determine the value of your donations. Please note that the IRS does not allow a deduction for contributions without a proper receipt or a cancelled check (for amounts under $250).

Keep track of unreimbursed employee expenses. As always, you should keep your receipts for any business expenses that you pay out of pocket. These can include tolls, parking, gas, meals and entertainment, dues, subscriptions, advertising, and marketing. Additionally, if you use your vehicle for your job, keep track of your business and overall mileage. It will be well worth the savings come next tax season.

One more way to better keep track of expenses is to reconcile your bank statements to your checkbook. This is true whether you use QuickBooks, Quicken, or a pencil and paper. By reconciling your checkbook, it insures that you are capturing all of your expenses, such as bank fees, or checks that you forgot to record. Both businesses and individuals can benefit from reconciling their books.

Keep all of your receipts in one place or in an envelope – whatever works best for you. Usually the extra effort is worth the hassle, especially because it makes you more conscious of what you are doing with your money.

NJ Homestead Benefit & Senior Freeze Applications Extended

The New Jersey Homestead Benefit and Senior Freeze Applications have been extended to October 19th.