ACCC on How to Claim Tax Deductions

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ACCC wants to help put more money in consumers’ pockets by offering tips on claiming tax deductions

By claiming deductibles and paying less in taxes, consumers have the ability to put the money towards paying off any outstanding debt.

Everyone wants more money in their pocket. When filing federal tax returns it is easy to miss out on simple ways of saving money. Tax deductions allow consumers to lower their taxable income and pay less in taxes. With Tax Day coming up on April 18, American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) wants to help consumers save money and claim all tax deductions they qualify for.

“With the right planning and knowledge, claiming tax deductions is a perfect way for consumers to keep more money in their possession,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “By claiming deductibles and paying less in taxes, consumers have the ability to put the money towards paying off any outstanding debt.”

According to the Congressional Research Service Report, taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $200,000 who itemized their deductions ranged from 94 percent to 98 percent with an average sum ranging from $39,470 to $441,719 claimed. In contrast, 6 percent to 22 percent of tax filers with an income less than $50,000 chose to itemize their deductions in 2011, with an average deduction claim of $15,227.

Tax deductions are often very individual, meaning one would benefit from speaking with a credit counselor who can help develop a more personalized approach to tax deductible claims. Seeing as this is not always an option, ACCC is providing some helpful tips for claiming tax deductions and putting more money in your pocket.

1. Know your standard deductible. The Standard deductible you can claim is determined by your filing status. On your federal tax return you must specify whether you are single, head of household, married filing separately, married filing jointly or a qualifying widow or widower. Each status receives a different standard deductible. It is important to be aware of what you are entitled to claim depending on how you are filing.

2. The standard deductible is not always the best option. Similar to a standard deductible, an itemized deductible lowers your taxable income but to do so you must create a list of items already purchased or paid for within the tax year that are tax deductible. If the itemized deductible is larger than the standard deductible, you should claim this instead. Itemized deductibles can include: charity, student-loans, job-expenses your company does not reimburse, self-owned business, state income and sales taxes, property tax, real-estate tax, casualty and theft and gambling losses. These options may vary depending on the total amount spent on the good or service.

3. You can file for tax deductions based on events that are considered life changing. There are certain large events in life that you may not expect are tax deductible. These events can include the loss of a job, marriage, divorce, having or adopting a child, going to college or purchasing a home.

4. Home energy improvements and renewable energy are not only tax deductible but can save you money monthly. Up to 30 percent of the cost of home improvements that create greater energy efficiency and can be written off as a tax deductible. Additionally, homeowners can receive a tax credit of nearly 30 percent of the money spent to install renewable energy options. Not only that but these improvements and energy options can allow for more money in your pocket each month as systems run more efficiently allowing for lower electric bills.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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Marissa Sullivan
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