More Return

At Klara’s birthday party today, I talked to a colleague who has three kids and who was also very pleasantly surprised with her tax return this year. They are Republicans, so they were doubly happy.

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14 thoughts on “More Return”

  1. I am afraid to do mine. You can’t deduct work related expenses any more and can’t deduct as much mortgage interest, from what I hear. But the work related expenses aspect is what I expect will kill me. I already don’t expect a refund because they deducted less, but I am concerned about what I may turn out to owe. The people at work who have done their taxes already say I am guessing right.

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    1. You can’t deduct work related expenses any more…

      I don’t have any work related expenses anymore, but my family members do. Is it no longer permissible to deduct living expenses while on a temporary job away from home, or for attending a professional conference at your own expense? If this is now forbidden, it is indeed a problem.

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      1. I could never deduct my work related expenses anyway. In order to deduct, they need to be larger than the standard exemption. And what college professor has uncovered work-related expenses of over $12K?

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        1. And what college professor has uncovered work-related expenses of over $12K?

          Am I incorrect in my belief that the $12K is the total of all the deductions I listed, not just the professional expenses in isolation?

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          1. Exactly. You still deduct the taxes and the mortgage interest. But you don’t itemize professional expenses any more, which is moot anyway because nobody has professional expenses in excess of the basic $12,000 deduction.

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          1. I’ve actually had 9 and 11 a couple of times, having to do with a combination of factors. If you have professional dues to several organizations, two conferences, a computer at what they used to cost (they’re cheaper now), books, journal subscriptions, photocopies, certain clothing, and you’re hiring so have to take candidates out for meals, and you have a couple of speakers so have to take them out, office supplies, postage (even that used to add up) and dossiers/dossier service for the job market, it can really add up in an expensive year. That plus mortgage interest and some dental work can really eat income. I live where a lot of personal contributions are required, of course.

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              1. Yes, I know. The way to do that is to actually do paperwork to donate to the foundation and so on, and get verification from them, and they can’t handle this work volume from everyone. This is why that 2106 form was good. Also for tools for manual workers, they have to have their own tools and they are expensive, and sometimes certain work clothes that are. Now you HAVE to have a business and put those costs into the business, you can’t deduct them as an employee.

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  2. My state, county, and city taxes, along with my mortgage interest and charitable contributions, have long been more than the standard deduction. Personal spending on professional activities added to that. (I no longer deduct charitable contributions, since I have decided it is not the business of the IRS to what organizations I donate.)

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    1. Taxes, mortgage interest, and charitable donations are still deducted. Professional expenses don’t but again, who can possibly have such huge professional expenses?

      This is not a real issue.

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