Sales Tax Deduction
In certain states, taxpayers can take a Sales Tax Deduction if they itemize deductions. Those who live in a state without a state income tax may deduct their state sales tax when they itemize. Taxpayers in states with state income taxes can choose to deduct their state income taxes or state sales tax.
Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit remains at $1000 for a qualifying child. The credit is non-refundable and can reduce the taxpayer's income tax. To get the credit, the child must meet the following criteria:
- The child must be your: son, daughter, stepchild, eligible foster child who is a dependent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, grandchild, niece or nephew
- must be younger than 17 at the end of the year
- must live with you for more than half the year
- must not have provided for more than half of his or her own support
- must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or resident of the U.S.
- must be your dependent and younger than the person claiming the credit.
Additional Child Tax Credit
An Additional Child Tax Credit may be available to those who qualify and have not used up the available amount against their calculated taxes. The Child Tax Credit cannot reduce your tax below zero, but, if your Child Tax Credit is limited by your tax, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit, even if your tax liability is zero.
Tax Break for Eligible Educators
Eligible Educators who spend their own money on classroom supplies may qualify for a tax break. An eligible educator is a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide who works at least 900 hours in either a public or private school. The adjustment for these expenses, of no more than $250, can be claimed whether or not the taxpayer itemizes.
Generally, you can deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040) only the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 10% of your AGI. But if either you or your spouse was born before January 2, 1950, you can deduct the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 7.5% of your AGI.
Standard Mileage Rates
For Tax Year 2017 the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:
- 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, including depreciation, insurance, repairs, tires, maintenance, gas and oil. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs, such as gas and oil. The charitable rate is set by law.
Taxpayers always have the option of claiming deductions based on the actual costs of using a vehicle rather than the standard mileage rates.
Contributions You Can Deduct
Generally, you can deduct contributions of money or property you make to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. A contribution is “for the use of” a qualified organization when it is held in a legally enforceable trust for the qualified organization or in a similar legal arrangement.
The contributions must be made to a qualified organization and not set aside for use by a specific person.
If you give property to a qualified organization, you generally can deduct the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution.
Your deduction for charitable contributions generally cannot be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), but in some cases 20% and 30% limits may apply.
In addition, the total of your charitable contributions deduction and certain other itemized deductions may be limited.