Casualty Loss Deduction – Special Cases

Casualty Loss Deduction - Special Cases
In two previous posts I discussed theft loss and casualty loss, which combine together like Voltron for your Theft and Casualty Loss Deduction on a tax return. Since this is a complicated topic (what tax topic isn’t?), we still have a few more random items to discuss before we’re all the way through. Loss on ...

Taxes and Destruction – The Casualty Loss Deduction

Taxes and Destruction - The Casualty Loss Deduction
While growing up in Redding, California, the disasters rolled around every year like our SimCity god was bored of our typical day to day living. If we didn’t suffer massive flooding and storm damage in the winter, then we could look forward to uncontrolled fires in the summer. Catastrophic events hit throughout the nation all the time, ...

iPhone Stolen? There’s a Deduction For That!

iPhone Stolen? There's a Deduction For That!
When I was really young, we moved from one self-proclaimed Promised Land to another (a.k.a. Texas to California). After taking a midway break at a cheap motel, I remember waking up, walking out to where the U-Haul had been parked the night before, and finding only an oil slick. It’d all been stolen. My Nintendo! Mario! ...

Does the Government Subsidize Gambling Losses?

Does the Government Subsidize Gambling Losses?
A while back, I had a client receive a notice from the IRS demanding why he didn’t include his over $100k in gambling winnings on his tax return. “But I don’t gamble!” he promptly reported, figuring that the issue was a mistake and would be quickly put to rest. The IRS responded by sending slip ...

Itemized Deductions — Other Expenses

Itemized Deductions -- Other Expenses
(Get more 1040 help here) The IRS likes to have the littlest item explained in great detail, like the Victor Hugo of the accounting world. But just like Hugo’s best attempts to describe every tiny detail of the Paris sewers in Les Miserables must have passed over a lichen or two, the IRS can’t capture everything in their ...

Useless Deductions: Tax Preparation Fees

Useless Deductions: Tax Preparation Fees
(More 1040 deductions are explained here) Let me set up the scene: It’s the middle of the 20th century, and the income tax code, which started out as an adorable 30 page pamphlet, has exploded into a hideous monster like a gremlin given food after midnight. Elected officials all over the nation are fighting to make the returns ...

Can I Deduct Those Ridiculous Mortgage Insurance Premiums?

Can I Deduct Those Ridiculous Mortgage Insurance Premiums?
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, go back to the 1040 summary page here) When we bought our first house, the payments that frustrated me more than cat trying to catch a laser pointer were the Mortgage Insurance Premiums. While all the other payments felt more or less justified, Mortgage Insurance came as a punishment. I could ...

Mortgage Interest Deduction 2014

Mortgage Interest Deduction 2014
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, or more help with filling out your 1040, go back to the 1040 summary page here) Let’s be honest for just one minute, me to you: there’s more deductions out there than dog pee spots on my carpet (which is a friggin’ ton), yet almost all ...

Sales Tax Deduction 2014

Sales Tax Deduction 2014
(NOTE: if you’re looking for a list of itemized deductions, or more help with filling out your 1040, go back to the 1040 summary page here) Before I begin talking about the General Sales Tax Deduction on the Schedule A, I should mention that technically there’s no sales tax deduction in 2014. That doesn’t mean there won’t ...