“Do you want a receipt?” The answer to that question should always be yes. When tax season comes around, you’ll want to have a receipt for every single deduction you make. These little slips of paper can be a life-saver should you get audited. They also make it much easier to keep an accurate record of your finances by knowing EXACTLY where your money is going.
At Hacker Accounting, we know that it can be overwhelming to hold onto so many receipts. The good news is that you don’t have to hold on to every single receipt you get. A lot of them won’t help you come tax time. But there are some receipts that are absolutely essential, and you’ll be in much better shape doing your taxes by holding onto them. Here are the receipts that you should always save.
Related: Best Tax Tips For New Employees
Keep track of your charitable donations! Anytime you donate an item, ask for a tax receipt. Get an estimated value for the item and include it on the receipt. Notating the estimated value will make things a lot easier when you have to sift through your receipts later.
You can deduct medical expenses, but in order to do it right you’ll have to itemize your deductions. Any of the following can qualify for a deduction, provided you hold on to the receipts:
- Co-pays for medical, vision, or dental care.
- Premiums for long-term care, vision, medical, dental, Medicare Part B & Medicare Part D insurance that you aren’t reimbursed for and that are not paid using pre-tax dollars.
- Acupuncture, chiropractic services, podiatrists, sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist.
- Nursing care, hospital stays, programs to help you stop smoking, and weight-loss programs for the treatment of obesity or another condition diagnosed by a doctor.
- Cost of contact lenses, eyeglasses, breast pumps, lactation aids, prescription medicine, crutches, hearing aids, braces, wheelchairs and other medical aids, all costs associated with guide dogs, and medical exam or test fees.
- Occupational and physical therapy.
- Cost of parking fees, tolls, transportation, and mileage for trips to and from appointments with medical professionals, transportation via ambulance to a medical facility, and the cost of overnight hotel stays for treatment that is received out of town.
Unreimbursed Work Expenses
Save any receipts for work-related expenses that your work won’t reimburse you for. You can deduct the cost of tools, equipment, supplies, mileage accrued for work that doesn’t involve your daily commute, protective gear and uniforms that are needed for your work. It’s important to keep in mind that these are things that you exclusively use for work. You can write off a work uniform that you’d only wear to work. But you can’t write off a tailored suit that you wear often just cause you wore it once to a networking event on behalf of your company.
You can also write off professional dues associated with your work, so any union dues or memberships to professional organizations would qualify. And you can even write off subscriptions to professional journals! Or you may also be able to deduct fees spent on education expenses and training that’s related to your business.
Are you between jobs? The good news is that you can write-off expenses related to your job search! Track your mileage, any printing you do involving resumes or business cards, education you’re engaged with to be a part of your field or other expenses that are directly related to your job hunt.
You can receive tax breaks for child or dependent care, so having receipts for these expenses is a must. You can get a credit for expenses paid to a babysitter, daycare, day camp, after-school program or other care provider. If the childcare took place in your home, additional expenses may also qualify. These expenses include the cost of a maid, cook, or a housekeeper who’s been hired to provide care or services for your child/dependent.
Keep in mind, though, that these expenses only qualify if you paid them to enable you to either work or look for work. If you’re married, this also applies to your spouse. You both have to have had earned income, unless your spouse is a full time student or disabled dependent.
Looking for more tax tips? Give Hacker Accounting a call at 602-375-5251.