Tax season is almost here some questions that need answering.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KyleS, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Obviously I could just look up the tax laws but thought I could save a little time by chatting with others about taxes here at the HTF. [​IMG]
    In Nov 2001 my wife and I purchased a new home so this will be my first full year of Interest that we can write off but what other tax deductions should we be looking for?
    What about money that we spent on home improvements? This last summer we ripped up the lawn, put in underground sprinklers, and did a ton of landscaping. Can I deduct say the money we spent on the materials or does that simply go towards the house when we sell it?
    What else can we deduct? (Besides donations).
    KyleS
     
  2. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    Your best bet is to go to someone like H&R Block to have your taxes done. I always used to do my own taxes using programs like Turbo Tax but once I bought a house I started getting someone else to do it.
     
  3. Keith Outhouse

    Keith Outhouse Stunt Coordinator

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    Car Tags, Medical Insurance, Doctors bills, Prescription drugs, Donations to charities or churches, Property tax.

    I think improvements and repairs can only be claimed on income properties.
     
  4. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    Kyle, I'm not sure how OR works, but in WA you can deduct home improvement expenses, provided you kept the receipts.

    I've used Turbo Tax the last two years, and it makes itemizing very easy. I didn't find that having a house made doing taxes much more difficult. Just follow the directions.
     
  5. Marc S Kessler

    Marc S Kessler Stunt Coordinator

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    Kyle
    Get Turbo Tax Deluxe. It can "interview" like if you were walking into an H&R Block center.
    Based on what you said in your posting home improvements are not deductible. They add value (equity) to your home. Real estate taxes as well as local income taxes are deductible. Your mortgage interest is deductible as well as any points paid for your loan origination.
    All this is deductible as long as it exceeds your standard deduction where at that point you will have to itemize. Good luck.
     
  6. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Student loans are another potential write off (depending on your current income).
     
  7. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    If you've never itemized before, one deduction that people often aren't aware of is state income taxes. That can save a bundle right there on top of property taxes and mortgage interest.

    Medical expenses technically are deductible, but only to the extent they're more than 7.5% of your income, and you've got to be pretty damn sick for that to happen (or have very little income).
     
  8. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Yeah, the medical expense deductions don't help too many people. Working folks are more likely to benefit from things like flex-spend plans or MSAs.

    Now that you're itemizing, obviously you can deduct property tax. Also some other taxes; you're lucky to live in a state that has an income tax but no sales tax, since the former is deductable while the latter is not. Unfortunately it's the other way around here.

    Jared: Since WA has no state income tax, I don't understand what you are deducting the home improvement expenses from, or why that would vary in other states.

    Home improvements can sometimes be added to the basis of your property, which will reduce the taxes when you eventually sell the house. Except that nowadays most people don't have to pay any taxes on sale of a primary residence anyway, in which case it doesn't matter.
     
  9. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Student loan interest is an adjustment to your gross income, like IRA contributions. It is not an itemizable deduction.
     

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