12 Expenses That Aren’t Tax Deductions For Most Taxpayers

“Can I deduct the cost of taking care of my cat? She’s like a member of the family.” Over the course of the year, I’ve received a bunch of questions – like the one above – about deductions. My answer is often, “It depends.” That’s because facts and circumstances matter: deductibility may hinge on such … Read more

Moving Right Along: Deducting Work-Related Moving Expenses

It’s a pretty exciting week at the law firm: we’re moving to a new location. I’ll admit to being a little nostalgic about the big move. We’ve been in the same offices for more than eight years. I was actually hugely pregnant with my daughter when we signed the lease and had to sign a … Read more

Why Does Congress Love Houses More Than Students?

Yesterday was Career Day at my kids’ school. So, around 9:00 a.m., I found myself standing in front of a room full of kids, touting the virtues of staying in school. I recited the saga of being the first in my family to go to college. I talked about how I loved what I do … Read more

IRS Announces 2012 Mileage Rates

The IRS has issued the 2012 optional standard mileage rates used for deducting the costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. They are: 55.5 cents per mile for business miles driven 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable … Read more

Giveaway Launches Series On Deductions

Editor’s note: We have a winner! Congrats to bstenger, I’ll be in touch shortly! This week, I’m kicking off my new series on the history of popular tax deductions here on the blog. To celebrate this auspicious occasion (insert chuckling here), I’m doing a giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a Kindle with 6″ Display … Read more

Ask the taxgirl: Deductions for Cheftestants

Taxpayer asks: I was watching Top Chef Masters and I ahd a question. I know you have to report your winnings on a game show. On the Masters version, the chefs don’t get the money because it goes to charity. My question is can they take a tax deduction? taxgirl says: I haven’t seen Top … Read more

Taxes From A To Z: D Is For Depreciation

Nothing lasts forever. Things you buy age, they wear down and sometimes, they become obsolete. That’s more or less the essence of depreciation. For federal income tax purposes, depreciation is a deduction that allows you to recover the cost or other basis of certain property. Depreciable property includes most tangible property (I like to think … Read more