50 Easily Overlooked Tax Deductions

Save money on your taxes by making yourself aware of these 50 easily overlooked tax deductions.

The inevitable tax season is upon us once again. But it doesn’t have to feel like a post-holiday hangover. There are a lot of things you can do to make your filing process easier, and your refunds larger! The excerpt below, taken from the introductory pages of the ERNST & YOUNG TAX GUIDE 2000, lists 50 deductions that one might overlook when itemizing.  More about the guide follows the excerpt.


The following list will serve as a reminder of some deductions you can easily overlook when you prepare your return. It is not intended to be all-inclusive, nor applicable to everyone. The circumstances of your situation will determine whether you qualify.

1. Accounting fees for tax preparation services and IRS audits

2. Alcoholism and drug abuse treatment 

3. Amortization of premium on taxable bonds

4. Appraisal fees for charitable donations or casualty losses

5. Appreciation on property donated to a charity

6. Casualty or theft losses

7. Cellular telephones

8. Cleaning and laundering services when traveling

9. Commissions and closing costs on sale of property

10. Contact lenses, eye glasses, and hearing devices

11. Contraceptives, if bought with a prescription

12. Costs associated with looking for a new job in your present occupation, including fees for resume preparation and employment of outplacement agencies

13. Depreciation of home computers

14. Dues to labor unions

15. Education expenses to the extent required by law or your employer or needed to maintain or improve your skills

16. Employee contributions to a state disability fund

17. Employee’s moving expenses

18. Federal estate on income with respect to a descendent

19. Fees for a safe-deposit box to hold investments

20 Fees paid for childbirth preparation classes if instruction relates to obstetrical care

21. Foreign taxes paid

22. Foster child care expenditures

23. Gambling losses to the extent of gambling gains

24. Hospital services fees (laboratory work, therapy, nursing services, and surgery)

25. Impairment-related work expenses for a disabled individual

26. Improvements to your home

27. Investment advisory fees

28. IRA trustee’s administrative fees billed separately

29. Lead paint removal

30. Legal abortion expenses

31. Legal fees incurred in connection with obtaining or collecting alimony

32. Margin account interest expense

33. Medical transportation, including standard mileage deduction and lodging expenses incurred for medical reasons while away from home

34. Mortgage prepayment penalties and late fees

35. Out-of-pocket expenses relating to charitable activities, including the standard mileage deduction

36. Part of health insurance premiums if self-employed

37. Penalty on early withdrawal of savings

38. Personal liability insurance for wrongful acts as an employee

39. Points on a home mortgage and certain refinancings

40. Protective clothing required at work

41. Real estate taxes associated with the purchase or sale of property

42. 50% of self-employment tax

43. Seller-paid points on the purchase of a home

44. Special equipment for the disabled

45. Special schools and separately stated feed for medical care included in tuition

46. State personal property taxes on cars and boats

47. Subscriptions to professional journals

48. Theft of embezzlement losses

49. Trade or business tools with life of 1 year or less

50. Worthless stock or securities



Edited by Peter W. Bernstein

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

(0-471-34953-4, 718 pages, $15.95)

Excerpted from THE ERNST & YOUNG TAX GUIDE 2000, edited by Peter W. Bernstein. Copyright 2000 by Ernst & Young LLP and Peter W. Bernstein Corporation. Reprinted by permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. To order a copy of this work call 1-800-CALL-WILEY or visit the Wiley website at http://www.wiley.com. This is available through all online bookstores, including amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and borders.com, or any independent bookseller found on bookweb.org, or at your favorite local bookstore.


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