Itemizing vs. Standard Deduction…… Which is better?

Jeffrey-A-Schneider-EA

By Jeffrey Schneider, EA, NTPI Fellow
http://www.sfstaxacct.com/jeff@sfstaxacct.com

Port St Lucie, FL (March3, 2015) When you file your tax return, you usually have a choice whether to itemize deductions or take the standard deduction. Before you choose, it’s a good idea to figure your deductions using both methods. Then choose the one that allows you to pay the lower amount of tax. The one that results in the higher deduction amount often gives you the most benefit.

Here are some tips to help you choose.
1. Figure your itemized deductions:  Add up deductible expenses you paid during the year. These may include expenses such as:
•    Home mortgage interest
•    State and local income taxes or sales taxes (but not both)
•    Real estate and personal property taxes
•    Gifts to charities
•    Casualty or theft losses
•    Unreimbursed medical expenses
•    Unreimbursed employee business expenses

2. Know your standard deduction:  If you don’t itemize, your basic standard deduction for 2014 depends on your filing status: Important, your filing status is your marital status on 31 Dec 2014.
•    Single $6,200
•    Married Filing Jointly $12,400

Your standard deduction is higher if you’re 65 or older or blind. If someone can claim you as a dependent, that can limit the amount of your deduction.

3. Be sure to hire a licensed tax professional, an Enrolled Agent, America’s Tax Expert who specializes in Individual and small business taxes.

4. Check the preparer’s qualifications — Make sure your preparer is qualified.Per the IRS, over 60% of tax preparers do not have any license credentials.  There are two types of licensing – CPA, licensed by the state board of accountancy, and Enrolled Agents, licensed by US Dept. of Treasury.

5. Check the preparer’s history — Check your preparer’s history by conducting your own research.

At SFS Tax & Accounting Services, we appreciate your business and strive hard to ensure that we keep you informed on tax policy that affects you. As always, don’t hesitate to call, email, or stop by if you have any questions.

6. Be sure to hire America’s Tax Experts – Enrolled Agents: Enrolled Agents (EA) are “America’s Tax Experts,” the only federally licensed tax practitioners with unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Jeffrey Schneider, EA, NTPI Fellow
Phone: 772-337-1040
Email: jeff@sfstaxacct.com