Getting the most money back this tax season - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Getting the most money back this tax season

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It's the great American unifier -- tax season.

Many of us are getting our W-2's and starting to look ahead at our returns.

So how can you make sure to get the most money back?

In an age where everyone is one their smart phone -- a burning  questions accountants often answer is whether you can write off your personal phone if you use it for work.

It depends on if you are self-employed or if you get a W-2.

Eric De Haan, CPA and partner at Woltman Van Kekerix and Stoz, says if you receive a W-2 from your employer and you are paying for your own I-Phone, you might be able to deduct it.

"It's part of what's called of your 'miscellaneous itemized deductions' and you have to have at least a certain dollar amount of deductions to meet a certain threshold. So nine times out of 10 if you receive a W-2, you're probably not going to be able to deduct your I-Phone," said De Haan.

Itemized deductions include your mortgage interest, property and sales taxes and donations.

"Your standard deduction if you're single is $6,100. If you're married it's 12,200. So if your itemized deductions are less than your standard deduction you would want to take the standard deduction," said De Haan.

De Haan says the most common mistake he sees people make is missing some of these deductions. Since South Dakota doesn't have a state income tax, the IRS allows us to deduct our sales tax.

"So if you bought a new car this year, you'll want to mention it to your tax preparer or keep in mind when you're doing your tax return that you can deduct the sales tax on that car," said De Haan.

You can write off up to 50% of your income for charitable donations as long as you have documentation. And if you've donated your time, rather than money, there's something for you as well.

"Often times people miss charitable mileage. So if you participate on a non-profit board or if you do some extra work for your church and you're driving to church and you're driving place for that charitable organization, you can deduct mileage at a rate of 14 cents a mile," said De Haan.

De Haan says everyone's tax situation is different. He says to check to see if you do qualify for these deductions.


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