CPA and TurboTax tax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis explains the big tax deductions that tax filers often forget.
- [MUSIC PLAYING] TRACY BYRNES: And so as you're getting your tax return together, you're scrambling to get it done, we don't want you to leave any money on the table. Do not miss deductions and credits that you deserve. Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and Turbotax expert, is here with us right now to go through the five big ones that people often forget. And the first one, oddly, Lisa, is charitable deductions. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Yes, and I want to remind people of those. Because usually, you have to itemize your deductions to take charitable contributions. But under COVID relief, now you can claim up to $300 in cash charitable contributions of $300, and then if you're married filing jointly, it's $600. TRACY BYRNES: So don't forget to take that money even if you take the standard deduction, OK. So Lisa, tell us about contributions to your IRA. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Yes. So I want to remind people of this one also. So if you've done your return, and you see that you may owe some money, you can make a contribution to your IRA up until the tax deadline for 2021. And you may be able to deduct that contribution. You just have to tell your plan provider that that is a 2021 contribution. TRACY BYRNES: Right, even write it in the memo on your check if you're still writing checks. Talk about the credits for your kids. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Yes. There's so many credits for kids. So we're going to talk a little more later about the Child and Dependent Care Credit. But a lot of people don't realize that they can claim the credit for daycare. So you definitely want to remember that. If you took your kids to daycare or even summer camp, you can take that. The Child Tax Credit, that was increased from $2,000 to up to $3,600 for your child under six and up to $3,000 for kids 6 to 17. So you want to make sure that you take those. TRACY BYRNES: For sure. Those kids are expensive, deserve a little money back on them. The Recovery Rebate Credit a lot of people forget about, I guess. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Yes. A lot of people don't realize-- so the third stimulus, if you didn't receive the full amount, you may be eligible for more in the form of a recovery rebate credit. Or if you had a baby in 2021, you may be eligible for the full amount. You just have to claim the recovery rebate credit. TRACY BYRNES: And finally, your last tip is deductions for owning a home. I could see how these might be credits or deductions people forget. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Yes. So there are so many deductions that you could get for owning your home. So if you paid points to secure a loan, or you refinanced, you can deduct those points. Make sure you have your form 1098 in front of you that reports the home mortgage interest that you paid. And that will also sometimes have the points that you paid on it as well as any property taxes if you had property taxes impounded. TRACY BYRNES: These are totally important. And they bring down your tax bill, so don't forget them. Lisa, thank you for taking the time to be with us. LISA GREENE-LEWIS: Thank you for having me. [MUSIC PLAYING]