7 Tax Breaks You Probably Don't Know About

You may be able to deduct college courses, disaster losses
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2012 9:54 AM CDT
A man pick up federal tax form 1040 at a post office in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, April 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – If you've put off your taxes until the last minute, here's a little reward for your procrastination: Time offers seven tax breaks that could save you money—now that you actually know about them:

  • Higher education: There are certain credits available for qualified tuition, and you may not even need to be in a degree program to be eligible for them. Deductions are also available for college-related expenses like loan interest and room and board.
  • Taking care of a sick parent: Though it may not be simple, it could be worth it to look into getting your parent declared as a dependent if you provide half or more of his or her financial support—even if the parent doesn't actually live with you.

  • Teaching: Eligible educators can deduct as much as $250 for school supplies purchased out of pocket, even if they don't itemize on their taxes.
  • Natural disasters: If a federal disaster area was declared and you suffered losses, you may be able to claim it under the disaster-related casualty loss deduction. There are also some instances in which you can deduct losses due to theft.
Still need to procrastinate before starting your taxes? Click for the complete list.

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