Tax adviser Barry R. Steiner says he has handled more than 10,000 income tax returns in the past 15 years. Among the common deductions he finds most people overlook:
Moving Expenses. This can be a "big deduction," says Steiner. You may be able to claim van rental, house-hunting trips and temporary accomodations at a new location for the first 30 days.
Job-hunting expenses. They are deductible "if you want to change jobs within the same field." These can include mileage at 20 cents a mile, meals and lodging, resume typing, photo-copying, and employment agency fees "whether you got the job or not."
Baby-sitting expenses, while you work, part time or full time. You are permitted a child-care credit up to $800 for two or more children "even if the babysitter is your own mother."
Mileage, if you hold more than one job -- but only from one job to the other.
Allergy expenses. If the doctor recommends an air-conditioner, vaporizer or dehumidifier, Steiner says, you may be able to claim "not only the cost of the unit but any electricity" to run it.
Medical transportation, at 9 cents a mile to the doctor's office, or airfare if you must fly to a distant clinic for a specialist.
Contributions. "If you have a gas-guzzling car in the garage -- and it's not in need of great repair -- give it away to a charity. You're doing them a favor, and yourself. You can claim a tax deduction based on fair market value." For used clothing giveaways, he says, determine the original cost, and then claim 10 to 15 cents on the dollar.
Snow-damage losses. Among the possibilities -- "minor fender benders, a garage-roof cave-in, shrubbery damage."
Bad debt losses. "If you loan money to a friend or relative and can't collect, take it as a short-term capital loss."
Among other deductions he says you might claim.
The cost of birth-control devices if a doctor says childbirth may endanger the woman's health.
Amounts paid to maintain a dependent in a therapeutic center for drug addicts.
Traveling expenses to visit property owned in another town.
Auto expenses at 9 cents a mile if you are active in a charity.
The cost of magazines and newspapers if you are a barber.
The cost of cleaning uniforms at camp if you are a military reservist.
A daily copy of The Wall Street Journal if you are a regular investor.
Auto expenses at 20 cents a mile if you are a secretary whose boss sends you out on errands in your own car.
One thing to remember. The IRS will put the burden on you to prove these are justifiable deductions.