CPA Anthony Mangiameli of Insero & Associates and the New York State Society of CPAs discussed some of the items that cannot be deducted on your tax return Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.
“There are a lot of expenses that individuals are going to considering when filing a tax return, whether they’re going to take a standard deduction or they’re itemizing,” said Mangiameli. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that individuals believe that they can deduct the mileage of their normal commute from their home to their base of business.”
There are some exceptions. “Let’s say your normal daily commute from home to work is twenty miles, and you spend fifty business miles on the day, that thirty miles in excess of your normal commute, you’ll be able to deduct,” Mangiameli explained.
Our CPA also discussed the difference between itemizing on your return versus taking the standard deduction. “When you’re itemizing your deductions, what you’re doing is you’re taking a list of all your tax-deductible expenses, and you’re tallying them up,” said Mangiameli. “With the standard deduction, that kind of helps eliminate that hassle of having to list all those expenses. You just get a deduction that the I-R-S gives you. If you’re single or married filing separately, you can get a $6,300 deduction. If you’re married filing jointly, that doubles to $12,600. If file head of household, that’s $9,300.” He added, “When you’re itemizing your deductions, there’s a number of expenses that you’re eligible to take a deduction. From mileage to health costs, that you get to tally up and let’s say the total of those expenses that you spend during the year is ten thousand. If you’re a single individual, with a standard deduction, only a deduction of six thousand, three hundred. It’s very important that you weigh that. In certain circumstances, your standard deduction actually may be greater than itemizing.”
Another item that cannot be deducted from your tax return is Social Security Tax. “You cannot deduct Social Security Tax,” said Mangiameli. “However, if you work multiple jobs, and you pay Social Security in excess of the I-R-S limit, you’ll be able to claim that excess as a credit when you file your taxes.”
When it comes to business travel expenses there are some important considerations. “Business travel expenses such a lodging, airfare and meals, are all deductible,” Mangiameli said. “However, let’s say you’re traveling on a trip with your family members, theirs are not deductible. And to the extent you extend that stay, for maybe two additional leisure days, those two additional leisure days are not deductible.”
Mangiameli also said as an employee, you can only deduct unreimbursed expenses in excess of 2 percent of your adjusted gross income when you itemize. The IRS allows teachers and others at elementary and secondary schools to deduct up to $250 of unreimbursed expenses. This deduction is an adjustment to gross income so it benefits taxpayers who itemize or use the standard deduction.
If you are required to wear a uniform at work or are required to wear protective equipment at work, those costs can be deducted Mangiameli said. Otherwise, you cannot deduct the cost of clothes that you buy for work. Also, if you use a personal cell phone for work and can clearly allocate the costs for work calls and data usage, you can deduct those costs. If you have an unlimited calling plan, you cannot deduct those costs.
For more information, consult a trusted certified public accountant or visit the NYSSCPA website, click here.