Tax season is here, so it’s time to get out your tax documents and file with the state and federal governments before the
national deadline on Monday, April 15, 2024. Here are tips on how to take advantage of some of the most common tax
deductions while staying clear of common scams that target people during the early parts of the year.
For federal returns, the IRS’ official website is IRS.gov, and they will only reach out to you through regular mail delivered by
the U.S. Postal Service. The Michigan Department of Treasury’s official website is Michigan.gov/treasury, but they also have
a dedicated tax page at Michigan.gov/taxes. Visit IRS.gov for more information and to learn additional ways to protect
yourself from tax scams.
In most cases, you can claim the full amount you give to an IRS-qualified organization as an itemized deduction on your federal taxes. Since 2012, however, credits for certain donations are no longer available on your Michigan tax return. Be sure to check with IRS.gov or your tax preparer, if applicable.
Costs such as property taxes and points paid to get a lower home loan interest rate are deductible, as is interest on home equity loans up to a certain threshold. Your deduction is generally limited if all mortgages used to buy, construct or improve your first home (and second home, if applicable) total $750,000. Mortgages that existed before December 14, 2017, will continue to receive the same tax treatment as under the old rules.
Medical Expenses and Other Deductions
Medical costs — including costs associated with preventative care, surgeries, dental, vision, psychologist visits, hearing aids and more — that exceed 7.5% of your federal adjusted gross income may be claimed on your taxes. Be sure to include them as itemized deductions. You may also qualify for deductions from student loan interest, child and dependent care, mortgage interest and more.
Small Business Expenses
Generally, most types of business insurance, the cost of utilities, rent payments, expenses related to the purchase and upkeep of company-owned vehicles, office supplies and furniture are all tax deductible.
Visit IRS.gov/credits-deductions/businesses for more details.
Veterans and Their Families
Nearly 568,000 veterans call Michigan home. So many put their life on the line — sacrificing their comfort and safety — to defend our ideals of liberty and democracy. After their service to our state and nation, it’s our responsibility to ensure they have the benefits they deserve. A 2023 reform requires a property tax exemption on real property used and owned as a homestead by a disabled veteran — or a veteran’s surviving spouse — to remain in effect, until rescinded by the individual granted the exemption or denied by the assessor.
Understand Refund Timing
The IRS processed more than 90 million tax returns last year. Nevertheless, they are very efficient at turning returns and payments around in 21 days for those who file electronically. If you mail in a paper return, the IRS has warned it can take as long as six months or more to process. However you file, you can check the status of your refund through the “Where’s My Refund?” page on the IRS website.
Visit IRS.gov/refunds for more details
Based in New York, Stephen Freeman is a Senior Editor at Trending Insurance News. Previously he has worked for Forbes and The Huffington Post. Steven is a graduate of Risk Management at the University of New York.