April 15 is approaching. Just in time, here’s a look at some of the unusual deductions you may be able to take advantage of for the 2014 tax year. Note: you must meet all qualifications of the deduction, and we encourage you to meet with your accountant or financial advisor before making decisions.
#1 Weight Loss Program: Did you make a New Year’s resolution in 2014 to lose some weight? If you had a specific disease diagnosed by a physician such as obesity, hypertension, or heart disease, you can deduct the expenses related to it. Expenses for dance lessons, swim lessons and dues for a health club are not deductible, however, even when recommended by a health professional.
#2 Smoking Cessation Program: Another resolution you may have made last year was to quit smoking. If you entered a formal program to help you kick the habit, it can qualify as a deductible medical expense. However, items such as nicotine gum, e-cigarettes, and other non-prescription items do not qualify as a medical expense and cannot be deducted.
#3 Work Uniform: Not only does wearing a uniform make it easy to choose work clothes, you might be able to deduct it too. If you are a delivery worker, police officer, firefighter, or healthcare worker, for example, you may qualify to take this type of deduction as long as you are not reimbursed by your employer. Artistic professions can take advantage of this deduction as well, if you spent money on theatrical clothing or accessories for your work.
#4 That First Job: If you just scored a job for the first time, say, after college or following many years as a homemaker, and you moved for the position, you may be eligible for deductions. The job must be at least 50 miles away from your old home to qualify and includes the cost of your move and your household items—you can deduct both the mileage (23.5 cents for 2014) and parking and tolls.
#5 Pet Move: Speaking of moving, when one thinks about job relocation costs, we might not think about the expenses related to moving the family pet, too. If your move is employment related, you can deduct the cost of shipping your household pet to your new location.
#6 B-I-N-G-O: Have you taken a shine to the local Bingo game at the community center? You can deduct your losses, up to the amount that was won. If you do take this deduction, you will be required to submit a diary of your winnings.
Again, as with all tax-related matters, check with your accountant or tax advisor before taking any of these or other tax deductions.