As April 15 approaches, are you sure you'll be getting every cent back from the government that you're entitled to? You may not be, if you're missing out on some often overlooked tax breaks.
Americans could be leaving millions of dollars on the table because they miss useful deductions and credits, say financial experts.
Here are ten to keep in mind as you prepare your tax returns.
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1. Summer camp costs: if both parents are working, day camp and sports camp costs can be deducted as part of the child and dependent care credit.
2. Claim parents as dependents: if you provide more than half the support of your parents, you may be entitled to claim them as dependents on your return.
3. Certain wedding expenses: if you got married in 2014 at a church or historical site, you may be able to write off the fees you paid to the venue as a charitable donation. This also applies to any donations of flowers, decorations or leftover food from your wedding. You might also be able to write off your wedding gown, if you donated it to a charitable organization.
4. Work-related moving expenses: job-related moving expenses that are not reimbursed by your new employer may be tax-deductible.
5. Property damage: unreimbursed damage and losses to your home, household items or vehicles that were caused by an unexpected or unusual event — like a natural disaster or a serious car accident that you didn't cause — may be deductible.
6. Energy-saving upgrades: improvements like energy-efficient windows or solar panels could make you eligible for a tax credit.
7. Social security benefits: most of your social security is tax-free, unless you have other income that puts you into the mid-to-higher-income brackets.
8. Home business expenses: if you run a home-based business, you may be able to deduct the cost of your office and equipment.
9. Continuing education: if youtook courses to enhance your skills and qualifications for your current job, you may be able to deduct them.
10. Earned-income credit: If your "earned" income is low to moderate, it may qualify you for a tax credit.