Individuals (WW2016_4)

As your tax mentor, I can teach you how to get the most tax benefits for items on your tax return. Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, allow you to deduct a number of essentially personal expenses.

Schedule A includes miscellaneous deductions (employment or investment- related expenses) but these can be deducted only to the extent they exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income. Furthermore, if you are subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), miscellaneous deductions and state and local taxes cease to work.

For an employee, miscellaneous deductions include union dues, professional publications, tools, supplies, uniforms, overnight travel, business auto use and more. I represent quite a few Fedex pilots, and their miscellaneous expenses include uniforms, cleaning & alterations, needed medical or other exams, reg books, AA rating, check ride exam, special eyeglasses and much more.

Key: Find enough deductions to take you past the 2% of AGI. I use experience, checklists, whatever, to find enough miscellaneous deductions.

My most powerful tool to reduce taxes is my Tax Mastery(c)  software, which I personally created. With TC I can give you a written tax plan that tells you how much you can save with each tax strategy.

Key: Once you become subject to the alternative minimum tax, additional state and local taxes and miscellaneous expenses have no effect, so shift the emphasis to charitable deductions.

My Advice: Taxpayers who also have a business (Schedule C) will generally find that allocating miscellaneous expenses to the business will better lower their taxes because the business income is subject to the self-employment tax. This is particularly true if you are subject to the AMT.

If you still have questions, it shows that you are perceptive. For a complete personal analysis of your taxes and a taste of Tax Mastery, E-mail:

About Wis Laughlin

I help clients with tax preparation and IRS representation, estate planning, and complex contracts, including LLC's. As a former IRS tax attorney in their National Office. picked Wis in 2017 and several prior years as one of the Top Tax and Estate Lawyers in Tennessee. I am your advocate, not your accountant. I don't tell you what you can't do. I show you how to do it.
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