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When it comes to tax deductions, 2010 is the same as every other year: you will undoubtedly miss out on at least one tax deduction that can save you a chunk of money.
In the spirit of the tax season, we're going to give you a heads up. Here are our top 5 tax deductions--2010 only--that you shouldn't miss.
1. Non-cash charitable gifts. Everyone remembers to take a tax deduction for donated cash and goods carted to the local thrift shop. However, there's probably a lot more to your charitable giving during the year.
Did you donate your time or skills? Tax deduction. What about food for a can drive or bake sale? Tax deduction. These are all little things, but they add up.
2. Job Hunting Expenses. A lot of you out there probably spent some time looking for work in 2010, so be sure to deduct the costs. We're talking airfare, hotels, suits, resume paper, business cards, and even postage.
3. Higher education expenses. Besides deducting interest paid on qualifying student loans, it's possible to deduct yearly educational expenses. If you were paying for undergraduate or graduate level courses, check into the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits to see if you can take a tax deduction.
4. Home refinancing. A lot of loan modification went on in 2010, meaning a new yearly tax deduction for many. When you refinance, you deduct points over the lifetime of the new loan. So let your house help you out this tax season.
5. Energy-saving home improvements. You can actually deduct 30% of the cost of energy-saving improvements, capping out at $1,500. So if you installed a new appliance, windows, or even a toilet, and went the environmental route, deduct.