Tax guide

Above-the-Line Deductions

Charitable Contributions: For some taxpayers, one above-the-line deduction is noticeably absent from this year’s list. Taxpayers filing 2021 income tax returns could claim up to a $600 deduction for donations of cash or goods to qualified charitable organizations. Unfortunately, that provision has expired for those taking the standard deduction, meaning you’ll have to itemize deductions if you want to deduct charitable contributions on your 2022 return.

Educator Expenses: This deduction allows teachers—both public and private—a deduction of up to $300 ($600 for married couples who are both teachers) for necessary educational supplies and expenses. Kindergarten through grade 12 teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, or aides who work at least 900 hours during the school year are eligible for the deduction. For more details about this deduction, see the Form 1040 instructions.

Certain Business Expenses: Members of the National Guard and Reserves can deduct expenses for traveling 100 miles or more from home for performing their service. Fee-based state or local government officials can deduct certain business expenses. Lastly, qualified performing artists may also deduct business expenses. To claim this deduction, fill out our Form 2106 screen.

Health Savings Account Contributions: Contributing to your HSA throughout the year is wise because you’re contributing pre-tax dollars. That cuts your taxable income, so it lowers your taxes, plus you get the financial benefit of the dollars without paying taxes on them. Also, any contributions you make are deductible at the end of the year. Contributions from your employer, rollovers, and distributions from IRAs don’t qualify.

Moving Expenses: If you're in the military and moved because of a change of station, you may be eligible to deduct moving expenses. Expenses such as moving vans, storage, and transportation can be deducted.

Self-Employed Deductions: There are several above-the-line deductions for the self-employed. The first is a deduction for self-employment tax you paid throughout the year. Just enter your self-employment income on your return, and we'll handle the math. You'll probably need either the Your Business or Schedule SE screen—but don't double-enter the income.

Next, if you’re self-employed, you can deduct contributions you made to a SEP IRA or other retirement account.

The last above-the-line deduction for self-employed taxpayers is for insurance premiums. You can deduct any premiums for insurance for you, your spouse, and dependent children. The premium must be established under your business to claim the deduction. For this deduction, use the Self-Employed Health Insurance screen on your return.

Student Loan Interest: If you’re paying back any student loans, you may be able to deduct any interest you paid throughout the year, up to $2,500.

Feel good about above-the-line deductions

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