Congress voted 76-16 last week to approve 54 tax breaks that benefit big corporations, small businesses, as well as struggling home owners.
The Top 5 may actually apply to your family:
Deduction for teachers’ expenses: This measure lets school teachers deduct up to $250 for the costs of classroom supplies that they buy with their own money. It’s available to all teachers, whether they itemize or not.
Deduction for commuting costs: All commuters may reduce their pre-tax income to account for their commuting costs. Under the law, however, those who drive to work and pay for parking are allowed to exclude more ($250 per month) than those who use mass transit ($130 per month). This measure again provides parity by also allowing mass transit riders to exclude $250 per month.
Deduction for Tuition: Among the many education tax breaks on the books, this one is available to all tax filers, whether you itemize or not. With it, you may deduct up to $4,000 in qualified tuition, fees and related expenses for post-secondary education, such as college and graduate school. The deduction may be taken for yourself, your spouse or your dependents.
Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums: If you only put down a small amount to buy a home you may be required to pay for mortgage insurance to protect the lender against default. This tax break lets you deduct the cost of your premiums if you itemize your deductions.
Deduction for small companies: Small companies purchasing large assets like equipment, property and software may deduct the total cost of their capital expenditure at the time of purchase rather than over many years. This expense referred to as Section 179 expensing under the Internal Revenue Code is capped at $500,000.