Tax filing potentially more complicated for many Americans

Every year, millions of Americans scour their finances for anything they might be able to claim as a means of reducing their federal income tax liabilities. However, while they may have been able to claim a number of these benefits over the past several years, taxpayers also need to keep in mind that these can occasionally expire, and thus they're going to need to research exactly which deductions or credit are available to them this year.

There are a number of tax benefits that expired at the end of 2013, and as such it might be wise for people to make sure that they've done all that's required of them to claim them, according to a report from the Tahlequah Daily Press. Among these are deductions to cover the cost of mortgage insurance premiums, distributions from IRA savings accounts to charity, state and local sales tax, some efficiency renovations, and even classroom expenses paid by teachers. Further, the deductions that could have been claimed for mortgage insurance were available in 2012 and last year, but will be gone for 2014.

"First off, several deductions expired at the end of 2013, meaning as long as you took advantage of the deduction before the end of December, they can be claimed," Denise Deason-Toyne, a certified financial planner and local attorney, told the newspaper. "Teachers can deduct up to $250 worth of unreimbursed expenses, and the deduction - called an 'above-the-line' deduction - means it is made before they get to adjusted gross income, and is available whether the teacher itemizes or not."

More issues for some taxpayers
It should further be noted that other changes made this year could complicate filings for same-sex married couples, especially if they live in states in which such marriages are not recognized, the report said. Those that file jointly with the IRS - because the federal government now recognizes same-sex marriages - may still have to file separately with their state governments, and that could complicate matters significantly.

Those concerned about how they're going to file, or what they'll be able to claim, may want to consult with a responsible tax professional as a means of making sure that they're doing everything as well as they can, so as to avoid any potential issues that might arise if they filed incorrectly.

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