Bryan Tuk

Last Minute Tax Tips

You’ve received your W-2 and are starting to look at your taxes.  Although the filing deadline isn’t until April 15th, it’s not too early to start thinking about how you can increase your tax refund.

Here are some commonly overlooked deductions that can increase your bottom line:

Did you buy real estate this year?

When you take out a mortgage loan, and prepay mortgage interest points, the cost of those points is deductible.  If you refinance an existing property, the interest points get deducted over the term of the loan.  Most people don’t stop there, though, refinancing the same property several times.  On a subsequent refinance, you should take a deduction for the remaining value of the points from the prior refinance.

Did You Donate to charity?

Whether you donated dollars, or services, or physical goods, you may have deductions available to you you didn’t think of.  If you volunteer for a charity, you can deduct 14 cents per mile driven while volunteering.

Did You Have Medical Expenses?

Your medical expenses must be more than ten percent of your adjusted gross income before you can claim a deduction.  The threshold increased up from 7.5% of your AGI.  But, if you or your spouse is over 65 years of age, the threshold is 7.5%.  Don’t you love the IRS?

You may be able to deduct the cost of equipment for disabled individuals, such as crutches, walkers and orthopedics.   Also, you may be able to deduct the cost of any changes you have made to your home to accommodate an elderly or disabled person (but you have to back out the increase in value to your home, if any).

A Special Note for Teachers

Teachers, take note. Remember to keep your receipts if you’ve purchased any supplies for your classroom. You can deduct up to $250 even if you do not itemize your deductions.


Bryan Tuk is an attorney in Allentown focused on business law, family law & nonprofits and arts organization law.  You can follow him on Twitter @BryanTukArtsLaw or reach him via email at