5 quirky tax deductions you may not know about

If you are looking for a way to lower your taxes and have already worked your way through well-known deductions such as child-care expenses and property taxes, it may pay to think outside the box.

There are some write-offs you may not have known about, and those could apply to your situation.

That could come in handy if you are nearing the new, higher threshold for the standard deduction. Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, it is now $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.

“If you are close and you weren’t aware of any of these deductions, you could possibly push yourself over the standard deduction and be able to take itemized deductions and possibly more of them,” said Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA and tax expert with TurboTax.

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The higher standard deduction, along with the cap or elimination of some deductions, means more people will forgo itemizing. TurboTax estimates about 90 percent of people will use the standard deduction for 2018.

For those estimated 18 million people who likely will still itemize, they need to be sure to have information that backs up their claim, such as doctors’ notes for medical conditions. And they generally need to work with an appropriate tax expert.

“Be careful about advice,” said Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “Your deductions have to be legitimate.”

With that in mind, here are five under-the-radar ways to save on your taxes.

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