Top 5 tax deductions you may qualify for

Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 18:29:05-05

Last year Congress extended a number of credits and deductions to bolster taxpayers’ bottom line. Here's what you need to know to take full advantage of these tax breaks before you file.

Every tax-paying Floridian should claim the sales tax deduction. Clearwater CPA Chuck O'Donnell says people overlook the fact they can add on the tax of major purchases like a car, boat or an RV.

Got a kid in school or maybe you went back to college? You have two options for write-offs. Make sure you don't take the wrong one. The first,  the American Tax Opportunity Tax Credit, provides a credit of up to $2,000.

You'll want to compare it to the deduction for qualified higher education expenses. With this option you can deduct up to $4,000 on the front of your return.

Congress also rescued the deduction of mortgage insurance premiums. Now you can still take it off under additional mortgage interest on your return.

Here's a big one for the senior crowd. Those 70 1/2  and older must take distributions from their retirement accounts. But if you direct that distribution to charity it's a double tax break. You won’t pay income tax on the distribution and you will get the deduction for making that charitable contribution.

Aside from overlooking certain deductions, the biggest mistake this tax preparer says he sees people make is errors on health plan paperwork if you bought insurance from the Obamacare marketplace.

Make sure you are taking all the credits you are allowed. On the upside, the filing deadline is April 18 this year because of a Washington D.C. holiday.