Tax deadline nears

Tuesday, April 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some tax experts say you may be losing out. With more and more people using the Internet and computer tax programs to file their own returns, they say you may be missing some deductions.

KOTV's Donn Robertson says get a pen ready to jot down some common missed deductions. A team of people who really enjoy tax season gave KOTV some advice. For eleven years, Richard Gardner and his crew have been cranking out tax returns out of this south Tulsa home turned business. Location, near 56th and Mingo, was the key when Gardner bought the land. "I didn't have the fund to pay $200,000 for another building so I just fixed it up."

Gardner also likes helping people keep the most money they can. He thinks many Oklahomans miss out on the state's sales tax rebate. If you're a family making under $50,000 you get a $40 rebate for each person. "So if you have 5 in the family, you would get a $200 rebate." You can also get a deduction on donations, including everything you give away to a non-profit organization, including clothes and shoes. If you ever use a cell phone or computer for work, you can deduct at least a portion of the charges. Any job search expenses, phone calls, resume paper, even the money you pay for an employment agency is a deduction. If you take a business trip the miles to and from the airport are deductions. And when someone steals from you, what insurance doesn't pay for casualty losses are deductible too. If you're self-employed all your mileage is deductible.

Gardner says if you guess too high on these you may be audited. "You can estimate, but you must prove it, you're going to have to be able to go back and look up the documentation or get or check stubs or keep a log of your mileage." Also Gardner says married couples can deduct their savings account interest on their Oklahoma tax return. And most of last year's car tag bills up until September 30th are deductible. Car tags paid after that are not.

If you've already filed and want to make changes, you can amend your return. It costs about $55 to do this, if you go through a tax preparer.