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Tax experts say filers can get more back by being alert for uncommon deductions

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Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 02, 2023

HELENA — Solar panels and even gambling losses can be deducted from your taxes. These and other uncommon deductions can end up saving you money at the end of tax season.

“Because during the year as we work, we pay a lot into our taxes. And wouldn't that be nice to get some of that back,” says accountant and Regional Manager for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Julie Satterfield.

Solar panels, gambling losses, dependent care expenses, mortgage points, and even certain water heaters and windows can count toward deductions.

For example, you can get up to 30 percent in tax deductions for the installation of solar panels.

But Satterfield wants to prepare consumers, she says tax deductions may not be as much as the previous couple of years. She says tax codes are reverting back to normal following pandemic related aid; one example, the Child Tax Credit is no longer refundable.

“Right now, refunds are definitely lower than they have been in the last couple of years. And there's a thing called refund shock at this time,” says Satterfield.

In order to get the most out of your taxes, Satterfield recommends keeping all of your receipts throughout the year.

“A nice big envelope, and as you are spending and purchasing things for yourself personally and you feel that it could be a deduction, things like your prescriptions or paying a doctor's bill or a hospital bill, lab, x-rays, even making your mortgage payment and stuff, biggest thing is is once you make that payment drop that receipt straight into that envelope,” says Satterfield.

And adds that working with a professional to see what may and may not be deductible will help maximize your return.

“If they are wondering what it is that they can deduct or what things may apply to them for certain credits, get in touch with a tax advisor,” says Satterfield.