When you sit down to go to work on your income tax each year, things can get a little overwhelming. I mean, here you are trying to put together a whole year of data all at once.

The more you can prepare as you go thru the year, the less load you will have at tax time. Identify deductions individually and have them ready.

Don't wait and have to add up a mountain of numbers at at once. Add them up as you go, perhaps weekly or at least monthly.

The more you can be free with time when it comes to doing your tax return, the more you can focus on possible deductions that will lower your tax responsibility.

I'm not advising you to get creative with deductions, as that can potentially lead to an IRS audit. But what I am saying, is take every possible break that you legally can.

Nobody wants to pay more than their fair share. However millions of Americans pay more than they have to by missing certain deductions.

Many often overlooked possible deductions are unreimbursed employee expenses. Some examples are uniforms and tools you had to buy for your job, home office equipment your boss didn't reimburse you for, union dues, subscriptions to professional publications and business trips you took on your own dime.

If you dished out a lot of money to look for a job in 2017, you may be able to deduct some of the costs of your quest.

The tax bill signed into law late last year eliminated some potentially valuable deductions starting in 2018. So your 2017 return may be your last chance to benefit from those write-offs, many of which are easy to overlook in the first place.

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