The Kiplinger Taxopedia: What's Deductible?

From property taxes to student-loan interest to child-care expenses, find all your tax deductions in our encyclopedias. We’ve crammed each one with the information you need to file your tax return ... and hold your tax bill to the legal minimum.

Did you know you can write off college tuition costs? Or job-related moving expenses? And you don't even have to itemize to get these breaks. Did you know that the old Hope college credit – which used to be good for only the first two years of college – has been temporarily enlarged and is now good for the first four years of college? That some new homeowners who took advantage of the special homebuyer’s tax credit have to pay it back . . . and some don’t?

The federal income tax law is packed with a multitude of ways to lower your tax bill. The trick is knowing which deductions and credits are available -- then taking advantage of them. You're probably thinking you need to hire a high-price accountant for that. Not so.

Our tax encyclopedias make it easy to find out what is deductible. We cover all the major areas, from charitable contributions to medical expenses to retirement savings. Check out our easy-to-use guides to find out how you can cut your 2010 tax bill. And here’s more good news: What you learn now can be put into practice in the future, too, to hold down your tax bill year after year after year.

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What's Deductible?

Business Expenses

Congress has filled the tax law with opportunities for businesses both large and small to recoup a healthy portion of reasonable and necessary business expenses with tax deductions and credits.

Cars and Other Things You Own

Believe it or not, you actually can ring up tax savings as the result of buying things.

Charitable Contributions

It's good to give. And for your generosity, the IRS rewards you with tax-saving deductions for charitable contributions.

Children and Other Dependents

Kids can cost a small fortune, but they can be real money savers at tax time. Check out all the ways children and other dependents can trim your tax bill.

Education Expenses

The tax law is filled with breaks to help taxpayers pay for education -- for your children, your grandchildren or even for yourself.

Employee Expenses

You don’t have to run your own business to rack up tax breaks. Even if you work 9-to-5 for the boss, Uncle Sam may subsidize some of your job-related costs.

Home Ownership

Homeowners can claim a slew of write-offs to lower their tax bills.

Investment and Retirement Savings

0% capital gains? Check. Tax-free dividends? Check Tax-free retirement income? Check. There’s a long list of ways to save taxes on your savings..

Medical Expenses

The list of medical costs that can be deducted stretches to the Mayo Clinic and back but the best way for most taxpayers to benefit has nothing to do with itemizing deductions.

Other Deductions

These tax savers don't fall under any of our other Taxopedia categories . . . but that doesn’t mean they won’t save you money.

Kevin McCormally
Chief Content Officer, Kiplinger Washington Editors
McCormally retired in 2018 after more than 40 years at Kiplinger. He joined Kiplinger in 1977 as a reporter specializing in taxes, retirement, credit and other personal finance issues. He is the author and editor of many books, helped develop and improve popular tax-preparation software programs, and has written and appeared in several educational videos. In 2005, he was named Editorial Director of The Kiplinger Washington Editors, responsible for overseeing all of our publications and Web site. At the time, Editor in Chief Knight Kiplinger called McCormally "the watchdog of editorial quality, integrity and fairness in all that we do." In 2015, Kevin was named Chief Content Officer and Senior Vice President.