get to your personal refund information, be
ready to enter your:
Social Security Number (or IRS Individual
Taxpayer Identification Number)
Filing status (Single, Married Filing Joint
Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head
of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er))
Exact refund amount shown on your return If
you don’t receive your refund within 28 days
from the original IRS mailing date shown on
Where’s My Refund?, you can start a refund
Where's My Refund?
¿ Dónde está mi reembolso?
Additional Tax Gifts
Everyone knows that giving to your favorite charity is good for your soul, good for the organization and good for your taxes if you itemize. But some charitable gifts never get counted on many tax returns. These are expenses you incur doing charitable work.
You can't deduct the value of your time spent volunteering, but if you buy supplies for a group, the cost of that material is deductible. Similarly, if you wear a uniform in doing your good deeds, for example as a hospital volunteer or youth group leader, the costs of that apparel and any cleaning bills also can be counted as charitable donations.
So can the use of your vehicle for charitable purposes. "If you use your car in performance of providing charity services, you can deduct 14 cents per mile plus parking or toll fees you may have paid," says Bob D. Scharin, RIA senior tax analyst. This includes such things as delivering meals to the homebound in your community or taking the Scout troop on an outing, while of course wearing your freshly cleaned uniform.
While college students can't deduct the costs of hunting for that new job across the country, already-employed workers can. Costs associated with looking for a new job in your present occupation, including fees for resume preparation and employment of outplacement agencies, are deductible as long as you itemize. The one downside here is that these costs, along with other miscellaneous itemized expenses, must exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income before they produce any tax savings. But the phone calls, employment agency fees and resume printing costs might be enough to get you over that income threshold.
Most taxpayers know that they can write off many moving expenses when they relocate to take another job. But what about your first job? Yes, the IRS allows this write-off then, too.
"We generally think of this as a break for someone who has a job change, because it must be job-related to be claimed," says Scharin. "But a recent college graduate who gets a first job at a distance from where he or she has been living is eligible."
The general test is that the new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your previous residence than your last office was. That means if you lived 15 miles from your old job, the new workplace must be at least 65 miles from your old home.
"For someone who was not previously working," says Scharin, "the test would be that the new job be at least 50 miles from the person's old residence."
Military reservists' travel expensesMembers of the military reserve forces and National Guard pay many prices to serve their country. The IRS gives back a little by allowing them a deduction for travel expenses to drills or meetings. To qualify, you must travel more than 100 miles and stay overnight for the training exercises. In these cases, service personnel can deduct the cost of lodging and half the cost of meals. If you drive to the training, be sure to track your miles. You can deduct them on your 2007 return at 48.5 cents per mile (50.5 cents a mile in 2008), along with any parking or toll fees for driving your own car. You get this deduction whether or not you itemize, but you will have to fill out Form 2106.