Can I Deduct Federal Income Tax Paid Last Year?

The costs of filing returns and getting refunds are deductible.
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The law specifically bars deductions for federal income taxes. This means you cannot write-off taxes paid or anything withheld from your paycheck for federal income taxes -- even as a business expense. You can find breaks, though, from what you spend to comply with the tax laws or to get answers to your tax questions or problems.

Preparing and Planning Costs

You may deduct tax preparation costs, such as the price of software, electronic filing, and to copy and mail returns. You can even deduct the bill from your tax preparer. Your attorney fees qualify if you incurred them for tax planning, tax advice or battling the Internal Revenue Service over issues such as refunds, amounts owed, or tax break disputes.

The Floor for Deductions

If you itemize, you don't get to entirely write-off expenses related to taxes or your job or other miscellaneous expenses. Instead, your deduction is the difference between your total miscellaneous expenses and 2 percent of adjusted gross income as reported on Line 38 of Form 1040. For example, you get a break of $750 if your adjusted gross income is $50,000 and you have miscellaneous expenses of $1,750. The costs of preparing tax schedules, tax planning or handling tax issues for your business are fully deductible as business expenses; claim them on Schedule C of Form 1040.

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