Did You Move This Year?
If you moved and changed jobs, you can deduct the cost of moving! The only rule is your new job must be at least 50 miles or further from your old home. You can deduct the cost of packing, insurance, rentals, lodging, storage, and mileage. You need a very simple Form 3909.
Are You Really Fucking Broke?
If you made under $9700 last year, the government will give you money just for trying, you slob. The only rule is you have to be 25! The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is given to people who worked but didn't make much money. This money is added to your refund. The maximum for 1997 was $332 if you made $4800. Keep the EIC in mind when lowering your income with the Schedule C for maximum free money.
Do You Have A Kid?
Read tax tip #2. The EIC is a gold mine if you have a child, and gets even better if you have two! However, you don't get extra money if you have more than two kids. The credit is arranged in a bell curve, with benefits tapering off if you make under $8000 or more than $14,000; the benefits end around $28,000. The maximums of free money for 1997 are $2210 for one child and $3656 for two kids. Child care expenses are also deductible for children under the age of thirteen.
Did your band break up or label fold? Are you
reading this and saying to yourself, Shit, I wish I had known
this last year. Well, you can file an amended return for past
years, and get the corrected refund. The IRS allows amended returns
for three years, so you can still file for 1994-96. I highly
recommend this for past tours and other high loss activities.
Break out an atlas and figure out how many miles you drove between
Don't Be Stupid!
If you earned $10,000 in wages don't report $6000 in expenses! Figure out how much money you're paying taxes on, this is the figure you want to reduce. (This is the amount left over after you subtract your standard deduction and exemption. If you're single, you don't pay taxes on the first $6800 you earn. So subtract $6800 from your income, the result is your taxable income.) Keep your figures reasonable.