This year, don’t get mad at the tax man. Instead, devise a plan to find as many tax deductions as you can. Here are five of the most commonly overlooked tax breaks:


Alimony is a tax write-off filers might not know about. To qualify to deduct spousal support payments, you and your ex must be legally separated and live in separate homes. The payment must not be considered as child support or as part of a property settlement.

Miles driven between jobs

If you drive your car between two different employers, that mileage is deductible, provided you drive from one employer location to a different employer location. If you drive your vehicle while at work for your employer, this mileage is deductible. Miles spent commuting are not deductible.


To deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes, they must be worn as a condition of employment and can’t be considered suitable for everyday wear. A button-down shirt and a tie probably won’t qualify. However, scrubs, police officer uniforms and hard hats likely will.

Tools and supplies

If you’re required to purchase tools in order to perform your job, the cost of the tools are deductible. That is, so long as the cost incurred totals at least 2 percent of your adjusted gross income for the year. Auto mechanics, construction workers and landscape architects can easily incur expenses that exceed the 2 percent threshold. So can teachers.

Investment- related fees

A typical client who uses a financial planner or investment adviser can deduct IRA custodial fees, investment advisory fees, some fees for safety deposit boxes and even transportation costs to your investment adviser’s office. Investment expenses must exceed 2 percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income