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Can You Tell If These Tax Deductions Are Legit?

Rebecca Dolan, Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
Not all write-offs pass muster with the IRS.

Take a look at these frequently asked tax questions from our readers. See if you can separate the legitimate deductions from the ones that would trigger a "no" from the IRS.

See Also: 17 Reasons the IRS Will Audit Your Tax Return

1. You accept a new job that requires you to move. Can you write off moving costs even if you don't itemize?

TRUE: But, to qualify, your new workplace has to be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job was.

2. You are volunteering as a carpenter to a non-profit community home-builder. Nice tax deduction, right?

FALSE: There is no deduction for the value of your time or labor donated to a charity.

3. Your children attend private elementary and high schools. Is their tuition tax-deductible?

NO: You can't deduct the cost of elementary or secondary school tuition. But Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts offer a tax break to help.

Take the Quiz: Is It Tax Deductible?

4. You spent a few weekends in Vegas last year. You won some, but you lost more. Luckily gambling losses are tax-deductible, right?

TRUE: You can deduct losses ... but only to the extent of the gambling winnings you report as taxable income.

5. True or false: Alimony is tax-deductible.

TRUE: You can deduct alimony you pay an ex-spouse, even if you don't itemize.

See Also: 23 Tax Deductions You Can't Afford to Miss

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