“Can I deduct this?” When Americans sit down to fill out their income tax forms on or before the April 15 deadline, that’s the question they’ll likely ask the most.
They may be shocked by how often the answer is “yes,” and the sheer variety of expenses they can deduct. Most people know that business-related items are usually tax deductible — no matter how odd. That could include body oil for a masseuse or professional body builder, says Dave Du Val, vice president of customer advocacy at TaxAudit.com, which is based in Sacramento, Calif. Ditto, free beer used for a sales promotion. But a recent survey showed that only 51% of over 1,000 people understood mostly basic questions about their income tax, and the estimated average $2,840 tax refund for 2017 likely does not include the refunds that people did not know they could claim.