We know how you feel this time of year - you're busy at work, you're coaching your daughter's softball team and, to boot, you have to finish your darn tax return.
Total annoyance. But in the midst of rushing to get it done, there are always a few last-minute questions that come up.
So here are five of the most common ones.
1. "Can I take my dog as a dependent?"
While we get you spend a ton o' money on Rover, and he is probably nicer to you than your kids, you cannot claim your dog, or any other pet, as a dependent.
Your dependent must be human.
BUT - if you have a business and need a guard dog or your cat provides some sort of pest control, then you may be able to deduct some of the expenses directly related to taking care of your pet, as part of your business expenses, says Lisa Greene-Lewis CPA, communications manager and tax expert at Intuit.
Just make sure they're reasonable. The Louis Vuitton dog collar? Definitely not reasonable.
2. I made some big, expensive purchases. Can I deduct them?
If you itemize your deductions, you have the option of deducting either the total amount of state and local income taxes you paid for the year or the state and local sales taxes you paid. You can't deduct both, so you have to choose. But clearly, pick the higher amount.
But if you bought a car, boat, plane, diamond ring, closet full of Louboutins to satisfy your shoe fetish, your 2016 sales tax may actually be higher than your annual state tax. The IRS created a sales tax calculator that you can walk through your purchases and help you determine which amount is higher.
It's worth the effort if you went on a serious shopping spree in 2016.
3. I moved. Can I deduct those expenses?
If you moved for work, and you meet a bunch of IRS requirements, then the costs of moving you, your family and your stuff are fully deductible.
Of course, if your new employer reimburses you for the move, you can't deduct a darn thing.
There are two quirky tests you need to pass to prove you are really moving for work purposes. One test basically makes sure that you moved far enough from your old home, and the second test ensures you're actually moving to work and not just to change the scenery.
If you pass both tests, your costs are fully deductible. But be sure to check out IRS Publication 521 -- Moving Expenses first.
4. What about those points on my mortgage?
If you paid points on a mortgage for your main home, deduct them in the year you paid them. If you paid points on a second home or a refinanced loan, then you can deduct them over the life of the loan.
The same is true for refinances, except in cases where you used a portion of your refinance proceeds to improve your home. In that case, the points related to the home-improvement portion of the loan can be deducted in the year you paid them.
The IRS's site has more details.
5. Isn't there a cap on Medicare tax withheld?
So if you changed jobs mid-year, pay attention. If you are a W-2 employee, your employer takes 1.45% out of your check to cover your portion of the Medicare tax you owe. Once your employer collects $1.718.25, you're done for the year. But if you changed jobs mid-year and didn't let your new employer know you were already paid in, you will have Medicare tax withheld again. So you need to get back that extra withholding when you file your return.
The excess withholdings will go on line 71 of your Form 1040.
Note that if you're a high-earner, you may be subject to the Additional Medicare Tax rate of 0.9%. Read this to learn more.