Tax season is here.  People are looking for every little deduction they can find.  But there are some things that the government won't allow you to write off.

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If you've been doing taxes for any amount of time, you know that it can be confusing knowing what you can and can't write off when it comes to your taxes.  The last thing you want to do is write off a bunch of things, only to get audited and find out that that huge refund you were getting, isn't going to happen because you weren't supposed to write them off.

What is a tax write-off?

Turbo Tax would define a tax write-off as "a legitimate expense that lowers your taxable income on your tax return."  You get what they call standard deductions, and then there are other credits like if you have children, or if you own a business, they want to encourage you to conduct good business.  There are certain things that you are required to have to conduct business and some of those things can be "write-offs" on your taxes.

So how do write-offs help when it comes to taxes?

Tax write-offs can lower your reported income.  So while you might make $75,000, with the standard deductions, child tax credits, and write-offs, you might be able to lower that amount significantly and then have to pay fewer taxes (or get a bigger refund).

What kinds of things can I write off on my taxes?

The rule of thumb is whether the things are ordinary and necessary to complete your job.  You can write off business expenses, if you use your car for work (not getting to and from work, but if you actually use your car to do your job), If you use your home for work,  The IRS says, "An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your trade or business."  So travel expenses, internet bills, and phone bills would all apply.

Then...what can't I write off?

This list is tricky.  There are some things that you don't think you should be able to write off, that you can...and others that you think you should be able to write off and you can't.  I went to e-file to find a list of things.  That complete list can be found here.  But here are 8 of the most common:

8 Things You Think You Can Write Off, But Can't In New York

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