6 Ways Singles Can Cut Their Taxes

Getty Images
Single people don't enjoy the financial support or security that a spouse can provide. That makes it all the more important to make smart financial decisions to minimize your taxes. Here are six tax tips for singles:

6 Tax Tips for Singles
See Gallery
6 Ways Singles Can Cut Their Taxes
For lower tax rates and bigger deductions, see if you can claim the head of household filing status instead of the single one. A head of household has supported at least one dependent for more than half of the tax year, has paid more than half of the expenses of keeping up the home and at the end of the tax year was unmarried or considered unmarried. 
Alimony payments you receive are taxable, so you might want to increase your withholding or make estimated tax payments. Alimony payments you make can qualify as deductible, if they meet some requirements outlined by the IRS. Child support payments are neither deductible nor taxable.
If you're a single parent with custody of one or more children, you can claim a valuable exemption for each dependent, and you might be able to also take advantage of the child tax credit, the child and dependent care credit, the earned income credit and various education credits. Single parents do face potentially aggravating tax situations.
Single people often find it easier to change jobs, even relocating to do so. There are tax breaks for such folks. For starters, you may be able to deduct many job-search costs, such as printing resumes and travel and lodging expenses related to an interview. You may also deduct many moving expenses if you meet certain requirements. You'll need to keep good records and receipts and these will be miscellaneous expenses, deductible only if you itemize your deductions and only to the extent that they exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
 If you're interested in furthering your education, there are tax credits available to you, such as the lifetime learning credit, which can shave up to $2,000 off your tax bill.
No matter whether you're single or married, you might qualify for many tax deductions and credits related to sales taxes, charitable donations, the adoption of a child, a home office, medical expenses and even gambling losses.

Selena Maranjian is a Motley Fool contributor. Follow her on Twitter.
Read Full Story