Taxes have always been dreaded for me to do. It’s just a month after the legal tax filing date and those that have filed their taxes on time have probably already seen their returns. This year I learned a couple of key things that will help me save more money next year.

Overtime Taxes Way Too Much Out Of My Paycheck

As a nurse I’m only required to actually work a minimum of thirty-six hours each week. This turns out to be seventy-two hours in a pay period. Thirty-six hours only turns out to be three twelve hour shifts each week. Because of this I’m left with four days off to spend the rest of my time doing whatever I want. While I love having four days off each week, the free time also gives me the extra opportunity to earn extra income.

In order to help me pay off more debt and also save money I pick up extra shifts at work. These shifts pay me anywhere between time and a half to double time of my base rate. Certain shifts will also pay an extra $7.50/hour on top of that as well. The issue is that the computer that deducts taxes from my paycheck assumes that I’m making that hourly rate for the entire year. Which I’m not. I’m just making that money for one shift. So for that day, I’m taxed somewhere near forty percent.

Because of the high amount I’m taxed, this year I actually ended up with a substantial tax refund. Now, I don’t know about know how all of you feel but, it’s my preference to break even rather than get a tax return. My tax adviser had me increase my exemptions so that my paychecks more accurately reflect how much I’m actually earning. This will bring my paychecks more money as opposed to getting a refund at the end of the year.

I Found A New Tax Write Off

Being a nurse doesn’t give a person very many tax write offs. I have to find ways to get very creative. What I did found out was that these extra shifts that I pick up can go towards a tax write off in the form of mileage driven. As it was explained to me, because I’m not forced to go into work on these days and I’m picking which days I choose to work, it can count as contractor work. I’m essence I’m contracting myself out to work for them to fill staffing needs. Because of this I can now write off the mileage that I work these extra days. This is something I wasn’t able to do on past years.  It may not seem like much but hey, I’m pretty excited about it.

Was there anything that you had learned about doing taxes this year? Maybe it was for the better or for worse but please share your tips.