I finally sat down yesterday with all my tax stuff and began a new sheet of paper called "Tax Crap".

No one likes doing this. I don’t like doing this. But at least I know all my tax stuff is together and ready to go. I also know what I’ll be claiming for deductions. Allow me to share.

1. Charitable contributions (the key with this is you need proof… a receipt, a check copy, a credit card statement, something): about $1,500

I sponsored my buddy Marc for the Trek Across Maine (it goes to the American Lung Association). I am an MPBN member, contributed to the SPCA where I got Sadie, and gave some money back to my college. That was almost $200 right there. My donated clothes value (I kept a list of all donations and receipts from them) put me over the required $500 minimum deduction. Yipee! Being charitable pays off!

2. Moving expenses: Moving is a pain. Moving off an island, even more so. Take the Uhaul and add almost $80 in ferry tickets. My move cost $250. Exempt that, Uncle Sam!

3. IRA contribution: I’m putting $50 a week into my IRA and have been for the 22 weeks I’ve been working at my current job. $1100 that Uncle Sam can’t tax me on.

4. Medical bills: I technically have medical insurance but it kind of stinks in that it doesn’t seem to cover much. With my adjusted gross income (which I don’t know how to calculate), I may have spent over the 7.5 percent on medical bills. I’ll have to check this with my accountant but I have the receipts and the calculations ready to go. $500 in medical stuff may just be enough for me. Oh, and remember that dental, eye, mental health, etc. all works for this too. Count it all.

Yup, Uncle Sam is getting way less of my money this year. And it was well worth an afternoon of "Tax Crap".