Surprising Tax Deductions to Help Maximize Your Refund

PHOTO: An estimated one in five people who prepare their own taxes overlook valuable deductions, potentially costing them hundreds of dollars in returns.PlayPeopleImages/Getty Images
WATCH Surprising Tax Deductions

It’s tax season, and “GMA” hit the streets of New York to chat with filers about knowledge of tax deductions.

Some people said they were afraid of doing their taxes and others said they found it confusing.

It may be so confusing that many Americans may be leaving money on the table.

“One in five filers who prepare their own taxes overlook lots of valuable deductions and they are leaving approximately $460 dollars on the table,” Andrea Woroch, a financial contributor with BabyCenter.com, told “GMA.”

“GMA” put people’s knowledge to the test with the following questions and answers, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

1. Can you deduct the cost of a hobby from your taxes? Yes, you can. For example, if you create drawings for fun and sell a few on the side, the supplies are tax deductible.

2. Can you deduct the cost of your commute to work? You can't deduct your commute from home to office, but you can deduct mileage when you drive for work during business hours--like driving from your office to a meeting. In addition, if you use your car for business you may be able to deduct some of the costs of operation and maintenance. Other items for work – such as uniforms, supplies or tools – are deductible. This year for the first time, teachers will be able to write off up to $250 for school supplies.

3. Can you deduct the money spent on day camp and after-school activities for your children? Yes, you can – as long as you don’t double-dip. The expense is deductible if it’s considered child care. Activities are deductible if you have not already put in for childcare expenses.