6. Self-employed retirement plans. If you have a self-employment pension plan, such as a Keogh or a Simplified Employee Pension plan (SEP IRA), deduct any contribution amounts on line 28.
7. Self-employed health insurance. As an entrepreneur, you now can deduct 100 percent of health insurance premiums you paid for yourself, your spouse and dependents. Don't forget to count what you paid toward long-term care policies. You get a partial break here, too. Enter the amount on line 29.
8. Penalty on early withdrawal of savings. On line 30, the IRS gives you a break when someone else slaps your hand. If you cashed in a certificate of deposit and paid an early withdrawal penalty, you'll find the amount on the 1099-INT or 1099-OID that the account manager sent you. The IRS lets you subtract that charge from your income.
9. Alimony paid. Divorced filers get a chance to recoup alimony payments on line 31. Be sure to include the Social Security number of your ex-spouse, so the IRS can make sure he or she reports the payments as income. Without the recipient's tax ID number on your return, the deduction could be disallowed.
10. IRA deduction. If you contribute to a traditional IRA, you might be able to deduct at least a portion of your contribution from your income. Precisely how much you can claim on line 32 of Form 1040 depends not only on your contribution amount, but also on your adjusted gross income and whether you or your spouse participate in a company-sponsored retirement plan. It requires some calculation, but run the numbers. This above-the-line deduction could help lower your taxable income.
11. Student loan interest. Up to $2,500 of the interest you paid on a qualified student loan can be subtracted on line 33. The loan can be for you, your spouse or a dependent. Note that there are income limits and married taxpayers who file separate returns cannot claim this adjustment.
12. Tuition and fees. The higher-education tuition and fees adjustment could reduce your taxable income by as much as $4,000. You'll need to complete Form 8917 and then enter the amount of tuition and fees deduction calculated directly in the last section of Form 1040.
The late enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 also affected this above-the-line deduction. It previously was claimed on line 34, but the IRS was forced to create the form with this line reserved. It is expected that the student loan interest claim will go here. The 1040 instructions will provide details.