kids

10 Tax Benefits for Parents with Kids

Your children may help you qualify for some valuable tax benefits.

Here are 10 things parents should consider when filing their taxes this year.

1. Dependents In most cases, a child can be claimed as a dependent in the year they were born. For more information see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

2. Child Tax Credit You may be able to take this credit for each of your children under age 17. If you do not benefit from the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. For more information see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

3. Child and Dependent Care Credit You may be able to claim this credit if you pay someone to care for your child or children under age 13 so that you can work or look for work. See IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

 

10 Tax Benefits for Parents with Kids

4. Earned Income Tax Credit The EITC is a tax benefit for certain people who work and have earned income from wages, self-employment or farming. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, has more details.

5. Adoption Credit You may be able to take a tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. If you claim the adoption credit, you must file a paper tax return with required adoption-related documents.  For details, see the instructions for IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.

6. Children with earned income If your child has income earned from working, they may be required to file a tax return. For more information, see IRS Publication 501.

7. Children with investment income Under certain circumstances a child’s investment income may be taxed at their parent’s tax rate. For more information, see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.

8. Higher education credits Education tax credits can help offset the costs of higher education. The American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning Credits are education credits that can reduce your federal income tax dollar-for-dollar. See IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for details.

9. Student loan interest You may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan, even if you do not itemize your deductions. For more information, see IRS Publication 970.

10. Self-employed health insurance deduction If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct any premiums you paid for coverage for any child of yours who was under age 27 at the end of the year, even if the child was not your dependent.

child care tax credit

Claiming the Child Tax Credit 10 Quick Facts

The Child Tax Credit is a valuable credit that can significantly reduce your tax liability. The Child Tax Credit is an important tax credit that may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child depending upon your income. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit provides a credit of between 20 percent and 35 percent of up to $3,000 ($6,000 for two or more children) of childcare expenses for children under age 13 whose parents work or go to school. Families with income below $15,000 qualify for the 35 percent credit. That rate falls by 1 percentage point for each additional $2,000 of income (or part thereof) until it reaches 20 percent for families with income of $43,000 or more.

Here are 10 important facts from the IRS about this credit and how it may benefit your family.

  1. Amount – With the Child Tax Credit, you may be able to reduce your federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17.
  2. Qualification – A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the qualifying criteria of six tests: age, relationship, support, dependent, citizenship, and residence.
  3. Age Test – To qualify, a child must have been under age 17 – age 16 or younger – at the end of 2009.
  4. Relationship Test – To claim a child for purposes of the Child Tax Credit, they must either be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of these individuals, which includes your grandchild, niece or nephew. An adopted child is always treated as your own child. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with you for legal adoption.
  5. Support Test – In order to claim a child for this credit, the child must not have provided more than half of their own support.
  6. Dependent Test – You must claim the child as a dependent on your federal tax return.
  7. Citizenship Test – To meet the citizenship test, the child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. resident alien.
  8. Residence Test – The child must have lived with you for more than half of 2009. There are some exceptions to the residence test, which can be found in IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
  9. Limitations – The credit is limited if your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. The amount at which this phase-out begins varies depending on your filing status. For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000. For married taxpayers filing a separate return, it begins at $55,000. For all other taxpayers, the phase-out begins at $75,000. In addition, the Child Tax Credit is generally limited by the amount of the income tax you owe as well as any alternative minimum tax you owe.
  10. Additional Child tax Credit – If the amount of your Child Tax Credit is greater than the amount of income tax you owe, you may be able to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit.

 

Claiming the Child Tax Credit 10 Quick Facts

For more information, see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit, available below or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

 

Additional IRS Links on Claiming Child Tax Credit:

 

graduation-child

Ten Tax Tips for Taxpayers with Children and Students

Do you have children? Having children or students enrolled in higher education will most likely change your tax situation. Below you will find 10 things you should consider before filing your taxes.

Dependents – In most cases, a child can be claimed as a dependent the first year they were born. There are however a few exceptions to this. Refer to the IRS publication 501 – Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

Child Tax Credit – For each of your children under age 17, you may be able to take this credit. If you only qualify for a partial credit instead of the full Child Tax Credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. Even if you don’t owe any tax, you may still be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit which is a refundable credit and may give you a refund. See IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit

Child and Dependent Care Credit – If you work or are looking for work and you have to pay someone to care for your child under the age of 13, you may be able to claim this credit. See IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

Earned Income Credit – The EITC or EIC is a great benefit for taxpayers who work and have earned income from wages, self-employment or farming. The EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. See IRS Publication 596, EIC Table to see if you qualify and check your AGI in the EIC table.

Adoption Credit – If you adopted a child you may be eligible for a tax credit covering your qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. See the instructions for IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.

Children with Earned Income – If your child has income earned from working they may be required to file a tax return. For more information see IRS Publication 501.

Children with Investment Income – Under certain circumstances a child’s investment income may be taxed at the parent’s tax rate. For more information see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.

 

Student Tax Tips

Coverdell Education Savings Account – This savings account is used to pay qualified educational expenses at an eligible educational institution. Contributions are not deductible, however, qualified distributions generally are tax-free. For more information see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

Higher Education Credits – Education tax credits can help offset the costs of education. The American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning Credit are education credits that reduce your federal income tax dollar-for-dollar, unlike a deduction, which reduces your taxable income. For more information see IRS Publication 970.

Student Loan Interest – You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. The deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income so you do not need to itemize your deductions. For more information see IRS Publication 970.

Five Important Tax Credits

Check it out! You might be eligible for a tax credit. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of taxes owed. Some credits are even refundable. That means you might receive a refund rather than owe any taxes.

 

Five Important Tax Credits

Here are five popular credits you should consider before filing your 2008 Federal Income Tax Return:
(links to download the forms below)

1. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit for low-income working individuals and families. Income and family size determine the amount of the credit. For more information, see IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit.

2. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is for expenses paid for the care of your qualifying children under age 13, or for a disabled spouse or dependent, to enable you to work or look for work. For more information, see IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

3. The Child Tax Credit is for people who have a qualifying child. The maximum amount of the credit is $1,000 for each qualifying child. This credit can be claimed in addition to the credit for child and dependent care expenses. For more information on the Child Tax Credit, see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

4. The Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, also known as the Saver’s Credit, is designed to help low- and moderate-income workers save for retirement. You may qualify if your income is below a certain limit and you contribute to an IRA or workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan. The Saver’s Credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply. For more information, see IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

5. Health Coverage Tax Credit. Certain individuals, who are receiving certain Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a Health Coverage Tax Credit when you file your 2008 tax return.

There are other credits available to eligible taxpayers. Since many qualifications and limitations apply to the various tax credits, taxpayers should carefully check their tax form instructions, the listed publications, and additional information that is available on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov. IRS forms and publications are also available by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Links to forms:

2009 Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC)
Publication 972, Child Tax Credit
Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses
Publication 524, Credit for the Elderly and Disabled
Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education
Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
Form 1040 Instructions