education credits

Education Credits Form 8863 Starting Feb. 14, 2013

The IRS announced that taxpayers will be able to start filing tax forms this week covering education credits.

Starting on Thursday, Feb. 14, the IRS plans to start processing Form 8863, Education Credits.

This step clears the way for almost all taxpayers to start filing their 2012 tax returns.

These education credits (and Sundays depreciation and Amortization) forms affected the largest groups of taxpayers who weren’t yet able to file following the Jan. 30 opening of the 2013 tax season.

The IRS will be able to accept the education credits forms following the completion of reprogramming and testing of its systems. Work continues on preparing IRS systems to accept the remaining tax forms affected by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) enacted by Congress on Jan. 2.

The IRS also announced it will start accepting the remaining forms affected by the January legislation the first week of March. A specific date will be announced later. Most of those in this group file more complex tax returns and typically file closer to the deadline or obtain an extension. A full list of the forms that will be accepted the first week of March is available on IRS.gov.

This week’s opening covers taxpayers using:

Form 8863, Education Credits. Form 8863 is used to claim two higher education credits — the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

For taxpayers using e-file, most software companies are now accepting tax returns with these forms and will submit them after the IRS begins accepting them later this week.

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.