Debra A. Simmons, CPA

Tax Benefits for Parents

In Income Taxes on January 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Your kids can be helpful at tax time. That doesn’t mean they’ll sort your tax receipts or refill your coffee, but those charming children may help you qualify for some valuable tax benefits. Here are 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6. 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.

7. Student loan interest You may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan, even if you do not itemize your deductions.

8. 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.

For more information, contact Debbie at (310) 701-1825.

Advertisements