Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

IRS Checklist of Credits and Deductions for Children

Posted by William Byrnes on February 25, 2015


In Tax Tip 2015-14, the IRS discussed the potential reduction of the amount of taxes owed for a year that tax credits and deductions associated with children may provide to the parents.

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• Dependents.  In most cases, a taxpayer can claim a child as a dependent.  For each dependent, the taxpayer may deduct $3,950 from taxable income.  However, for high income taxpayers, the amount of allowed deduction decreases.

• Child Tax Credit.  A taxpayer may be able to claim the Child Tax Credit for each of the qualifying children under the age of 17. The maximum credit is $1,000 per child.  However, if a taxpayer receives less than the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, then the taxpayer may be eligible for the “Additional Child Tax Credit”.

• Child and Dependent Care Credit. A taxpayer may be able to claim this credit if the taxpayer paid for the care of one or more qualifying persons. Dependent children under age 13 are among those who qualify.  The care must be paid for so that the taxpayer could work or could look for work.

• Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  If in 2014 a taxpayer earned less than $52,427 from work, the taxpayer may qualify for the EITC.  The EITC may be worth as much as $6,143.  The EITC is available regardless of whether the taxpayer has children.

• Adoption Credit.  A taxpayer may be eligible to claim a tax credit for certain costs paid for adoption of a child.

• Education tax credits.  An education credit can help a taxpayer with the cost of higher education.  There are two credits that are available. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may both reduce the amount of tax owed.

If the credit reduces the tax owed to less than zero, the taxpayer may receive a refund of the extra amount.  Even if the taxpayer does not owe any taxes for the year, the taxpayer may still qualify.

• Student loan interest.  A taxpayer may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan.  This benefit is available even for taxpayers that do not itemize tax deductions.

• Self-employed health insurance deduction.  If a taxpayer was self-employed in 2014 and paid for health insurance, then the taxpayer may be able to deduct premiums paid during the year. This may include the cost to cover children under age 27, even if they are not claimed as a dependent!

Tax Facts on Individuals & Small Business

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