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

Posts Tagged ‘child tax credit’

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!

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The Child Tax Credit May Cut Your Tax

Posted by William Byrnes on March 4, 2014


IRS Tax Tip 2014-18 reminds taxpayers whom have a child or children under 17, then the Child Tax Credit may save money at tax time.  Key facts the IRS wants taxpayers to know about the Child Tax Credit:

• Amount.  The non-refundable Child Tax Credit may help cut the federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child claimed on a tax return.

• Qualifications.  A child must pass seven tests to qualify for this credit:

1. Age test. The child was under age 17 at the end of 2013.

2. Relationship test. The child is a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. A child can also be a descendant of any of these persons. For example, a grandchild, niece or nephew will meet this test. Adopted children also qualify. An adopted child includes a child lawfully placed with a taxpayer for legal adoption.

3. Support test. The child did not provide more than half of his or her own support for 2013.

4. Dependent test. Claim the child as a dependent on your 2013 federal income tax return.

5. Joint return test. A married child can not file a joint return with their spouse.

6. Citizenship test. The child must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or U.S. resident alien.

7. Residence test. In most cases, the child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2013.

• Limitations. Taxpayer’s filing status and income may reduce or eliminate the credit.

• Additional Child Tax Credit.  If the taxpayer receives less than the full Child Tax Credit, may still qualify for the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit. This means taxpayer may receive a refund even if no tax is owed.

• Schedule 8812.  A taxpayer may need to file Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with the tax return. A taxpayer claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit must complete and attach Schedule 8812.

• Interactive Tax Assistant Tool.  Use the ITA tool to determine whether it is possible to claim the Child Tax Credit.

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