Parents, rejoice this tax season. Well, okay, maybe it’s not exactly time to get out the dancing shoes, but you can at least celebrate the fact that you might be able to take more tax deductions than you had originally thought. There are numerous tax credits you might be eligible to take without wading through a mile-high stack of forms. Not only might you get more money back in a tax refund, but you won’t have to hire a costly tax preparer when you take advantage of free tax filing.
If you cover over 50% of the expenses for a child, then you can claim the child as a dependent. In the case of divorce, check the divorce papers to see who can claim the child. If it’s not listed, the parent who has primary custody claims the child as a dependent unless other options are worked out among the parties. When you claim a child as a dependent, you are eligible for a reduction in taxable income for each child who is under 19 years old or a full-time student under 24 years old.
When you make less than a specific amount of money, you are also eligible to take a $1,000 tax credit for each child. You get deductions for adopted children (deduct attorney fees, state-imposed fees, and filing fees) and child care as well. Make sure you keep a record of childcare expenses throughout the year to be able to use them as a deduction. Just check out the International Revenue Service website for details. As you fill out the forms, don’t forget to take deductions for donated clothing (with proof of donation, of course). Another area you want to address is education. You might find that you are eligible for Lifetime Learning or Hope Tax Credits on your dependents. You can also deduct student loan interest.