Three Tax Credits for Your Family

Tax season is in full swing and we want to make sure you keep your hard earned money by taking advantage of all of the tax deductions and credits you deserve.  Our guest blogger, Joan Ferreira of blogfinanzas.net is here to share tax credits you don’t want to miss.
                                                                                                                               

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As parents, we work hard to provide our children with the best education, a roof to sleep under and food to eat every day. This valiant effort is not overlooked by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Here are some tax credits that are available when you prepare your tax return, that help you with the financial support of your home and children.

1.  Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The earned income tax credit is one of the most helpful for our families, our communities and taxpayers. If you worked and had an annual income of less than $45,060, you may be eligible for a credit of up to $5,891 dollars.

According to IRS, more than $60 billion was granted to more than 26 million taxpayers for their 2011 returns. However, the IRS confirms that many people who qualify do not actually claim it. To learn if you are eligible to receive this credit, you can use the “EITC Finder” App available for free from the App Store and Google Play for your smartphone.

2.  Child and Dependent Care Credit

Another credit you can claim is for the expenses associated with the care of your little ones. If you have children under age of 13 and you pay someone else to take care of them,  you could qualify. This credit is designed to help recover up to 35% of  dependent care costs up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more.

Just like the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the requirements to claim this credit is that you were working outside of your home or were looking for work. The person who takes care of your children cannot be someone that you claim as dependent (for example, an older child or your dependent parents).  If you qualify, TurboTax will take care of asking you the necessary questions as you prepare your tax returns, to ensure you receive the credit amount that you deserve.

3.  Child Tax Credit

With the child tax credit you could receive up to $1,000 for each qualifying child. There are some requirements that you need to meet, such as their age, your relationship to the child, financial support and his or her immigration status.

The child must be under the age of 17 and a dependent on your taxes; receive more than half of his or her financial support from you; and have lived with you for more than half the year. The child must also be a citizen or resident of the United States. The credit is gradually decreased if you have an annual income of more than $55,000 (or $110,000, if married and filing jointly).

These three credits will help to reduce your tax burden or even grant you a tax refund, which could be allocated towards  your children’s education, or to start your family’s financial plan. Whatever your financial goal may be, you can count on TurboTax to help you get the credits and refunds that you deserve for the investment you have made in your family.

Joan Ferreira

Joan Ferreira is a finance professional who has worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sector helping families and small businesses reach their financial goals. Areas of expertise include taxation, debt management, credit, entrepreneurship, and retirement investments. He is also the editor in chief of the Spanish language personal finance blog, www.blogfinanzas.net that covers topic like savings, frugality, debt management and financial planning. You can follow Joan on Twitter at @blogfinanzas.

Comments (19) Leave your comment

  1. I am so disappointed and feel I was cheated by turbo tax. We have used the software for several years and have always been satisfied with the results. I would have said the same thing about this year except for all the add on charges. Not only did we pay the $49 for the deluxe version, but then got added on charges for another $50. Today we received a paper check in the mail, with a letter from a bank saying they deducted an additional $20 since our routing number was incorrect. We gave them the routing number our credit union gave us to use. So it cost us $120 for a simple tax return. Next year we’ll go to H&R Block and let them earn the fees.

  2. I live in one town and work in a different town. i drive 60 miles per day..can i claim mileage or anything else?

  3. I have my 3 1/2 yr old granddaughter whom has lived with me since 6 months old. Never recieved any type of support monetary nor items needed for everyday living ex. clothes food pampers etc. Now hes claimed her all 4 yrs of which the 1st one yes but now the past 2 and now this year he I know is not intitled to but still claims and keeps every penny. Now I know we are and allowed to claim her being her sole provider what do we do here being that he files right away. I know we can file back 3 yrs. but he believes he can not get auditted nor in trouble for fraud. Hes only seen her maybe even a handful of times this year. what rights do I have and what penalties will he be approached with? Thank you.

    • Hi Vickie,

      Thank you for your visit, you may be able to claim your granddaughter as a dependent since she lived with you for the entire year and you provided for more than half of her support. If the IRS challenges dependency, he may end up getting the dependency or child related tax credits disallowed; this means that he will have to pay the money back plus interest and potential penalties.

      Thank you,

      Joan Ferreira

  4. I refinanced (VA) on my main home. On my original loan I had points stretched out on a 30 year plan. Turbo Tax gave me the current deduction. But now I’m unsure on how to correctly file on my refinance. What are the basics on filing a refinanced home loan? I file my own taxes and filing correctly is very important to me. I plan to call my bank and ask them the same question. But I’d really like to hear from a tax expert.

    • Hi Lauren,

      If you provided for more than half of his living expenses you may qualify to treat him as a dependent. You may also qualify for other credits. Please use TurboTax tool to assist you in figuring out if you can claim him as a dependent.

      Thank you for your visit,

      Joan Ferreira

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for your comment, please log in to your TurboTax account to verify your status. You may also choose to go to the IRS website and choose the “Where is my refund?” tool.

      Thank you

      Joan

  5. I did my taxes last night and in regards to Educational Credit it stated used four years of credit already – when I had used four years. This was calculated by TurboTax. Hope can I correct since I did file last night? IRS information states can use credit for 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Thanks.

  6. Our Daughter is 19 and a full time student and lives in a dorm during each semester but lives at home during the summer and most weekends and holidays.
    she does not work and is 100% financialy dependent on us.
    There are no other parents…
    since she lives out of the home more than half of the time can she be claimed as a dependent?

    • Hi Art,

      Thank you for your comment, you generally are able to claim your children to whom you provide more that 50% of their living expenses and that lived with you for more than half a year. One of the exceptions for this rule is children living in school; they will still be considered as living at home. Therefore the short answer is that you may be able to do so. TurboTax will help you walk trough all these steps to verify your eligibility to claim your daughter. Best of luck with her in school,

      Thanks

      Joan Ferreira

    • tracit281… You can claim the expenses associated with your truck if it is used in your business. You cannot claim expenses if it’s just for commuting to your job or for other personal uses.

      To claim vehicle expenses, report them on the forms for business income. Easiest way to find the right place is to put “car expenses” in the search bar in TurboTax. Good luck!

      Bob Meighan, VP TurboTax

  7. I LOVE Turbo Tax. Used it before and it’s Fast, Easy, Accurate and Free through IRS website if you qualify.

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