4 Good Ways to Maximize Deductions and Credits on Your Taxes This Year

posted by: smartservices date: Apr 02, 2020 category: Bookkeeping comments: 0

Deductions, however, lower the amount of your income that is subject to tax, so you’ll still be paying taxes, just on a reduced amount. Your gross income minus certain deductions is your adjusted gross income or AGI. So, taking $2,000 in deductions might put your AGI into a lower tax bracket, but likely won’t knock $2,000 off the tax bill.

Filing your annual tax return is right up there with visiting the dentist for most people—you just sit tight and get through it. The process can be especially painful if you end up with a big fat tax bill or a much smaller refund than you were expecting. For example, if you have been delaying certain medical treatments, you’ll get more mileage out of your deductions if you spend that money in a year when you’re already over the medical deduction threshold. The beginning of the reduction of the credit is increased from $15,000 to $125,000 of adjusted gross income (AGI).

Gambling losses and expenses are deductible only to the extent of gambling winnings. So, spending $100 on lottery tickets isn’t deductible — unless you win, and report, at least $100, too. If you intend to itemize in any given year, it makes sense to generate as much spending as possible in deductible categories to get the maximum effect.

  1. The child tax credit offers parents a credit of $2,000 for each qualifying child under age 17 (determined as of the end of the tax year).
  2. Many taxpayers who care for elderly parents don’t realize they can claim Head of Household status.
  3. If tax deductions are the silver coins of the tax world, tax credits would be the gold bars.
  4. She has a 401(k) through her employer, and she has already contributed her max for the year through that plan.

The U.S. government has passed legislation that now affects millions of businesses nationwide. If you own a small company, you need to know all about it since failure to comply can result in significant fines and penalties including imprisonment.

Self-employment expenses deduction

Distributions are tax-free as long as you spend the funds on qualified medical expenses. HSAs are unique accounts in that they have numerous tax advantages. First, you can make pretax contributions through payroll deductions, which will lower your taxable income. You can also make direct contributions to an HSA, which is 100% tax-deductible from your income. If tax deductions are the silver coins of the tax world, tax credits would be the gold bars. Refundable tax credits are entirely refundable, meaning if your tax bill is reduced to zero, then any remaining dollars from a refundable credit are sent to you, courtesy of the U.S.

If you don’t have your forms on hand, you can auto-import your info from your W–2s or 1099s directly from more than a million participating employers and financial institutions. Eventually, for more complex tax situations, you may need additional documents like mortgage statements or other detailed financial information. But since we save your return as you go, you can finish anytime. Here are five tried-and-true ways to reduce your tax liability at tax time. The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice.

No, you may not claim the Child Tax Credit for a child with an ITIN. The child must have an SSN to be a qualifying child eligible for the Child Tax Credit (CTC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC). The educational program must lead to a degree or other recognized education credential. In 2021, the rate of the credit increased for low- and moderate-income workers but decreased for higher-income ones. The changes are the same for all taxpayers regardless of filing status.

Family, dependents and students

Make sure you get all the credits and deductions you qualify for. That’s another difference between tax rebates and tax credits — timing. Taxpayers generally only receive refundable tax credits during tax refund season, while tax rebates can happen at any time of year. Itemized deductions let you cut your taxable income by taking any of the hundreds of available tax deductions you qualify for.

Child Tax Credit

You will not receive written analysis and/or recommendations. When you’re ready to reach out to an Ameriprise financial advisor for a complimentary consultation, consider bringing these questions to your meeting. Employee retention credit—for businesses and tax-exempt organizations that had employees and were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep in mind that some deductions have various eligibility criteria or may require you to provide documentation. Also, elementary and secondary school educators can deduct up to $300 per year of qualified expenses.

It’s available to people who have to pay for childcare for dependents under age 13 in order to work or look for work. The credit is also available for the cost of caring for a spouse or a dependent of any age who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care. To qualify, your filing status must be single, married filing jointly, head of household or qualifying widow or widower with a qualifying child. You can deduct your household’s (taxpayer, spouse, and dependents) qualifying unreimbursed medical and dental expenses once they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Eligible expenses typically include payments for services that diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.

There have been several changes implemented to help borrowers of student loan debt, which include favorable tax treatment, temporary suspension of payments, and loan forgiveness, depending on the type of loan. On the other hand, if your marginal tax rate is higher than the credit percentage, a deduction would benefit you more. The higher your income and top marginal tax bracket, the greater the tax savings provided by a deduction. This is a refundable credit, so you can get back more than you pay in taxes.


For example, if you have a 401(k) through your employer and also a personal IRA, and if your employer matches your contributions up to a certain amount, take full advantage of that first. Make sure you get every matching dollar you can get from your employer before contributing to your own account. Yes, if you are married and make under $73,000 or single and make under $36,500, your contribution gets you a retirement savings contribution credit of up to 50% of the amount contributed. The overall contribution limit is the total that a single employer (or “related employers”) can add to your accounts in 2023, including both your contributions and theirs. It’s a bit more complex than that, but that’s the gist of it.

Your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement lists your wages paid and amounts withheld. Determining the most advantageous filing status for your situation is a crucial step in maximizing maximize deductions and credits your tax return, says Reams. “Your filing status can affect the amount of tax you owe, and in some cases, it can even determine whether you must file a tax return,” he adds.

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