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Dependents and Exemptions

When filling out your tax return this year, you may have questions about dependents – such as who can be claimed on your return.  Claiming a dependent can have a significant impact on your return, including increasing exemptions and possibly increasing certain credits like the Earned Income Credit and various others. The IRS recently published Tax Tip 2016-08, which lists ten facts about dependents and exemptions.  Below is the list of facts, along with some additional information that I’ve included (my comments are in italics): Exemptions and Dependents: TopTen Tax Facts Most people can claim an exemption on their tax return. It can lower your taxable income. In most cases, that reduces the amount of tax you owe for the year. Here are the top 10 tax facts about exemptions to help you file your tax return. E-file Your Tax Return.  Easy does it! Use IRS E-file to file a complete […]

What Changed About the Earned Income Credit?

Image by didbygraham via Flickr I’ve received a lot of questions about this. Apparently as folks file their returns for the year, they are finding a difference in the amount of refund that they are due to receive this year versus last year.  And as they look for answers, they often focus on the Earned Income Credit (EIC) and wonder if something changed. The answer is – very little changed.  Certainly nothing that would have a significant impact on your income tax refund.  There was one significant change, in that beginning in 2011 there was no advance payment of the EIC – in years past it was an option available for the taxpayer to receive his or her EIC in advance payments throughout the year rather than waiting until the tax return has been filed.  Beginning with 2011, you have to wait to receive the EIC payment. Other than that, […]

Earned Income Tax Credit 2011 Style

There have been a few changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 2011 and years beyond.  Some of these changes are pretty significant, others are more of the common variety. No More Advance Payments In the past, if a taxpayer was likely to be eligible to receive the EITC on filing his or her return, the law allowed the taxpayer to apply for and receive advance payment of a portion of the credit.  This is because the credit is refundable – even if you don’t owe any tax on your tax return, you’ll get something back with the EITC. With the passage of the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act of 2010 signed into law August 10, 2010, the Advance payment of EITC was repealed, effective after December 31, 2010. Third-Child EITC The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the EITC by 5% for families with three […]