Big Tax Breaks Most People Don't Take Advantage Of
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) April 15 is closing in. If you're like a lot of people, you've already started filling your taxes out and you're not liking what you see. Still others are avoiding doing anything with their taxes until the deadline day for fear of what they're going to owe. But whether a Type A personality or a procrastinator, before you finally file, this is a must read article that will acquaint you with some of the big tax breaks most people don't take advantage of. Especially if you're in the hole, you're going to need every little bit that you can to keep your tax burden down.
Summer Child Care Costs
Just about every knows about the child daycare tax credit. Few people know that you can also apply the costs of summer camp to this. Kay Bell, a tax expert with Bankrate.com explains.
"Sleepover camp doesn't count, but if it's just a day camp that's a handy thing to think about," she says. The best part is that this is a tax credit, meaning that it's far more lucrative than a deduction. If your kids did anything over the summer, have a think about whether or not it qualifies as a form of daycare, then talk to your tax preparer.
"A lot of people who can claim a dependent don't know it," says Kenn B. Tacchino, a lawyer and professor at Widener University. The reason being, they think of a dependent as a child or a parent who lives with them full time. Not true, says Tacchino.
"If you provide 30% of the support, two siblings do another 60 between them and mom does the remaining 10%, you can claim her as a dependent," he said.
The key here is a multiple support agreement and all of you need to be party to it. "You can all claim her, even though you're paying for less than 50%," Tacchino said.
Retirement Costs Up Until April 15
Most people know that they get some kind of tax credit for their retirement. What they don't know is that they can open these accounts until April 15 of the year that they file their return, not the calendar year that the return falls in. One place where this can really help is keeping you in the right tax bracket.
"Take someone who earned $20,000 over the summer at a side gig," says Tacchino. "That will probably move them into another tax bracket and they're going to get hammered." Instead of that, he recommends that they open up a SEP IRA or a Solo 401(k) and put enough into it to get both a tax credit and stay in the right income bracket.