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Why You Should Consider Applying for Federal Tax Credits


With tax filing season just around the corner, Florida taxpayers may want to begin thinking about their eligibility for certain tax credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and education credits. For help determining whether you and your family qualify for any of these tax credits, please contact dedicated Florida tax return preparation attorney Ronald Cutler today.

The Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit that is available to taxpayers with low to moderate incomes whose earned income and adjusted gross incomes fall within certain limits. To be eligible for this credit, a taxpayer must also:

  • Have a qualifying child; or
  • Have resided in the U.S. for more than six months, must not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, and be between the ages of 25 and 65 years old.

Because it’s a refundable tax credit, individuals who claim the EITC end up paying less in federal taxes, paying no tax, or in some cases, even collecting a tax refund. There are, however, certain exceptions to the EITC eligibility requirements that apply to members of the military, clergymen and women, victims of natural disasters, and taxpayers who receive disability benefits, so if you fall under one of these categories, it is important to speak with a tax attorney before claiming this credit.

The Child Tax Credit

Taxpayers who have a qualifying child under the age of 17 years old may also be eligible for the Child Tax Credit, which can reduce a taxpayer’s federal income tax by up to $1,000 for each child. However, this credit is only available to those with qualifying children, which means that not only is the child under the age of 17 years old, but also that he or she:

  • Is the taxpayer’s child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, grandchild, or niece or nephew;
  • Did not provide more than half of his or her own support;
  • Is being claimed as the taxpayer’s dependent;
  • Is a U.S. citizen, national, or resident alien; and
  • Has lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the year.

The amount that a taxpayer can receive for the Child Tax Credit starts to phase out at $200,000 of modified adjusted gross income, or $400,000 for married couples who file jointly.

Education Credits

There are two credits available to taxpayers that help pay for the education costs of a taxpayer, or his or her spouse or dependent, The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. The former helps cover the cost of education expenses for the first four years of the eligible student’s higher education. The maximum annual amount per student for this credit is $2,500. The Lifetime Learning Credit is similar in that it is worth up to $2,000 per tax return, but can be used to pay for undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree courses.

Schedule a Free Initial Case Review with a Dedicated Tax Attorney

Please call 386-490-9949 today to speak with experienced tax return preparation lawyer Ronald Cutler, P.A. about the tax credits for which you or a loved one may qualify.