Tax Credits That Could Save You, Your Family, and Your Business Money
Child Tax Credit: You may be able to claim the Child Tax Credit for each of your children under the age of 17 at the end of 2014. The maximum credit is $1,000 per child.
Earned Income Tax Credit: If you worked but earned less than $51,567 last year, you may qualify for EITC. If you have three qualifying children, you may get up to $6,044.
Child Care Credit: You may be able to claim this credit if you paid someone to care for your children under age 13 while you worked or were looking for work.
Student loan interest: You may be able to deduct interest you paid on a qualified student loan.
Higher education credits: If you paid for higher education for yourself or an immediate family member, you may qualify for the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. If the American Opportunity Credit is more than the tax you owe, you could be eligible for a refund of up to $1,000.
Job-hunting costs or moving for a job: If you are looking for a job or moved because of a new job, you may be able to deduct expenses such as transportation costs, costs of printing resumes, and employment agency fees.
Home mortgage interest: If you own a home, you probably qualify for a deduction on your interest payments on your mortgage. Hardworking homeowners can find short-term tax relief with the extension of the mortgage debt relief tax break. This one-year extension exempts underwater homeowners from paying taxes on the portion of their mortgage obligation that had been forgiven by lenders. The IRS can provide additional information about the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation.
National Guard travel expenses: Members of the National Guard or military reserve may write off the cost of travel to drills or meetings if they travelled more than 100 miles and stayed overnight.
Medicare Premiums for Self-Employed: Folks who run their own businesses and who are on Medicare can deduct the premiums they pay for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D, plus the cost of supplemental Medicare (medigap) policies.
Charitable donations: Qualifying taxpayers can make tax-free charitable donations from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
Work Opportunity Tax Credit Qualifying for-profit employers can claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for all qualified veterans or other target groups hired before January 1, 2015. WOTC was designed to help people who historically have had difficulty finding employment. Depending on the target group of the new hire and on the number of hours worked in the first year, employers can claim a tax credit between $1,200 for $9,600 per employee.
Research and Development Businesses that incur research and development expenses in the United States are eligible to receive a 20% credit.
Energy Efficiency Contractors can claim a tax credit for manufacturing or building a new energy efficient home. If the manufacturer meets qualifying criteria, it becomes eligible for a tax credit of $1,000 or $2,000.
Bonus Depreciation By extending the 50% bonus depreciation allowance, businesses can deduct half of the cost of qualifying, first-year equipment purchases made in 2014.
Section 179 Eligible small businesses will be able to deduct up to $500,000 in investments in property, equipment, and computer software. Additionally, a small business’s qualifying assets can be as high as $2 million, instead of the current $200,000, before the tax benefits begin to phase-out.
Need help filing your taxes?
Find answers to general tax eligibility questions
The IRS Tax Help Line can help answer individual tax questions. Call toll-free Monday-Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM
- For individuals and families: 1-800-829-1040
- For businesses: 1-800-829-4233
Get Help Filing Your Taxes
- IRS has Tax Payer Assistance Centers around Connecticut. Click here for locations.
- If you earn less than $58,000 a year, check out free tax filing software.
- AARP offers assistance for taxpayers 60 years or older. Call 888-687-2277 or click here to find a Tax Aide near you.
It’s possible that the IRS may owe you a tax refund. Visit “Where’s my Refund?” to find out. If you’re having issues, my office is here to help. Call me at 860-223-8412 or email me.
Avoiding Common Tax Fraud Scams
Identity theft and tax fraud is all too common. The IRS recently released its “Dirty Dozen” list of the most common scams. Find out more here to protect yourself, your family, and your business.
Are you missing your w-2?
In most cases, you get your W-2 forms by the end of January. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, shows your income and the taxes withheld from your pay for the year. You need your W-2 form to file an accurate tax return.
If you haven’t received your form by mid-February, here’s what you should do:
• Contact your employer. Ask your employer (or former employer) for a copy. Be sure that they have your correct address.
• After Feb. 23: If you can’t get a copy from your employer, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 after Feb. 23. The IRS will send a letter to your employer on your behalf. You’ll need the following when you call:
o Your name, address, Social Security number and phone number;
o Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
o The dates you worked for the employer; and
o An estimate of your wages and federal income tax withheld