Below are a few tax credits that may be important to you. This is by no means a complete list. For more information about these and other tax credits, visit the IRS website.
Also, please pay attention to the qualifications for each credit (you may need to visit the IRS page or consult tax software or a professional). Some credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and education credits may not be taken if you are filing Married Filing Separately.
Also, some credits such as the EITC and the American Opportunity Credit may give you an increased refund even if you don't owe any taxes. Don't overlook a credit because you don't owe taxes.
Finally, the forms listed below are fairly common and should not affect your ability to file in any way. Most (if not all) tax software will have these forms built in, including the free file programs, and most tax professionals should be familiar with claiming these credits.
Lifetime Learning Credit
If you or your dependent went to school but do not qualify for the American Opportunity Credit, you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit. This credit is equal to 20% of qualifying tuition and other educational expenses with a maximum of $2,000 per return. It does not matter if you attend undergraduate or graduate school. If you qualify for the credit, it will lessen the amount of tax you owe.
To receive either credit, you must fill out Form 8863.
Note about education credits:
You also cannot take an education credit along with the Tuition and Fees Deduction for the same student.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a credit for low-to-moderate income families. The EITC can lower the tax that you owe. Even if you don't owe any taxes, you will still receive the money as a refund. To see if you qualify, use the IRS EITC Assistant.
For an idea if you qualify, see the income limitations below:
|Claiming||Filing Single, Head of
Household or Widow
|Married filing jointly|