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Send Your Kids To Summer Camp and Write It Off
If you paid someone to care for a child so you could work, you may be able claim a tax credit for child and dependent care expenses on your federal income tax return. This credit is available to people who, in order to work or to look for work, have to pay for child care services for dependents under age 13.
The credit is a percentage, based on your adjusted gross income, of the amount of work-related child and dependent care expenses you paid to a care provider. The credit can range from 20 to 35 percent of your qualifying expenses, depending upon your income.
For 2004, you may use up to $3,000 of the expenses paid in a year for one child or $6,000 for two or more children. These dollar limits must be reduced by the amount of any dependent care benefits provided by your employer that you exclude from your income.
To claim the credit for child and dependent care expenses, you must meet the following conditions:
1. You must have earned income from wages, salaries, tips or other taxable employee compensation, or net earnings from self-employment. If you are married, both you and your spouse must have earned income, unless one spouse was either a full-time student or was physically or mentally incapable of self-care.
2. The payments for care cannot be paid to someone you can claim as a dependent or to your child who is under age 19.
3. Your filing status must be single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child, or married filing jointly.
4. The care must have been provided for one or more qualifying persons identified on the form you use to claim the credit.
5. Your children must reside with you.
What is a "qualifying" child? The child must have been under age 13 when care was provided and you must be able to claim the child as an exemption on your tax return. A spouse who is mentally or physically unable to care for himself or herself also qualifies.
You should read IRS publication 503 or speak with a tax professional to learn more. Still, it is nice to know you can write off those swimming lessons.
Marriage or Divorce - Check Your Social Security Number
Newlyweds and the recently divorced should make sure that names on their tax returns match those registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A mismatch between a name on the tax return and a Social Security number (SSN) could unexpectedly increase a tax bill or reduce the size of any refund.
Electronic Commerce Taxation and Pakistan
Assume a buyer in Pakistan downloads software from the Internet for a 30-day trial. If he likes the software, he submits his credit card information and receives an authorization code that allows him unrestricted use of the software.
Your IRS Tax Appeal Rights
Are you in the middle of a disagreement with the IRS? One of the guaranteed rights for all taxpayers is the right to appeal. If you disagree with the IRS about the amount of your tax liability or about proposed collection actions, you have the right to ask the IRS Appeals Office to review your case.
Euro Tax Haven Threat
Media reporting of a new EU savings tax directive has left many people wondering whether European tax havens could soon become obselete.The July directive requires banks throughout Europe, including low and no tax areas such as Gibraltar, Monaco, Malta and Andorra, to disclose bank account owner information to their home country's tax authority.
Tax Trap #1 -- Waiting to Incorporate: What A Difference A Date Can Make
NOTE: This is the first in a series of 5 articles: "Small Business Tax Traps and How To Avoid Them"If you're a sole proprietor, perhaps you've considered incorporating your small business or self-employment activity.And so maybe you've been wondering, "When is the best time to incorporate?"From a legal standpoint, any time is the best time.
What Is Tax Law?
The federal tax code is complex. This complexity generally arises from two factors: the use of the tax code for purposes other than raising revenue, and the feedback process of amending the code.
How to Maximize Your Home Business Tax Deductions for 2005
Someone once said, 'the best way to calculate your taxes is?Honestly'. For 2005, add 'Smartly' to that and you'll get to keep more than you make.
How To Claim CHILD TAX CREDIT The Right Way And Add An Extra $2,000 To Your Refund
Hurricane Katrina - How To Use Your Business Loss To Get A Refund on 2004 Taxes
With the massive losses caused by Katrina, the economy of the Gulf Coast region is in extremely bad shape. Fortunately, there is a quirk in the tax code that can help you generate a large refund from your 2004 taxes.
IRS Lock-In Letters - What's An Employer To Do?
Employers often ask employees to designate the amount of tax withholdings for paychecks. Occasionally, employees will fail to withhold a sufficient amount in the eyes of the IRS.
Anticipating Your IRS Refund Can Cost You Plenty
While accountants are reaching for aspirin, millions of Americans are reaching for some fast cash this tax season. Unfortunately, those who reach for fast cash in the form of a "refund anticipation loan" are getting hit with interest rates and fees that are out of this world.
Understanding Marketing Tax Deductions
Marketing is a necessary expense in running practically any business and the IRS acknowledges as much. You may run advertisements on or in the Internet, radio, television, magazines, newspapers and other media to sell your products or services.
Estate Taxes - It Pays to Plan Ahead
Estate taxes. It's not enough to simply know they exist, and to know strategies to minimize them.
Tax Deduction for Alimony Payments? - Yes!
Over 50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. Many divorce decrees include provisions for the payment of alimony.
Render Unto Caesar
Once a year Canadian taxpayers are required, by law, to file an income tax return in the prescribed form: $150(1).For individuals: $150(1)(d) ITA, they must do so by April 30 of the following year, provided that they owe any taxes or if they are served with a requirement to file: $150(2) ITA.
Some Folks Pay A Lot Less Tax Than Others On Very Same Income-Did You Pay Too Much Tax In 2004?
Someone once remarked, "Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is quite so satisfying as an income tax refund." There's no question that saving money in taxes is high on everybody's list of financial priorities, especially small-business owners.
Are You An Innocent Victim of These Popular Myths?
Misconceptions, misinterpretations and just plain "untruths" are floating about income taxes. Believing them could be costing thousands of tax dollars!Myth: A Professional Tax Preparer knows all there is to know about taxes so you don't have to know anything them.
Small Business Tax Deduction - Write-Off Bad Debts
Practically every small business has receivables that it cannot obtain from clients. If your small business doesn't have any such receivables, consider yourself lucky.
Tax Trap #4 -- The Quagmire of Depreciation
If you are a Small Business Owner or Self-Employed Person, there's one especially lucrative tax break that not only puts money in your pocket, it also makes the filing of your business tax return much simpler.What am I talking about? It's called the Section 179 deduction, and if there's one tax break you need to understand, this is it.
Tax Investigation - What You Need To Do
The knock on the door from a Tax Inspector is something that every taxpayer fears. Your immediate thoughts will be "Have I been honest with my tax returns or not".
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