Statements | Client Login

Tax Tips That Will WOW You!

March 7, 2017

Welcome to Tax season 2017! Did you know, the federal filing deadline is less than two months away on Tuesday, April 18? Yes, the clock is ticking! As you prepare to file your taxes, we want to help you make the most of your available credits and deductions. The way we see it, every dollar you do not spend on taxes is one you can potentially invest toward your financial future. Here are tips for tax deduction and credit planning, with information on who is eligible and how you could possibly benefit.

Understanding Available Credits

Each tax credit you qualify for will directly reduce your tax payments. The IRS offers two kinds of credits: refundable and nonrefundable. With refundable credits, you can receive a refund, even if you owe less than the credit amount. On the other hand, nonrefundable credits offer a refund amount up to your tax liability.

Knowing which tax credits you qualify for can significantly reduce the amount of taxes you owe – and possibly even result in a refund. The IRS has a number of credits for individual taxpayers, but here is a list of common ones you could qualify for:

Earned-Income Tax Credit: For households with low to moderate income. The income limits can fluctuate, and many more people qualify for this credit than may realize it. In fact, 25% of eligible taxpayers do not claim this credit – which can be over $6000 per household.

Child and Dependent Care Credit: For households who pay for childcare. If you have dependent children and pay for childcare, you may qualify for credits up to $6000, depending on your adjusted gross income (AGI).

Credit for the Elderly or Disabled: For taxpayers 65 and older, or those on permanent disability who meet income requirements. This credit starts at $3750 and goes as high as $7500. So, if you fit the age or disability restrictions, researching your eligibility is well worth the effort.

Lifetime Learning Credit: For households paying for education.

This credit can provide you up to $2000 toward qualified tuition and enrollment fees. To be eligible, you must have a modified AGI less than $130,000 as a married couple or $65,000 as an individual.

Premium Tax Credit: For households that purchased health insurance through a federal or state marketplace. This credit helps people cover the cost of premiums for insurance they purchase through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Depending on your income and other personal details, you may be able to receive a premium tax credit if you, your spouse, or your dependent purchased an eligible health insurance plan.

Planning Your Deductions

Deductions help reduce your taxable income, thereby hopefully lowering your tax liabilities. Between itemized and standard deductions, taxpayers claimed nearly $2 trillion in the most recently tracked year. That’s a lot of money! But, chances are, many people miss eligible deductions and still pay more in taxes than they need to.

Remember, when you use the standard deduction, you can likely claim a higher deduction if you or your spouse has a qualifying vision impairment or a birthday on January 2, 1952, or earlier.

If you itemize your deductions, you are likely familiar with the opportunities to write off your home mortgage interest, tuition fees, and charitable contributions. But here are a few more deductions you may be eligible to take, depending on your circumstances:

State Sales Tax: Mostly for households who don’t pay state or local income tax. If you only pay federal income taxes, you may be able to deduct your state sales tax on your federal return. This deduction is especially helpful if you made a large, taxable purchase in 2016, such as a car.

Business Travel Expenses: For taxpayers who have unreimbursed work travel. If you paid for travel to conferences, meetings, or other work obligations, you may be able to deduct your expenses. The list of potentially deductible items goes beyond transportation and lodging to include dry cleaning, meals, business calls, and more.

Student Loan Interest: For households paying student loan debt.

If you currently pay student loan debt, you may be able to deduct interest, depending on your income and specific circumstances. Deductions can be up to $2500 for student loan interest – and you are allowed to claim this deduction even if you don’t itemize deductions on your tax return.

Sale of Your Home: For households who profited from selling their main home in 2016. If you sold your primary residence last year and earned a profit, you may qualify to claim this exclusion. If you qualify, you can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income – or up to $500,000 if you file taxes jointly with your spouse.

As you can see, the opportunities to reduce your tax liabilities are vast, and these credits and deductions are only the beginning. It is best to consult with your tax preparer or a qualified tax professional.

Here’s to a successful tax filing season!

Eric and Jennifer Lahaie
JEHM Wealth & Retirement
864-527-0482

 

Sources:
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Tax-Deductions-and-Credits/The-10-Most-Overlooked-Tax-Deductions/INF12062.html 
https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/eitc-income-limits-maximum-credit-amounts
https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/child-and-dependent-care-credit
https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/credit-for-the-elderly-or-disabled
https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/lifetime-learning-credit
https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/the-premium-tax-credit
https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Tax-Deductions-and-Credits/The-10-Most-Overlooked-Tax-Deductions/INF12062.html
https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch20.html#en_US_2016_publink1000283783
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1105311588584&ca=11d7d8fd-20f0-488f-a308-7ad81f92ddf0

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/deducting-sales-tax
https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc511.html
https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc456.html
https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc701.html
Copyright © 2017 JEHM Wealth and Retirement Strategies

Investment Advisory Services offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors, (RWA) a Registered Investment Advisor.  JEHM Wealth & Retirement Strategies and RWA are not affiliated. Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. Pursuant to IRS Circular 230, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Please note that JEHM Wealth & Retirement Strategies and its affiliates do not give legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor or attorney.

Annuity guarantees rely on the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer. Any comments regarding safe and secure investments, and guaranteed income streams refer only to fixed insurance products. They do not refer, in any way to securities or investment advisory products. Fixed Insurance and Annuity product guarantees are subject to the claims‐paying ability of the issuing company and are not offered by Retirement Wealth Advisors.

Back To Top