Save money on your taxes: a few deductions that are sometimes overlooked

Staff writerFebruary 13, 2014 


This Thursday, Jan. 9, 2013 photo, shows a 2013 1040-ES IRS Estimated Tax form at H & R Block tax preparation office in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles. “The United States income tax is a pay-as-you-go tax, which means that tax must be paid as you earn or receive your income during the year,” the IRS says. “You can either do this through withholding or by making estimated tax payments.” (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)


This coming weekend will be suffused with amour (what with Friday being Valentine’s Day), national pride (what with American presidents being honored on Monday), and busy phone lines at the Internal Revenue Service.

 “The entire week of the Presidents Day holiday marks a peak time in the number of calls to the IRS, and we encourage taxpayers to visit as the best place to get quick help,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement released Thursday.

And if you’ll be preparing your taxes this weekend, the agency has offered eight tax-saving benefits that parents can consider.

• Dependents. You can claim as a dependent any child born in 2013.

• Child Tax Credit. Maximum $1,000 per child under 17. Check Schedule 8812 and Publication 972.

• Child and Dependent Care Credit. Because you were working or looking for work, did you pay for someone to care for a child or children under 13? Check Publication 503.

• Earned Income Tax Credit. If you earned less than $51,567, you may qualify. With three dependent children, your credit might approach in excess of $6,000. Publication 596 explains the criteria.

• Adoption credit. Certain expenses may qualify for a credit. Instructions are on Form 8839.

• Higher Education Credits. The American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may reduce the amount you owe. Check Publication 970.

• Student Loan Interest. It may be deductible. Again, check Publication 970.

• Self-employed health insurance deduction. If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct premiums you paid to cover your child under the Affordable Care Act. The deduction applies to children under age 27 at the end of the year, even if not your dependent. See Notice 2010-38.


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