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Choosing the filing status that best suits your needs can influence the possibility of a refund. Your filing status determines:
- Your standard deduction
- Your filing requirements
- The credits you are eligible to receive
- The amount of tax you pay or the refund you receive
There are five statuses to choose from, but the most common are:
- married filing jointly or separately
- head of household
TurboTax can help you determine which choice most benefits your situation.
TurboTax Tip: Unlike in other years, you can still get a refund with the Child and Dependent Care Credit even if you don’t owe taxes.
Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit
Working families, individuals, people who are self-employed and others who have moderate to low income may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC decreases the amount of taxes owed and may qualify you for a tax refund. To qualify, you must:
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Be a U.S. citizen, a year-long resident alien or a non-resident alien married to an American citizen or resident alien filing jointly
- Have income from self-employment, from an employer or from working on a farm
- Not be claimed as a dependent or child of another person
- Be between the ages of 25 and 65, living in the U.S. for at least half the year
To receive the EITC you must file a tax return, even if you owe no taxes.
Claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit
The Child and Dependent Care Credit is based on a percentage of the amount you paid for the care of a qualifying child or dependent.
For tax year 2022,the total expenses you can claim are capped at $3,000 for one eligible individual and $6,000 for two or more. If your employer offers dependent care benefits, you are required to deduct this amount.
- Your child who is under 13 years of age
- A dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care and who lives with you for more than half the year, or
- Your spouse who is incapable of self-care and lives with you for more than half the year
To claim the credit, other criteria must be met.
- You can not file as married filing separately.
- You can’t use a caregiver who is a spouse or parent of the child, your child under 19 years of age or another of your dependents.
- Each qualifying dependent must have a Social Security number.
- You must provide the name, address and Social Security number of your caregiver.
For 2021, the American Rescue Plan brings significant changes to the amount and way that the child and dependent care tax credit can be claimed. The plan increases the amount of expense eligible for the credit, relaxes the credit reduction due to income levels, and also makes it fully refundable. This means that, unlike in other years, you can still get the credit even if you don’t owe taxes.
Let an expert do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live Full Service. Or you can get your taxes done right, with experts by your side with TurboTax Live Assisted. File your own taxes with confidence using TurboTax. Just answer simple questions, and we’ll guide you through filing your taxes with confidence. Whichever way you choose, get your maximum refund guaranteed.