Archive for January, 2012


IRS Reminds Parents of Ten Tax Benefits 

Your kids can be helpful at tax time. That doesn’t mean they’ll sort your tax receipts or refill your coffee, but those charming children may help you qualify for some valuable tax benefits. Here are 10 things the IRS wants parents to consider when filing their taxes this year.

1. Dependents: In most cases, a child can be claimed as a dependent in the year they were born. For more information see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.

2. Child Tax Credit: You may be able to take this credit for each of your children under age 17. If you do not benefit from the full amount of the Child Tax Credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. For more information see IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

3. Child and Dependent Care Credit: You may be able to claim this credit if you pay someone to care for your child or children under age 13 so that you can work or look for work. See IRS Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

4. Earned Income Tax Credit: The EITC is a tax benefit for certain people who work and have earned income from wages, self-employment or farming. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, has more details.

5. Adoption Credit: You may be able to take a tax credit for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. If you claim the adoption credit, you must file a paper tax return with required adoption-related documents.  For details, see the instructions for IRS Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.

6. Children with earned income: If your child has income earned from working, they may be required to file a tax return. For more information, see IRS Publication 501.

7. Children with investment income: Under certain circumstances a child’s investment income may be taxed at their parent’s tax rate. For more information, see IRS Publication 929, Tax Rules for Children and Dependents.

8. Higher education credits: Education tax credits can help offset the costs of higher education. The American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning Credits are education credits that can reduce your federal income tax dollar-for-dollar. See IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for details.

9. Student loan interest: You may be able to deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan, even if you do not itemize your deductions. For more information, see IRS Publication 970.

10. Self-employed health insurance deduction: If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct any premiums you paid for coverage for any child of yours who was under age 27 at the end of the year, even if the child was not your dependent. For more information, see the IRS website.

This last one is a good tip to ask a Laughlin Associates business consultant about. As the leading incorporation services provider since 1972, we can help you as a small business owner to get the most out of your tax deductions. In fact, if you’re self-employed we can help you get as much 45% back on your taxes this time next year. Want to learn more? Call Laughlin Associates at 1-800-648-0966 or email lee@laughlinusa.com.

*Tips provided by IRS.gov

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Last Friday, President Obama announced that SBA Administrator, Karen Mills’, position was moved to Cabinet status. Reports state that, “President Obama actions are a reflection of the importance he places on small business, economic growth, and job creation.”

The SBA explained that the President,  “Asked Congress for the authority that Presidents like Hoover and Reagan have had to reorganize and modernize the federal government.  This authority lapsed in 1984, but, today, the federal government needs to be updated to ensure that it meets the demands of entrepreneurs and small business owners in the 21st century.”

Karen Mills went on to say in an article on www.sba.gov that,  “The President’s first proposal under this authority would be to create a unified department focused on economic growth and job creation, so that we can be more effective at helping businesses do what they do best – create jobs.”

“For the entrepreneurs and small business owners that SBA and other agencies serve, this is very good news.  A more integrated approach would ensure that small businesses would have access to all of the federal government’s programs in a more seamless, coordinated, and coherent way.”

Mills continued, “I’m honored to become a member of the President’s Cabinet, and I’ll continue to provide input to the President on how we can grow the economy and empower entrepreneurs and small business owners.  At the SBA, we will work to build on the accomplishments we’ve made over the past three years, such as the record $30.5 billion in SBA lending support we provided to over 60,000 small businesses last year.”

So what are your thoughts on the President’s move to make the SBA a higher priority?

Is this a strategic effort on his part to gain votes from skeptical Americans who’ve continued to see consistent job loss and economic downturn?

Or is this is a geniune effort to get America back to work?

Give me your feedback here or drop me a line at aaronyoung@laughlinusa.com  and tell me what you think.