Over the past many years, Congress has added several new tax credits and deductions to the IRS code. Credits can be significant because they offset any tax dollar for dollar.

Here is a partial list:

Plug-In Electric Vehicle Credit (there is NO LONGER a credit for hybrids) - taxpayers who purchase a qualifying vehicle after Dec. 31, 2009 may be eligible to claim up to a $7,500 credit

Find more information on this credit.

Child Tax Credit - $1,000 per dependent child under 17

NOTE: the credit has been increased to $2,000 per child beginning January 1, 2018.

Additional Child Tax Credit - expanded dramatically in last few years; many taxpayers who owe no tax can still be eligible to receive an additional refund

Earned Income Credit - the eligibility rules were changed significantly in 2002; many taxpayers who didnít qualify before can now receive this credit

Retirement Savings Credit - introduced in 2002, this credit is available to many lower income taxpayers who contribute part of their earnings to an IRA, 401k, 403b or similar retirement plan; eligible taxpayers can receive a tax credit for up to 50% of their contributions

Dependent Care Credit - as much as $3,000 per dependent (up to $6,000)

American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Tuition Credits - even though these credits have been available for several years, many eligible taxpayers AND tax preparers still fail to take advantage of these valuable credits - up to $2,500

Adoption Expense Credit - available to those who have adopted US or foreign children - up to $13,840

Foreign Tax Credit - if you paid tax to a foreign country where you worked or on investments you own, then you may be eligible to reduce your US tax by an equal amount

Some deductions which do not require itemizing on Schedule A are also available. Deductions reduce your taxable income. They are not as beneficial as tax credits, but can still help reduce your tax.

Student Loan Interest - up to $2,500.

Educator expenses - teachers take note; you may be able to deduct up to $250 of the cost of supplies that you paid for out of your own pocket.

Tuition and fees deduction - no longer available after 2016.

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