Tax Tips for Families

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Starting a family often means a brand new beginning when it comes to filing your taxes. The good news is that if you’re married and starting a family, you can earn some solid tax breaks. 

“Married couples do see some tax benefits,” says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant and tax expert at TurboTax. “For starters, you get lower tax rates and a bigger standard deduction.” The standard deduction for single taxpayers is $12,200 in the 2019 tax year while the standard deduction for married filing jointly is 24,400, Greene-Lewis tells TheStreet host Gregg Greenberg in this special video series with TurboTax.If you’re single and have a dependent child, you can also claim head of household status on your tax returns, which leads to good tax benefits. For 2019, “the head-of-household standard deduction is $18,350,” Greene-Lewis notes.

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Even a family with no children many qualify for tax break this year.

“You could be a family that actually supports their mom or dad, or even a grandchild,” Greene-Lewis says. “In that scenario, taxpayers could see some benefits if they could claim their parent or grandchild as a dependent, under a new credit called the “credit for other dependents” (for non-child dependents.)”

“Here, the taxpayer may be able to claim a $500 tax credit, per qualified dependent. The taxpayer may also be able to claim medical expenses on those dependents as well,” Greene-Lewis adds.

Taxpayers with larger families qualify for big tax breaks, too. 

“If you have multiple children, you can claim the child tax credit for your children under the age of 17, for up to $2,000 per child,” Greene-Lewis adds. “Also, if you pay for childcare, you could earn the child independent care credit. For multiple children, that tax break can be up $2,100.”

For families, the earned-income tax credit can be huge, as well.

“The earned income credit is for low-to-moderate annual income workers,” she says. “You do have to be earning income in order to get the tax credit.”

The earned income tax credit is based on family size, your filing status, and your annual income. “It's up to $6,557 right now if you have a family with three or more children,” Greene-Lewis says.

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