Everything you need to know about tax benefits, credits and deductions

As a taxpayer, you may come across tax deductions and tax credits as a part of tax benefit. These terms might be alien to you, but one needs to understand these well to get benefits and deductions. The tax deductions lessen the taxable income and the final value is computed on the marginal tax rate of the individual. The marginal tax rate increases with the rise in the income of the taxpayer. Tax credits, on the other hand, reduce the taxes directly. Therefore, these credits do not rely on the rates of the taxes. However, the value of the credit depends on the taxpayer’s tax liability.

Nonrefundable tax credits
If you are wondering if the tax benefits can bring down the tax to zero, then there are nonrefundable tax credits to help you out. Most tax credits are nonrefundable. So, the income filers who fall under the low-income bracket do not fully benefit from the nonrefundable tax credits.
There are other tax credits that can be partially or fully refundable. If the tax liability value surpasses of an individual, then the surplus amount is paid back to the income tax filer.

Tax benefits of education
Taxpayers can avail benefits of education through tax credits for higher education.

Who is eligible for an education credit claim?
There are various criteria that let you avail the claim under education credit, but one must meet the following requirements to benefit from the same. Take a look!

  • The qualified education expenditures for a higher education is paid by you, your dependent or a third party
  • An eligible student must be registered at a qualified educational institute
  • The enrolled student must be either you, your spouse or a dependent whom you have mentioned while filing your tax returns

Here are some of the tax deductions under education.

  • Qualified education expenditures
  • Qualifying work-related education
  • Education to improve or maintain skills
  • Tuition and fees deduction
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Qualified student loan
  • Education required by law or by employer
  • Lifetime learning credit

Tax benefits of homeownership
One of the advantages of homeownership is that the credited rental income does not qualify under the taxable income bracket. But, the property holders would exclude the property tax payments and mortgage interest with other expenses from the income that is taxable. Also, the homeowners may deduct the capital gains from the sale of the home but up to a defined limit only. However, all of these tax benefits are a boon to those who are under the high-income tax brackets and not others. Therefore, the tax benefits and deductions under homeownership include:

  • Property tax deduction
  • Imputed rent
  • Profits from home sales
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