If you understand what they are, how they function, and how to apply for them, tax deductions and tax credits can save you a ton of money.
Yours taxable income is decreased by a tax deduction, which decreases your overall tax burden. Your taxable income decreases as a result of deducting the tax deduction from your income. Your tax obligation decreases as your taxable income decreases.
A tax credit lowers your actual tax obligation dollar for dollar. A few credits are refundable, so if your tax obligation is $250 but you are eligible for a $1,000 credit, you will receive a check for the $750 shortfall.
A tax credit has the potential to reduce your tax liability significantly more than a tax deduction, as the simplified example in the table demonstrates.
There are several credits and deductions available. Here is a drop-down list of some typical ones, along with links to our other articles so you can learn more.
Child tax credit
For the 2022 tax year, this may get you up to $2,000 per child, with $1,500 of the credit possibly being refundable.
Child and dependent care tax credit
For a spouse or parent who is unable to care for oneself, a kid under the age of 13, or another dependent, it is intended to pay a portion of the cost of daycare and related expenses while you are at work. Typically, it’s up to 35% of expenses totaling $3,000 for a single dependent or $6,000 for two or more.
American opportunity tax credit
This allows you to deduct all of the first $2,000 you spend on tuition, books, equipment, and school fees as well as 25% of the subsequent $2,000, for a total deduction of $2,500. However, living expenses and transportation are not eligible.
Lifetime learning credit
For a maximum of $2,000, you can deduct 20% of the first $10,000 you spent on tuition and fees. The lifelong learning credit does not consider living expenses or transportation to be eligible expenses, just like the American opportunity tax credit. Books or other supplies required for coursework may be claimed.
Student loan interest deduction
If you paid interest on your student loans, you may deduct up to $2,500 from your taxable income.
This item pays up to $14,890 in adoption expenses for each child for the 2022 tax year. When you reach a modified adjusted gross income of $263,410 or more, the benefit totally phases out and starts to gradually drop at certain income levels.
Charitable donations deduction
If you itemize, you might be able to deduct the value of your charitable contributions from your taxable income, whether they are made in cash or in-kind items like clothing or a car. You may typically deduct up to 60% of your adjusted gross income, according to the IRS.
Medical expenses deduction
Generally, eligible, unreimbursed medical costs that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for the tax year are deductible.
Deduction for state and local taxes
For a combination of property taxes plus either state and local income taxes or sales taxes, you are allowed a deduction of up to $10,000 ($5,000 if you’re married and filing separately).
Mortgage interest deduction
The mortgage interest tax deduction is promoted as a means of lowering the cost of homeownership. It lowers the amount of federal income tax that eligible homeowners must pay by deducting the amount of mortgage interest from their taxable income.
Gambling loss deduction
Only the amount of gaming winnings is deductible for losses and expenses related to gambling. Therefore, buying $100 worth of lottery tickets is not deductible unless you also win $100 and report it. More deductions than what you win are prohibited.
IRA contribution deduction
You may be eligible to deduct contributions to a traditional IRA, but the amount you can deduct is based on your income and whether you or your spouse are covered by a workplace retirement plan.
401(k) contribution deduction
What you immediately transfer into a 401(k) from your paycheck is not taxed by the IRS (k). The maximum donation in 2022 will be $20,500 ($27,000 if you’re 50 or older). Although self-employed individuals are permitted to form their own 401(k)s, these retirement plans are typically sponsored by employers.
This credit ranges from 10% to 50% of donations made to an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or specific other retirement plans worth up to $2,000 ($4,000 if filing jointly). Depending on your filing status and income, the percentage will vary.
Health savings account contributions deduction
HSA contributions are tax deductible, and withdrawals are also tax free as long as they are used for eligible medical costs. If you only have self-only high-deductible health insurance for the 2022 tax year, the individual coverage contribution cap is $3,650. The contribution cap for families with high deductible health plans is $7,300.
Self-employment expenses deduction
For freelancers, contractors, and other independent contractors, there are numerous worthwhile tax deductions.
Home office deduction
The IRS allows you to deduct connected rent, utilities, real estate taxes, repairs, maintenance, and other associated costs if you utilize a portion of your house often and exclusively for business-related activity.
Educator expenses deduction
For the 2022 tax year, teachers and other qualified educators may write off up to $300 in classroom supplies.
Residential energy credit
The installation costs of solar energy systems, such as solar water heaters and solar panels, can be reduced by up to 30% with this one.
Electric vehicle tax credit
For the tax year 2022, this nonrefundable tax credit’s eligibility ranges from $2,500 to $7500 and is based on the vehicle’s weight, the producer, and whether or not you are the car’s owner. The credit is significantly increased for tax year 2023 (taxes submitted in 2024) and now covers secondhand vehicles as well.