Tax time: whether you hate it or love that refund, you have to deal with it. One of the simplest tax savings tips around is to find tax preparation coupons to save on filing itself. The vast majority of us look to online systems such as TurboTax and H&R Block to efile, so your first question should be, “are there tax preparation coupons for these companies?” Indeed there are—sort of–and you can use them on top of other programs to save even more.
TurboTax Tax Preparation Coupons:
TurboTax has a free basic edition, but for importing prior year information or more advanced options such as a home office deduction, there is a charge. TurboTax doesn’t have coupons in the traditional sense (none of these companies do, hence I say “sort of” back there), they “partner” with certain sites and you get a discount by clicking though that partner. I recommend Ebates. Through Ebates you can save 20% on your federal taxes. You’ll also receive 7.5% cash back paid via Paypal.
So, assuming you need, say, the deluxe service, from the original $34.99, you’d get 20% off or pay $27.99 and then get 7.5% back for another $3.73 in savings. Not too shabby.
H&R Block Tax Preparation Coupons:
H&R Block also uses the “partner” deal system, which is unfortunate, because there is a 35% off deal from RetailMeNot, while at Ebates it’s 30% with 12.5% cash back. If you don’t want to sign up for Ebates, obviously the 30% off is a better deal. If you do, even though you save 5% more through RetailMeNot ($16.24 vs $17.29 for basic service) that 12.5% cash back would return $2.16 equating to $15.12 overall.
H&R Block does have a free edition, and much like TurboTax requires upgrades for more advanced options.
TaxACT Tax Preparation Coupons:
Finally, the 3rd common tax prep option, TaxACT. TaxACT is on Ebates with 7.5% cash back, however, they do not offer a coupon. You can get 10% off via RetailMeNot, but may not use Ebates in conjunction with this offer.
Got Kids? How else can you save on your taxes?
Child Tax Credits and Deductions for Parents
Unfortunately, tax credits and cuts for parents are always changing. It can be hard to stay on top of what you can and can’t claim. The IRS website is a wonderful resource for everyone, not just parents, when it comes to filing taxes, but it can be a bit time consuming to navigate. Time, of course, is something many of us parents are short on, so for your convenience here’s an overview of the most common tax credits and cuts available to parents in 2016.
Exemptions for dependents:
For each child you can claim as a dependent you will get a $4,000 exemption. A child can only be claimed as a dependent once, so if you’re unmarried but with your partner, it can pay to check whether you’ll save more money putting your child on your partner’s taxes or yours.
Child tax credits:
Currently, for every qualifying child you claim you will receive up to a $1,000 credit. This credit can offset taxes due or if even be paid to you in a return. To claim this credit you must make between $3,000 and $75,000, unless you are married, and then the upper limit rises to $110,000.
Child care tax credit:
20-35% of daycare and child care expenses up to $3,000 per child can be deducted or even credited using this option. Your child must be under the age of 13 or be disabled to qualify.
Earned income credit:
If you have qualifying children and are on the lower side of the income scale, you can also qualify for the earned income credit. This credit increases with family size, but may decrease with income.