The popular $1,000-per-child tax credit was made a permanent part of the tax code by the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Depending upon a parent’s income, the Child Tax Credit is an important and useful tax credit that may be worth as much as $1,000 per qualifying child under the age of seventeen (17). A qualifying child for this credit is someone who meets the criteria of six tests: age, relationship, support, dependent, citizenship, and residence.
Age Test – To qualify, a child must have been age 16 or younger at the end of the applicable tax year.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) through December 31, 2017. This tax credit assists with the cost of higher education expenses such as tuition, course materials and other certain eligible fees for four years, which differs from the Hope scholarship credit because the credit may be claimed for four years instead of the two allowed under the Hope credit.
As 2016 starts to move forward, Congress seems especially less likely to agree on legislation extending all the tax breaks that have currently expired. S. 1946, Tax Relief Extension Act of 2015, generally provides for a two-year extension while the Tax Cuts for America Act of 2015, H.R. 1808, has only seven tax provisions, and the bill would extend those benefits for only 2015 retroactively.
In recent tax years, taxpayers have faced a great deal of uncertainty in determining whether they can continually and regularly depend on tax incentives to help them lower their taxes. At the beginning of 2013, Congress enacted the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which extended 51 provisions for two years retroactively through the beginning of 2012 and through 2013.