$5,000 for a cute, last-minute tax deduction

Everyone knows their child is the best looking in the world. Admit it. You know yours is. I know mine is.

Now's the time to prove it, as long as your child is a baby who is born this month.

The second annual nationwide search by TurboTax for America's Cutest Last-Minute Tax Deduction is on, so hopefully you did your homework nine months ago. One baby born in December 2008 will win a $5,000 United States Savings bond worth up to $10,000 upon maturity, according to a company press release for Intuit Inc., the maker of TurboTax. That's the value at the bond's maturity, not the child's.

The 2007 winner, Owen, is now 1 and as cute as ever. Love of a child is immeasurable, but at tax time the IRS measures it. According to TurboTax, a child credit is worth up to $1,000, and other benefits include up to $11,650 from childcare reimbursement accounts at work and a tax credit in 2008.

To enter the 2008 contest, parents or legal guardians should submit a photo of their December 2008 baby at www.CutestTaxDeduction.com. To be eligible, babies must be born between Dec. 1-31, 2008. Deadline for entries is Jan. 9, 2009.

If only the cost of diapers, and the labor in changing them, were tax deductible.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed dad in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job hunt and his cute daughter, now 4, at www.talesofanunemployeddad.blogspot.com

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