Everyone likes to avoid talk of taxes (and paying them!) but there are a few critical things all taxpayer should do before the end of the year to get their tax houses in order. In addition to make contributions to retirement funds, donating to charity, and paying property taxes, taxpayers should make sure their records are in order.
I appeared on CNBC's personal finance show On the Money this week to talk about some of those critical year-end tax moves that consumers should make:
If you're going through a divorce, taxes may be the last thing on your mind, so we're here to help. We've got tips for you on which filing status to choose after the divorce, who can claim the exemptions for the kids, and how payments to an ex-spouse are treated for tax purposes.
Filing taxes as a single parent requires coordination between you and your ex-spouse or partner. Usually the custodial parent claims the child as a dependent, but there are exceptions. A single parent is allowed to claim applicable deductions and exemptions for each qualifying child. Even though you claim your child as a dependent, she may still have to file her own tax return if she has income, such as from an after-school job.
The Child Tax Credit can reduce your tax bill by as much as $1,000 per child, if you meet all seven requirements: 1. age, 2. relationship, 3. support, 4. dependent status, 5. citizenship, 6. length of residency and 7. family income. You and/or your child must pass all seven to claim this tax credit.