New tax laws for families, married couples - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New tax laws for families, married couples

January 13, 2004

Tifton- One of the biggest stories in the tax world last year was the new child tax credit and the advance rebates most people got during the end of the summer.

"The child tax credit that was an advance rebate of the thousand dollars, so if you didn't get the $400 in advance then you can get that deduction on the return. If you got the $400, then you can't take the $1000 full deduction on the return," reminds CPA Amy Hightower.

Accountants also say many people confuse the child tax credit with the child dependent care credit.

"If you pay child care you also get a child care credit, which has more guidelines than the child tax credit, but you get both if you pay child care and you have a child under 17," explains CPA Stephanie Fletcher.

New tax laws have also tried to ease penalties for those who are married and file jointly.

"If it's two single people filing separately, and then they were to get married, their deductions are not doubled if you were to add one single person plus another. The married filing jointly rates and deductions are not doubled, and that's where the marriage penalty comes in," says Hightower.

New legislation increases those deductions and possibly the amount of their return. Accountants say there are specific guidelines for each new piece of legislation, and you should check with your tax preparer to see what you are eligible for.

CPA's also say most home computer tax software will calculate taxes correctly, but you should double check with an accountant to be sure what deductions and credit you can receive, especially if you own a business.

Posted at 4:40 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com