13 Jan Who should and who must file an income tax return – refundable tax credits
To determine if you are obligated by law to file a US tax return and pay US income taxes you should consult the instruction book that accompanies the IRS form 1040. You must file a federal income tax return if your income is above a certain level; which varies depending on your filing status, age and the type of income you receive. Even if you are not obligated by law to file a federal tax return, IRS form 1040, you may want to consider doing so if any of the following apply to you.
1. Federal Income Tax Withheld You should file to get money back if Federal Income Tax was withheld from your pay, you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax.
2. Making Work Pay Credit You may be able to take this credit if you had earned income from work. The maximum credit for a married couple filing a joint return is $800 and $400 for other taxpayers.
3. Earned Income Tax Credit You may qualify for EITC if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money. EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means you could qualify for a tax refund.
4. Additional Child Tax Credit This refundable credit may be available to you if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.
5. American Opportunity Credit The maximum credit per student is $2,500 and the first four years of postsecondary education qualify.
6. First-Time Home Buyer Credit The credit is a maximum of $8,000 or $4,000 if your filing status is married filing separately. To qualify for the credit, taxpayers must have bought – or entered into a binding contract to buy – a principal residence located in the United States on or before April 30, 2010. If you entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, you must have closed on the home on or before September 30, 2010. If you bought a home as your principle residence in 2010, you may be able to qualify and claim the credit even if you already owned a home. In this case, the maximum credit for long-time residents is $6,500, or $3,250 if your filing status is married filing separately.
7. Health Coverage Tax Credit Certain individuals, who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a Health Coverage Tax Credit worth 80 percent of monthly health insurance premiums when you file your 2010 tax return.