Overview of Select Tax Return Credits

The following list of tax credits is intended to be a "memory jogger" for the ones we see frequently, but forget the key aspects of their applicability.

IMPORTANT! Not all credits and deductions are in the scope of the TaxAide program. Always refer to the TaxAide Scope Manual to determine if we are allowed to work on a tax return which claims a particular credit or deduction.

ALSO IMPORTANT! For all credits shown below, there are more qualifiers than those listed. These key aspects are intended to serve as an indication of whether to pursue looking at the full list of qualifications for the particular credit.


Child and Dependent Care Credit
Key aspects = this is for the care of qualifying dependents.
  - A dependent qualifying child who is under age 13 when the care is provided, or
  - A spouse who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care and lived with you for more than half of the year, or
  - Any other person who lived with you for more than half of the year and is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, and meets other qualifications.
Ref: (https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc602)


Child Tax Credit
Key aspect = a qualifying child under age 17 at the end of the tax year and meets other qualifications.
Ref: (https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-and-credit-for-other-dependents-at-a-glance)

Credit for Other Dependents
Key aspect = a $500 credit for other dependents of any age who do not qualify for the $2,000 child tax credit but meet other qualifications, including gross income less than $4,150.
Ref: (https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-and-credit-for-other-dependents-at-a-glance)
Also, Pub 4012 pg G-12, Pub 4491 pg 25-6


Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
Key aspect = a non-refundable tax credit for low income elderly (age 65 and older), or disabled persons.
Ref: (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p524)


Earned Income Tax Credit
Key aspect = a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children. The qualifying ages for children are:

  • Child must be younger than the taxpayer (and spouse if filing jointly) and younger than age 19 at end of filing year if not a full-time student.
  • Child must be younger than the taxpayer (and spouse if filing jointly) and younger than age 24 at end of filing year if a full-time student.
  • Child can be any age if permanently and totally disabled.

The amount of EITC benefit varies depending on a recipient's earned income and number of children.
Ref: (https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit)

Education Expenses for Education Credits
Key aspect = tuition, fees and other related expenses.
Also, for the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), books, supplies, and equipment are qualifying expenses.
Ref: (https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/qualified-ed-expenses)


For a complete list of all credits and deductions, see https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions-for-individuals.