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Avoid These 5 Costly Last-Minute Tax-Filing Mistakes

March 29, 2019
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As the tax filing deadline approaches, Citrin Cooperman Partner, Stacy Gibert, CPA, speaks with contributor, Marcy Tolkoff, JD, to talk over the mistakes that take your tax dollars, such as not taking advantage of certain tax credits to reduce your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Stacy discusses the following:

"A deduction to reduce your MAGI is a great perk, but a dollar-for-dollar credit that reduces your taxes owed is like a winning golden ticket," says Stacy L. Gilbert, CPA, an audit and tax partner with accounting firm Citrin Cooperman in Livingston, New Jersey.

"Under the new tax law," Gilbert says, "the Child Tax Credit has been doubled to $2000 per qualifying child, along with higher income limits so more highly compensated taxpayers are able to take advantage of it." And if you and your spouse are both employed and pay qualifying dependent care expenses, you may be able to take advantage of the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

"The credit is equal to 20%–35% of qualified expenses," she explains. "The maximum amount of qualified expenses to which the credit is applied is $3000 for one child or $6000 for two or more."

Additional credit opportunities exist for "green" taxpayers. "A residential energy tax credit is in place for up to 30% of the cost of solar energy systems, including purchases of solar water heaters and solar panels," says Gilbert. "And if you purchased a new plug-in electric-drive motor vehicle, you may be eligible for a credit of up to $7500, as long as you meet minimum rechargeable battery requirements."

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