tax credit

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Related to tax credit: Child tax credit, Investment tax credit

Tax credit

A direct dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax allowed for expenses such as child care and R&D for building low-income housing. Compare tax deduction.

Tax Credit

A direct, dollar-for-dollar reduction of one's tax liability. That is, if a taxpayer otherwise owes $2,000 to the government in income tax, but has $1,000 in tax credits, then the taxpayer only owes $1,000. Tax credits may be either refundable or non-refundable. A refundable tax credit means that if one's tax liability goes below zero, the government owes the taxpayer the remainder of the credit. Non-refundable credits mean that the tax liability cannot go below zero. Relatively few tax credits are refundable; most are limited to the amount of one's tax liability. However, the earned income tax credit is a common example of a refundable credit.

tax credit

A reduction in the amount of taxes owed. For example, corporations are permitted a credit on U.S. taxes for taxes paid to foreign governments, and individuals could, for a number of years, claim a tax credit for a portion of expenditures for certain energy-saving home improvements. A tax credit is more valuable than a deduction of an equal amount because the credit results in a reduction in tax owed rather than a reduction in taxable income. See also foreign tax credit.

Tax credit.

A tax credit is an amount you can subtract from the tax you would otherwise owe. Unlike a deduction or exemption, a credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill.

For example, if you pay someone to care for your young children or for elderly or disabled relatives, you may be able to subtract that money, up to a set limit.

Among the other tax credits for which you may qualify are the Hope scholarship and lifetime learning education credits, a credit for purchasing a hybrid car, or a credit for adopting a child. The list changes from time to time.

Some but not all credits are available to people whose income is less than the ceilings Congress sets. Other credits are available to anyone who has spent the money.

tax credit


tax credit


tax credit

A direct reduction against income tax liability. Credits reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar. Common tax credits include

1. Earned income credit, used to assist low-income taxpayers.
2. Saver's tax credit, for contributions to qualified retirement plans by low-income individuals.
3. Child-related credits for child- and dependent-care expenses, adoption expenses, and the child tax credit.
4. Education credits, particularly the Hope credit and the lifetime learning credit.
5. Credits for the elderly or disabled.
6. Mortgage credit certificate programs by some state and local governments may be used for tax credits on federal income taxes. 7. Work opportunity credits (for businesses).
8. Rehabilitation credits.

Contrast with a tax deduction, which merely reduces income on which taxes are calculated.

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