By Barbara Weltman
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Additional resources for AARP J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2011. Your Complete Guide to Everything Deductible
If there is no divorce decree or separation agreement with a statement on the dependency exemption for the noncustodial parent or the custodial parent fails to sign a written declaration waiving the exemption, then a so-called tiebreaker rule applies. Under this rule, the exemption belongs to the parent with whom the child resided for the greater amount of time, or if equal time, then to the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. Thus, the custodial parent will usually prevail because the child is a member of the custodial parent's household for more time during the year than the child is a member of the noncustodial parent's household.
S. S. military basic quarters and subsistence allowances, and net earnings from self-employment (profit from your self-employment activities). Military personnel can elect to treat tax-free combat pay as earned income for purposes of the earned income credit. 5 AGI Phaseout Range for the Earned Income Credit in 2010 Number of Qualifying Children Married Filing Jointly Other Taxpayers No qualifying child $12,490–18,470 $7,480–13,460 One qualifying child $21,460–40,545 $16,450–35,535 Two qualifying children $21,460–45,373 $16,450–40,363 Three or more qualifying children $21,460–48,362 $16,450–43,352 Nontaxable employee compensation, such as tax-free fringe benefits or salary deferrals—for example, contributions to company 401(k) plans—is not treated as earned income.
Limits on Qualifying for Tax-Favored Items In many cases, eligibility for a tax benefit, or the extent to which it can be claimed, depends on adjusted gross income (AGI) or modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Adjusted gross income is gross income (all the income you are required to report) minus certain deductions (called "adjustments to gross income"). Adjustments or subtractions you can make to your gross income to arrive at your adjusted gross income are limited to the following items: Alimony payments Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) (for accounts set up prior to 2008) Business expenses Capital loss deductions of up to $3,000 Domestic production activities deduction Educator expenses up to $250 Forfeiture-of-interest penalties because of early withdrawals from certificates of deposit (CDs) Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions Individual Retirement Account (IRA) deductions Jury duty pay turned over to your employer Legal fees for unlawful discrimination claims Moving expenses Net operating losses (NOLs) One-half of self-employment tax Performing artist's qualifying expenses Qualified retirement plan contributions for self-employed individuals Rent and royalty expenses Repayment of supplemental unemployment benefits required because of the receipt of trade readjustment allowances Self-employed health insurance deductions Simplified employee pension (SEP) or savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE) contributions for self-employed individuals Student loan interest deduction up to $2,500 Travel expenses to attend National Guard or military reserve meetings more than 100 miles from home Tuition and fees deduction up to $4,000 Alert The above-the-line deductions for educator expenses and tuition and fees expired at the end of 2009.
AARP J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2011. Your Complete Guide to Everything Deductible by Barbara Weltman