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Many working taxpayers are eligible for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit in 2010. The credit is based on earned income and is claimed on your 2010 tax return when you file your taxes in 2011.

Here are five things the IRS wants you to know about this tax credit to ensure you receive the entire amount for which you are eligible.

          1. The Making Work Pay Credit provides a refundable tax credit of up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

          2. Most workers received the benefit of the Making Work Pay Credit through larger paychecks, reflecting reduced federal income tax withholding during 2010.

         3. Taxpayers who file Form 1040 or 1040A will use Schedule M to figure the Making Work Pay Tax Credit. Completing Schedule M will help taxpayers determine whether they have already received the full credit in their paycheck or are due more money as a result of the credit.

          4. Taxpayers who file Form 1040-EZ should use the worksheet for Line 8 on the back of the 1040-EZ to figure their Making Work Pay Credit.

          5. You cannot take the credit if your modified adjusted gross income is $95,000 for individuals or $190,000 if married filing jointly or more, you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else return, you do not have a valid social security number or you are a nonresident alien.
Five Important Facts about the Making Work Pay Credit
Tax Tips for Self-employed Individuals
If you are in business for yourself, or carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, you generally would consider yourself self-employed and you would file IRS Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit From Business with your Form 1040.

Here are six things the IRS wants you to know about self-employment:

          1. Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job.

          2. If you are self-employed you generally have to pay Self-employment Tax. Self-employment tax is a social security and Medicare tax primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the social security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. You figure SE tax yourself using a Form 1040 Schedule SE. Also, you can deduct half of your self-employment tax in figuring your adjusted gross income.

          3. If you are self-employed you generally have to make estimated tax payments. This applies even if you also have a full-time or part-time job and your employer withholds taxes from your wages. Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. If you donít make quarterly payments you may be penalized for underpayment at the end of the tax year.

          4. You can deduct the costs of running your business. These costs are known as business expenses. These are costs you do not have to capitalize or include in the cost of goods sold but can deduct in the current year.

          5. To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your field of business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business. An expense does not have to be indispensable to be considered necessary.
For more information see IRS Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business, IRS Publication 535, Business Expenses and Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, available at http://www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS forms and publications order line at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676
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Seven Facts about the Expanded Adoption Credit
You may be able to take a tax credit of up to $13,170 for qualified expenses paid to adopt an eligible child. The Affordable Care Act increased the amount of the credit and made it refundable, which means it can increase the amount of your refund.

Here are seven things the IRS wants you to know about the expanded adoption credit.

          1. Beginning in tax year 2010 the credit is refundable, meaning that you can get it even if you owe no tax.

          2. For tax year 2010 you must file a paper tax return and Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, to get the credit and you must attach documents supporting the adoption.

          3. Documents may include a final adoption decree, placement agreement from an authorized agency, court documents and the stateís determination for special needs children.

          4. Qualified adoption expenses are reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the legal adoption of the child. These expenses may include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees and travel expenses.

          5. An eligible child must be under 18 years old, or physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself.

          6. If your modified adjusted gross income is more than $182,520, your credit is reduced. If your modified AGI is $222,520 or more, you cannot take the credit.

  1. Taxpayers claiming the credit will still be able to use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed and mailed to the IRS, along with all required documentation.
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