Jackson Hewitt's Weekly 'Tax Time Tip': Tax Considerations for Parents, Non-Traditional Families and Other Taxpayers Claiming Dependents

PARSIPPANY, N.J., March 19 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) uses this week's installment of its weekly series, "Jackson Hewitt Tax Time Tips," to focus on tips for parents, grandparents, non-traditional families and others who may be curious about the benefits available to them for children or other qualified dependents that they care for as they prepare their 2007 tax returns.

This Week's Tip: The typical American family is changing. In 2006, nine percent of all households were headed by a single parent* and 64% of people age 65 and older lived with relatives.** For taxpayers in these blended families and other non-traditional households, there are important tax implications to know about when filing their 2007 tax return.

"More and more people are living in non-traditional households that may include stepparents, unmarried partners and even grandparents," comments Mark Steber, vice president of Tax Resources, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "Not only are there several child-related tax deductions and credits available for claiming, but now there is also a new clarification on claiming unrelated children and other dependents, such as an aging parent."

Some significant tax considerations for those raising children or caring for another qualifying dependent for the 2007 tax year include:

  • A new clarification on how an unrelated child may be claimed as a dependant. According to the IRS, it is no longer necessary for a child to be a blood relative, or related by marriage, in order for the individual supporting that child to claim a deduction. For 2007, the taxpayer may be entitled to a $3,400 exemption per dependent.
  • Taxpayers with qualifying children may be able to claim the Child Tax Credit (up to $1,000 for each child under the age of 17 as of December 31, 2007) or the Child and Dependent Care Credit, a nonrefundable credit (up to $2,100 for multiple dependents) for taxpayers who paid child care expenses for a dependent child under the age of 13, for a disabled spouse, or for another qualified dependent during 2007.
  • Remember that both the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit also pertain to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren; it is not limited only to parents.
  • If you are a working parent, or you were working and are now looking for work, you may be able to claim a credit for your child care expenses. The credit may be as much as $1,050 for the expenses for one qualifying child or $2,100 for more than one child, depending on your adjusted gross income.
  • A person may file as Head of Household if he or she was separated or has not lived with their spouse the entire last half of 2007, had a dependent child or other qualifying dependent living in the household, and incurs at least 50 percent of the cost of keeping up a home.

"Claiming someone as your dependent may significantly reduce the tax liability on your federal tax return and may also affect your filing status. It is important to note that a dependent does not have to be your child," explains Steber. "He or she can be a person who is related to you, such as a parent you may be caring for, or another person who has lived with you during the entire year as a member of your household. Speak with a tax preparer to find out all of the rules for claiming a qualifying dependent."

A knowledgeable tax preparer can help parents, grandparents raising grandchildren and other non-traditional families filing a 2007 tax return determine which credits and deductions they are entitled to, as well as answer a host of other filing-related questions. For more information and tips or to locate a nearby office, consult the Jackson Hewitt Web site at www.jacksonhewitt.com.

* For 2006 calendar year. Source: U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov/Press- Release/www/releases/archives/families_households/009842.html) (Due to the length of the URL, please copy and paste into your browser.)

* * Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with approximately 6,800 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States during the 2008 tax season, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The Company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.

Contact: Melissa Connerton, CooperKatz & Company, 212-455-8001, mconnerton@cooperkatz.com

SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service


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