Federal Tax Credits for Family, Children, Home, Work, and School

special tax credit for your tax return

What is a Tax Credit?

A tax credit reduces your tax payments. It's similar to keeping bigger slices of an apple: the more tax credits you claim, the more of your money you get to keep (and decrease your tax payments in the process!).

Tax deductions are similar to tax credits. Deductions can help you reduce your taxable income, as well as increase your tax refund.

When you prepare your tax return on efile.com, we will automatically generate the correct form(s) for you to report your tax credit or deduction based on the information you provide.

How Do I Qualify to Claim Tax Credits?

In order to claim most tax credits (except some retirement contributions) for the current Tax Year, the payments or expenses have to occur during the Tax Year or no later than December 31.

What Are the Different Types of Tax Credits?

Take a little time to learn more about these tax credits now and you may save hundreds or thousands of dollars on your tax return: 

Tax Credits for Families and Parents

Tax Credits for Homeowners

Tax Credits for Employees/Workers

Medical Tax Credits

Tax Credits for Education

Retirement Tax Credits

Green Energy Tax Credits

Miscellaneous/Other Tax Credits

ATTENTION: See tax breaks, tax credits, or deductions that could expire or have expired.


Tax income deductions Tax Credits for Families and Parents

Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit is worth up to $1,000 for each qualifying child. This tax credit is meant to provide help to parents with qualifying children. The Child Tax Credit is different from the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

eFile Tax Tip: Use the FREE efile.com "KIDucator" child tax credit tax tool to find whether or not you qualify for the Child Tax Credit.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

Child and dependent care can be very expensive. However, there are certain cases where you may claim a deduction on family-related expenses if you are in the process of looking for a job. Depending on the particulars of the situation, you may reduce your tax by claiming the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit on your federal income tax return for any expenses related to payments made to someone to care for a child under the age 13, a qualifying spouse, or a dependent.

Adoption Tax Credit

The Adoption Tax Credit is designed to help parents with the expenses involved in adopting a qualified child. An eligible child is any child under 18 or a child with special needs that lacks the ability to care for him or herself.

The maximum available Adoption Tax Credit amount for Tax Year 2016 is $13,460 per qualifying child.

Other Tax Credits for Parents with Children or Dependents

More information on children tax credits

More tax credits for parents with dependents and children

Credit for the Elderly and Disabled

You may be able to claim the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled if you are 65 years of age or older, or if you retired on total and permanent disability and have taxable disability income. To take the credit, however, your income must not exceed certain limits.


Tax return home deductions Tax Credits for Homeowners

Home Energy Tax Credits

There is a home energy tax credit available for installing a renewable-energy source in your home, such as solar panels or a geothermal heat pump. The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit can be worth up to 30% of your expenses.


Tax return work deductions Tax Credits for Employees/Workers

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a credit for taxpayers who earn low to moderate incomes. EITC can reduce your taxes, and can mean a refund. Meaning more working families and individuals may keep more of what they work for.

eFile Tax Tip: Use our FREE "EICucator" earned income tax credit tax tool to find out whether or not you qualify to claim the credit on your Tax Return.

Foreign Tax Credit

The Foreign Tax Credit was implemented to reduce a double tax burden for citizens earning income outside of the United States—once by the United States and again by the foreign country where the income is derived.


tax related medical deductions Medical Tax Credits

Premium Tax Credit

Individual taxpayers and families may be able to claim the refundable Premium Tax Credit if they have low to moderate incomes and purchased health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. They can have the credit paid in advance to their insurance company in order to decrease their monthly premium payments or claim all of the credit on on their tax return.


Tax return student deductions Tax Credits for Education

Student Tax Credits

There are two major education tax credits available for both new and continuing students: the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Each credit offers special advantages to students but both credits may not be claimed by the same student in the same year.

eFile Tax Tip: Our student page has a complete list of many student tax related topics. It's a must for any student.


Tax deductions for retirement Retirement Tax Credits

Saver's Credit - Retirement Savings Contribution Credit

The Saver's Credit, formerly known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, helps middle-income families to save for retirement (especially if they contribute to a retirement plan).

For Tax Year 2016, the Saver's Credit allowed taxpayers to reduce their income tax dollar-for-dollar by up to $1,000 ($2,000 for married filing jointly). The exact amount of the credit depends on their income, filing status, and the total amount of their qualified contributions.


tax deductions for alternative energy Green Energy Tax Credits

Hybrid / Electric Car Credit

There are two tax credits available to individuals who purchased an energy-efficient car in 2016:

  1. If you bought a new qualified fuel cell vehicle in 2016, you may be eligible for the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit.
  2. You may qualify for the Tax Credit for Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles (worth up to $7,500) if you purchased a two- or three-wheeled vehicle. The amount of your credit generally depends on the year the vehicle was made.

Home Energy Tax Credit

If you installed a renewable-energy source in your home, such as small wind turbines a solar water heater, you may qualify to claim the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit. This tax credit can be worth up to 30% of your expenses, and it is currently available through 2016.


tax related miscellaneous deductionsMiscellaneous/Other Tax Credits

Tax Credits for American Citizens Living, Working Abroad

U.S. citizens and resident aliens from the United States working or living in a foreign country during the year are allowed the same tax credits as U.S. citizens and residents from the U.S. living in the United States. Check out our detailed summary on tax credits for Americans living or working abroad.

More Information on Tax Breaks and Savings

Tax Credit Planning Tips

Qualify for Tax Deductions

All-Year Tax Planning Tips

See if you qualify to claim tax deductions and credits by using the efile.com free tax tools!