tax credit

Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of tax credit

:an amount of money that is subtracted from taxes owed
  • Families with children in college will receive a tax credit this year.

Word by Word Definitions

tax play
  1. : a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes

  2. : a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses

  3. : a heavy demand

  1. : to levy a tax on

  2. : to make onerous and rigorous demands on

  3. : charge, accuse

  1. : arrangement

credit play
  1. : reliance on the truth or reality of something

  2. : the balance in a person's favor in an account

  3. : an amount or sum placed at a person's disposal by a bank

  1. : to trust in the truth of : believe

  2. : to supply goods on credit to

  3. : to bring credit or honor upon


Financial Definition of TAX CREDIT

tax credit

What It Is

A tax credit is permission to reduce the amount of income that is subject to tax. A tax credit is not the same as a tax deduction.

How It Works

For example, the Internal Revenue Service’s child tax credit allows taxpayers to reduce their federal income taxes by a fixed amount for each qualifying child. A qualifying child is a dependent under 17 who is a U.S. citizen or a resident alien. The child must be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, adopted child, grandchild, stepchild, eligible foster child, sibling, stepsibling or descendant. The child must live with the taxpayer for more than one-half of the tax year. In many cases, divorced parents decide which parent receives the child credit.

The child tax credit is not a tax deduction, it is a credit. That means it is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill rather than a reduction in your taxable income.

Why It Matters

Tax credits obviously lower a person’s tax bill, which is why taxpayers invest time in seeking out credits and structuring transactions to maximize those credits. There are several different types of tax credits, though some are only available to people in certain income ranges (typically under $100,000-$150,000) and most are only available to people in certain circumstances or companies in certain industries.


Law Dictionary

tax credit

noun

legal Definition of tax credit

:an amount that may be subtracted from the sum of tax otherwise due and that is distinguished from a deduction applied to gross income in the calculation of taxable income — compare exemption

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