Tax Tips for New Parents

Last Minute Tax Help For New Parents

"If I had a million dollars . . . I'd buy you a house." Even those with a million dollars may be feeling the pinch today. An estimated 10 million people still have not filed their 2009 tax forms and though post offices are open late, procrastinators only have a few more hours to fill out their 1040s and get them shipped off to the IRS.

Parents who welcomed lil ones in the past year may want to give their tots a special treat today. Your new addition is not only the apple of your eye, but a tax break for you too. For mamas who are rushing to get their forms in the mail, here are five tax tips new parents may have missed:

  • Childbirth classes. According to Ernst & Young, one of the most commonly overlooked tax deductions is childbirth preparation class fees. Considered a medical expense, it can be listed in that category on your return.
  • Child tax credit. Each US taxpayer receives a $3,650 personal exemption for each dependent child under the age of 19 (or under 24 years old if they are a full-time student).
  • Child care tax credit. Up to 35 percent of child care costs (up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more tots) can be used toward a credit on your returns. Once tots enter school, Summer camps are considered to be child care, and their tuition fees can be used toward that credit.
  • Babysitting tax credit. If you hire a babysitter to watch your tots so you can do volunteer work with a charitable organization, you can deduct the fees as a charitable contribution.
  • Adoption tax credit. Adoptive parents can claim up to $12,150 (depending on their income) to cover agency, attorney, and travel fees.
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