Save Money with Tax Credits

Use these tax credits―some of them brand-new―to lower your tax bill even more!

First-time home-buyer credit: If you bought a home last year or will do so before April 30 this year, get a credit of up to $8,000. Not your first home? As long as you were in your prior home for five years, you can claim this credit.

Child credit: Claim $1,000 per child younger than 17.

Dependent-care credit: Claim up to 35 percent of child-care costs, as well as dependent-care expenses for a person unable to look after him or herself. The limit is $3,000 for one, $6,000 for two or more.

Making Work Pay credit: If taxes are withheld from your pay, your $400 credit was spread out in your 2009 checks. If your taxes aren’t withheld, claim it.

Postsecondary educational credits: With the new American Opportunity credit, get $2,500 per student for four years. Or receive $2,000 per student per year for two years with the Lifetime Learning credit. Take just one of these credits each year.

Energy-efficiency improvement credits: Receive 30 percent of the cost, up to $1,500, back on new energy-efficient doors, windows, insulation, roofs and other products. See energystar.gov/taxcredits.

Earned Income tax credit: Low- and middle-income workers might qualify. To find out if you’re eligible and to get assistance from the IRS (the rules are complicated), go to irs.gov/eitc, and click on “EITC Assistant.”