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Tax Credits and Deductions

How to Start Saving

It’s back-to-basics week for me and time to talk about getting started saving for college. If you want your children to go to college, you need to save. Period. That’s the easy part. Harder is where and how much. People worry that they’re going to lose out on financial aid if they save. Yes, your savings will add a small…

New Year’s Resolutions for 2021

Has there ever been a year as hotly anticipated as 2021? And among all the new year’s resolutions to get back to living our best lives as soon as we can– travel, time with friends and family, in-person school– might I suggest some resolutions for families of college-bound children? I’ve divided them by age range to make it easy for…

College Students and Stimulus Payments

This post is from December, 2020. If you are looking for information on the stimulus payments from March 2021, please go here. With a new round of stimulus payments coming under the new stimulus deal, many families of college students are hearing that they should declare their college students independent so that they can claim the stimulus payments. That may…

Claiming the AOTC

The American Opportunity Tax Credit is usually the best tax benefit available to families. But it has some rules you should be aware of in order to make the most of it. The AOTC is worth up to $2,500 per year, per student, for four years. To claim it, the family must spend $4,000 on qualified expenses from a non-529…

FAFSA: Is it Income?

The FAFSA asks about income numerous ways: it collects your tax return data through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and then poses a number of additional questions about income. So let’s look at those. First, the IRS DRT pulls your 2019 tax data including adjusted gross income and actual taxes paid. However, that leaves some items out and the FAFSA…

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