Yesterday I decided to get a jump start on our taxes. The past few years we owed money which is never fun, so last year we adjusted my wife’s W-4 to make up the loss, or so I thought.
I learned something new yesterday while working on my taxes…the $2,000 per child tax credit ends when your kids turn 17. My twin boys turned 17 last year which means their “dependent” tax credit is now only $1,000 total on our taxes. Ouch.
When my wife I and adjusted her W-4, we didn’t think the age cut off would be 17, but instead 18, when most kids graduate from high school and start thinking about attending college.
But does losing a tax credit at 17 or 18 even make sense for a parent?
To me, some of the most expensive years raising kids will be the four years (or more) they want to attend college or trade school. I think a tax credit during those years for parents would allow for more money in their pockets to help fund those four years for their kids. A $2,000 per child credit for my wife and I would help us cover books, travel and living expenses for our soon to be college students.
What if, instead of cutting the tax credit off at 17, the government extended that credit to anyone who could prove their kids are in college for the next four years? As long as I can prove my boys are attending a college, I continue to get the tax credit to help them with those expenses mentioned above. Once the four years are over, you can drop the tax credit and I’ll pay without an issue.
The age of 17 just seems like an odd time to drop that credit for parents and children.
I’m signing off now to go list more records for sale in my Discogs store to cover our taxes this year!