The IRS allows for American taxpayers to lighten the financial burden of their obligations to the government through an assortment of programs offered in the forms of both tax credit and tax deduction programs.
These measures for relief may be applicable under various circumstances and for the purpose of relieving different kinds of financial burdens, but in addition to these specific issues, the interested applicant should be aware of the basic difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction. With this knowledge in hand, an American taxpayer can more effectively meet her or his tax obligation.
The tax deduction/tax credit distinction essentially rests on the respective difference between the portion of the individual’s income that can be taxed and the actual financial burden thereby imposed on the individual.
For the practical purpose of taxpayers trying to permissibly hold on to as much of their income as possible, the difference in the application of the two measures can be as termed as the flexibility offered by a tax deduction as opposed to the strict and unconditional benefit offered by a tax credit.
The consideration of which of these measures is most useful may depend on the IRS bracket which a taxpayer’s annual income places him or her. Financial experts and commentators commonly point to a tax credit, however, as the option most likely to optimize the savings available to a taxpayer.
To further explain, a tax deduction is relevant to the percentage of a person’s income that is due to the government. The percentage that the IRS decides to ask for in this way differs according to the income bracket of the taxpayer and will therefore be appropriately raised or lowered as that person’s financial condition establishes as appropriate.
In this way, a person in a higher income bracket may be more likely to benefit from a tax deduction, while people in lower brackets tend to find the tax credit option more applicable. The flat rate offered by a tax credit is offered across the broad spectrum of income situations as are provided for under the United States system of taxation.
A particularly useful and welcome aspect of the tax credit option, at least for some taxpayers, is that it can place the financial burden on the government instead, allowing for the taxpayer to receive payments from the government rather than, as is usually the case, the reverse.
The choice between a tax credit and a tax deduction may also have to be made, as the specific government provisions for such forms of financial relief are often specified not to operate in concert with each other, but to require the taxpayer to pick a single plan. Taxpayers should also be aware that specific tax credit options are often created and removed on a yearly basis, and to this end, should remain aware of the various forms in which such measures for relief are being offered, as their applicability may not expand beyond a single tax year.