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Illinois CPA Society Reminds You of Ways to Save on Your 2011 Taxes

Chicago, IL – As the tax filing deadline quickly approaches, you may be scrambling to get everything filed on time. Make sure you don’t overlook money saving opportunities. The Illinois CPA Society suggests a few common tax credits that may help put more cash in your pocket come April:
• The American Opportunity Credit: Open to a broader range of taxpayers than previously, this education credit is worth up to $2,500 – with 40 percent of the credit being refundable up to $1,000 – for non-dependent students or parents. Required course materials are now included in the qualifying expenses and you can claim the full credit for four years as long as your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married joint-filers. The credit is reduced for taxpayers with incomes above these amounts.

• The Child Tax Credit: Taxpayers can claim a $1,000 credit for each dependent child that is under age 17 on December 31, 2011, including any adopted children. To qualify for the full credit, you must have an AGI of $110,000 or less if filing jointly or $75,000 if single. The credit is reduced for taxpayers with incomes above these amounts.

• Adoption Tax Credit: In addition to the Child Tax Credit, if you adopted a child and have an AGI of $185,210 or less, you may be eligible for a credit of up to $13,360 per child based on your qualifying expenses. If you adopted a special needs child, you qualify for the credit regardless of actual expenses paid or incurred.

• Residential Energy Property Credit: If you made any energy efficient home improvements to your principal residence in 2011, including adding insulation, new energy efficient exterior windows and heating systems, you may qualify for a credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of all qualifying improvements up to $500. The credit is reduced by residential property credits that you have taken since 2005.

Additionally, procrastinators will have a reprise this year. Since April 15 is a Sunday and April 16 is a Washington, D.C. holiday, the tax filing deadline this year is extended to April 17. The extra time and a CPA can help you maximize your savings. Use the “Find a CPA” Directory on the Illinois CPA Society’s site,, to locate one in your area.

About the Illinois CPA Society
The Illinois CPA Society, founded in 1903, is the fourth largest state CPA Society in the nation, with more than 24,000 members. It is the premier professional organization that represents CPAs in Illinois. During its over 100 years of existence, the Society has advanced the highest ethical and financial standards of the profession, and has been a leader in educating the public on financial issues.

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