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There’s still time to reduce your AGI for 2011

October 16, 2011 Posted by Tasha Helms

Many tax breaks, like tax credits, deductions and other tax benefits, are reduced or even eliminated if your adjusted gross income (AGI), or modified AGI exceed certain thresholds. The year-end is approaching quickly and those of you who otherwise qualify for these tax breaks should consider modifying or reducing your 2011 AGI. Here are some key tax breaks that may be limited by AGI thresholds.

  • Up to $4,000 deduction for qualified higher education expenses paid.
  • Nondeductible Roth IRA contributions.
  • Deductible contributions to traditional IRAs by those who are active participants in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
  • Deductible contributions to traditional IRAs if you are married and not an active plan participant but your spouse is.
  • $1,ooo child tax credit for children under age 17.
  • American Opportunity Credit (formerly the Hope Credit) and the Lifetime Learning Credit for higher education expenses at accredited post-secondary education institutions.
  • Up to a $2,500 deduction for interest paid on qualified education loans.
  • Contributions (up to $2,500 annually) to a tax-exempt Coverdell Education Savings Account (CESA) for an individual under age 18.
  • Tax-free break on U.S. savings bonds redeemed to pay qualified higher education expenses.
  • Credit for qualified adoption expenses.
  • A limited offset of non-passive income against passive losses for an active participation rental real estate activity.

Other key items affected by AGI levels are miscellaneous itemized deductions, Social Security benefit taxation, medical expense deduction and non-business casualty loss deduction.

Contact your tax professional regarding the details of these tax breaks and how reducing your AGI levels may benefit you.

Stay tuned for some techniques that may assist in keeping your AGI levels below relevant phase-out thresholds and potentially reduce your income tax burden.


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