10 Tax Credits for Single Parents

If you're a single parent, there are several tax credits and deductions you should know about. Tommaso Tagliaferri/iStockphoto/ThinkStock

Getting a root canal probably isn't first on your list of fun things to do, but as you open wide and prepare to spend the next couple of hours focusing on anything but what's actually happening in your mouth, there's one thought that offers comfort: It's still better than paying taxes.

For many people, taxes are a touchy subject, one best left lumped into a category with extensive dental work and other rarely sought-after experiences. Gaining a better understanding of the taxes you owe can lead to unexpected savings. Take tax credits, for instance. Unlike tax deductions or exemptions, which help reduce the amount of income that is taxable, tax credits reduce the actual amount of tax you owe to the government, dollar-for-dollar.

Claiming a tax credit is like putting money back in your pocket, and for single parents, this can make a real difference to the bottom line. After all, it costs a single parent nearly $165,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18 [source: USDA].

Claiming federal tax credits, whether they are designed to promote specific behaviors or ease the financial burden of raising a family, can pay off. Single parents, it is time to get the credit you're due.