The Truth About Tax Credits

The federal income-tax code has been kind to our family for the past several years. We have adopted two children since Congress increased the adoption tax credit to $10,000-plus, and we currently get another $3,000 in tax credits just for having three children.

But what Uncle Sam giveth, Uncle Sam taketh away.

While our family is anxious about the child tax credit reverting to a much lower rate unless Congress acts, reader BC noted in an e-mail that a worse fate awaits our family budget as our children get older.

He said 2007 was a “black” year in his home as his youngest outgrew the child tax credit in August. “So no more $1,000 credits — just pure, undiluted taxes.”

“Tax credits are great,” BC added. “But you would think they would GROW each year — perhaps $50-$100 times the age of your child to age 21. But that would make too much sense. Instead, they expire at 17, when children reach the point of greatest expense. Only a politician could come up with that.”


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