How do life events affect my tax return?

Life brings many surprises. Your tax return shouldn’t.

Many important events in your life during the past year may have a significant tax impact. Buying a home, having a baby, switching jobs, getting divorced, retiring and other lifestyle changes can affect your taxes.

Most people don’t know exactly how these life events can affect their tax situation. We want to make sure you understand the implications.

Here’s a very brief overview. Keep in mind this list does not include everything. If you see something that looks like it might affect you, the IRS has a long list of resources, publications and forms that explain more.

Children: You may qualify for the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit or Education Credits. If you adopted a child, you may need to know more about the Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number.

Marriage: If you changed your name, you need to take steps to ensure the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration.

Divorce or Separations: You might have a change of address, change of name or change of withholding. Additionally, you’ll need to know how to treat alimony, child support, property settlements and more on your tax return.

New career or unemployment: When you start a new job, you must fill out Form W-4. If you received unemployment compensation, you should receive Form 1099-G and report the amount you received as income.

Retirement: There is a lot to know about Social Security, IRAs and other retirement plans. You may be eligible for a credit for making contributions to your retirement savings.

Homeownership: Know what you can and cannot deduct on your return as well as how you treat items such as closing costs, real estate taxes, home mortgage interest and more.

Sign in to to begin or finish your return. When entering your basic information, follow the Life Events Wizard to answer a series of questions to learn more about life events and their impact on your tax return.

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