The complexity of tax laws can be daunting for many, yet understanding these regulations is crucial for optimizing financial health, particularly for families and individuals investing in education. Adam B. Remis, CPA and the visionary behind The Accounting Doctor, offers a treasure trove of wisdom in his webinar “2024 Tax Planning-Family and Education.” Here’s an enriched overview of the key benefits and tax credits that were discussed. Be sure to subscribe for future webinars.

SECURE 2.0 Act and TCJA: The Bedrock of Modern Tax Planning

The webinar begins with an exploration of the SECURE 2.0 Act and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), two legislative milestones with profound implications for personal and business tax planning. The SECURE 2.0 Act, for example, introduces enhancements to retirement savings opportunities, such as increasing the age for required minimum distributions and expanding the limits on catch-up contributions for individuals aged 50 and above (source: Similarly, the TCJA has reshaped the tax landscape, lowering the corporate tax rate to a flat 21% and altering individual income tax brackets, thus necessitating a strategic approach to tax planning.

Child Dependent and Adoption Credits: Supporting Family Growth

The Child Dependent Credit offers credit for children under 17, phasing out for incomes above $200,000 (single filers) and $400,000 (joint filers). For families expanding through adoption, there’s potential for an adoption credit or exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance, providing a financial buffer in this life-changing process.

For families, the Child Dependent and Adoption Credits stand out as vital tools for reducing tax liabilities. The Child Tax Credit offers up to $2,000 per qualifying child under 17, with a refundable portion known as the Additional Child Tax Credit for families with less tax liability than the credit amount (source: For those considering adoption, the Adoption Credit provides significant relief, covering eligible adoption expenses up to $14,440 per child in 2023, demonstrating the government’s support for adoptive families (source:

Care-Related Breaks: Easing the Burden of Caregiving

The child and dependent care tax credit and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) present opportunities to manage care-related expenses effectively. The credit can reach up to $3,000 for one qualifying individual or $6,000 for two or more, with FSAs allowing for pre-tax contributions to cover care expenses, subject to income phase-outs at $150,000.

The webinar delves deep into care-related tax breaks, such as the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which allows families to claim a portion of childcare expenses for children under 13 or incapacitated dependents. This credit is particularly beneficial for working parents, offering a credit of up to 35% of qualifying expenses, depending on the taxpayer’s income. (source: Similarly, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for dependent care offer a pre-tax benefit for childcare expenses, further illustrating the tax code’s role in supporting working families. (source:

Kiddie Tax and Education Savings: Investing in the Next Generation

The “kiddie tax” applies to unearned income for children under 19 (or full-time students under 24), taxing income beyond $2,200 at the parents’ rates. Strategies to mitigate this include smart gifting or investing in tax-advantaged education savings accounts.

The “Kiddie Tax” rules aim to prevent parents from shifting large sums of unearned income to their children to take advantage of lower tax rates. Income generated by a child’s assets over a certain threshold is taxed at the parents’ rate, ensuring fairness in tax liabilities. Meanwhile, 529 plans emerge as robust vehicles for education savings, offering tax-free growth and withdrawals for qualified education expenses, extending from K-12 to higher education and student loan repayments, up to a $10,000 limit (source:

Navigating Student Loans and Specialized Accounts for Disability

Interest paid on student loans can yield up to a $2,500 deduction, with certain employers offering tax-free student loan repayment benefits up to $5,250 annually. This period of tax relief for forgiven student loans, especially relevant given recent discussions on student debt, underscores the value of strategic planning in managing education costs.

Student loan interest deductions offer relief for borrowers, allowing the deduction of up to $2,500 of paid interest annually, subject to income limitations, directly reducing taxable income even for those who don’t itemize deductions. ABLE accounts provide a pathway for individuals with disabilities to save for qualified expenses without jeopardizing eligibility for public assistance, underscoring the tax code’s inclusivity (source:

Education Credits: Fueling Lifelong Learning

529 Plans: A Versatile Educational Tool

529 Plans offer unparalleled flexibility for funding education, from K-12 tuition to college expenses and student loan repayments. Contributions grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals for educational expenses are tax-free. Additionally, some states offer deductions or credits for contributions, enhancing the benefit.

ABLE Accounts: Supporting Those with Disabilities

ABLE accounts provide a means to save for qualified disability expenses without affecting eligibility for public assistance. Contributions to these accounts grow tax-free, providing a critical resource for individuals who became disabled before age 26 and their families.

Education Credits: Direct Tax Relief

The American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit directly reduce tax liability for educational expenses. The former offers up to $2,500 per eligible student for the first four years of higher education, while the latter provides up to $2,000 per tax return for tuition and fees, available for all years of post-secondary education and for courses to acquire or improve job skills.

Finally, the webinar highlights the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit, two education credits that directly reduce tax liability for post-secondary education expenses. The American Opportunity Credit offers a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student for the first four years of post-secondary education, partially refundable if it exceeds the taxpayer’s liability (source: In contrast, the Lifetime Learning Credit provides up to $2,000 per tax return for tuition and fees, available for an unlimited number of years, making it a versatile option for lifelong learners (source:


Adam B. Remis, CPA’s webinar illuminates the myriad ways tax planning can support families and individuals in achieving their financial and educational goals. By leveraging the tax benefits and credits available, taxpayers can navigate the complexities of the tax code to enhance their financial wellness. As always, consultation with a tax professional is recommended to tailor these strategies to individual circumstances, ensuring maximized benefits and compliance with current tax laws.