We keep track of all the tax law changes so you don't have to. TaxAct 2015 federal and state products have all the latest tax law changes to help you get your maximum guaranteed refund the fastest way possible!

Employees

The maximum amount of your earned income on which you pay Social Security tax is now $118,500. When you reach that amount with one employer, they should stop withholding Social Security tax from your pay until the following year. If you work for more than one employer, and your total earnings are more than $118,500, TaxAct calculates a credit for any overpayment of Social Security taxes.

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If you qualify, you can exclude up to $100,800 of your foreign earned income from your taxable income for 2015. If you and your spouse both work in a foreign country and meet the qualifications, you may each be able to exclude up to $100,800.

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Families

You may qualify for a credit equal to up to $13,400 of your adoption expenses. If your employer provides adoption benefits, you may also be able to exclude up to the same amount from your income. Both a credit and exclusion may be claimed for the same adoption, but not for the same expense. The credit is now permanent and indexed to inflation.

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Starting in 2015, if you claim a foreign earned income or housing exclusion, you cannot claim the refundable portion of the child tax credit, also known as the additional child tax credit.

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Homeowners

The canceled debit exclusion provides tax relief on canceled debt for many homeowners involved in the mortgage foreclosure crisis. You may exclude up to $2,000,000 ($1,000,000 if married filing separately) of canceled qualified principal residence indebtedness from taxable income.

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Everyone

The standard amount you can deduct from income if you don't itemize your deductions is $6,300 ($12,600 for married couples filing jointly, or $9,100 if you file as head of household).

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The personal exemption for 2015 is $4,000, up from $3,950.

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This provision increases the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly, and expands the 15% tax bracket.

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The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount rises in 2015 to $53,600 ($83,400, for married couples filing jointly).

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If you have no children, your maximum Earned Income Credit for 2015 is $503. With two children, the maximum amount is $5,548, and with one child, it is $3,359. If you have three or more qualifying children, the maximum Credit you can receive for 2015 is $6,242 (up from $6,143 in 2014).

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Education & College

You may be able to exclude all or part of the interest from qualifying Series EE or Series I bonds if you use the income for qualified educational expenses. You cannot take this benefit if your modified adjusted gross income is $92,200 or more ($145,750 if you file jointly, or if you file as Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child).

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The American Opportunity Tax Credit expanded on the Hope Credit. The income limits are higher, the credit is available for more qualified expenses, and you can use the credit for four years of post-secondary education instead of just two. In addition, you can even get a refund if you don't owe any tax for up to 40% of the credit ($1,000).

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Health care

The majority of taxpayers will see minimal impact on their 2015 federal taxes. For more information, visit TaxAct's website, HealthcareACT.com. The site offers tools and information to help you understand the impact of the Affordable Care Act on your taxes. Resources include year-by-year guidance and calculators to estimate your eligibility for the premium tax credit or your tax penalty for being uninsured.

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If individuals or families purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they may qualify for the new Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit. To qualify for the credit, your household income must fall between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line, you may not be claimed as a dependent on any other taxpayer's return, and (if married), you must file jointly. In the case of spousal abuse or abandonment, this requirement may be waived.

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In 2015, each individual taxpayer must carry the required "minimum essential coverage" each month, qualify for an exemption, or pay mandatory taxes. For those facing this new penalty, relief provisions have been written into the tax laws to help taxpayers transition into these new requirements. The minimum amount of insurance coverage you must carry is calculated per family member and then added together.

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High-income households

If you have a high adjusted gross income, you may not be able to take all your itemized deductions, thanks to the Pease provision. Itemized deductions start to phase out at $154,950 if you are married filing separately ($258,250 for individuals, $284,050 if head of household, or $309,900 if filing jointly). Your itemized deductions are reduced by 3% of your adjusted gross income over these amounts, but they are never reduced by more than 80% of your otherwise allowable deductions.

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Your personal exemptions for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents reduce your taxable income by $4,000 each. If your adjusted gross income is over $258,250 ($154,950 if married filing separately, $309,900 if filing jointly, or $284,050 if filing as head of household), your personal exemptions are reduced by 2% for each $2,500 or portion over these amounts. The exemption phases out completely at $380,750 ($432,400 if filing jointly, $216,200 if filing separately, $406,550 if filing as head of household).

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For persons who died in 2015, the federal estate tax rate remains at 40%. This tax only applies to estates larger than $5,430,000 - up from $5,340,000 in 2014.

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Miscellaneous

The standard mileage rate for the use of your car or other vehicle is up to 57.5 cents per mile for business and down to 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes. The rate for charitable travel remained the same at 14 cents per mile.

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The most you can contribute to one of these plans remains at $2,550. Your spouse can also contribute $2,550 if he or she meets the qualifications. For certain FSAs, up to $500 can now be carried over to the next year.

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(1) Self-only coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2014, the term "high deductible health plan" as defined in Sec. 220(c)(2)(A) means, for self-only coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $2,200 and not more than $3,300, and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $4,450.

(2) Family coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2015, the term "high deductible health plan" means, for family coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $4,450 and not more than $6,650, and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $8,150.

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May 2016
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Upcoming Tax Dates

May 2 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2016. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until May 10 to file the return.

May 2 — Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.

May 2 — Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the first quarter of 2016.

May 2 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during March.

May 2 — Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in March.

May 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer - Details

May 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2016. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

May 11 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of April.

May 13 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 15 days of April.

May 16 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 16 — Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 25 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 15 days of April.

May 27 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of May.

May 31 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during April.

may 31 — Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in April.

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