Work and Taxes
Most families have one or more family members working. If you or a loved one loses a job, you'll need resources to assess your current situation and try to make the best use of the money you have. Understanding how taxes work and maximizing tax credits is one strategy for saving more of the income you earn throughout the year.
The following resources will help you find options when income changes, and better understand taxes and tax credits.
Tax-Related Identity Theft — What you need to do to protect yourself. Transcript and audio (2:00)
Health Care Plan Essential Services — Be in the know about what your health care insurance plans covers. Transcript and audio (1:58)
Flexible Savings Account (FSA) for Health Care Rules — Be in the know about what your health care insurance plans covers. Transcript and audio (1:58)
Adjusting to Suddenly Reduced Income (9.9 MB PDF) — Take into account both the emotional and financial aspects of sudden income loss.
Action Page 3-4: Spending Plan — Short Form — Budgeting can help a bad situation from getting worse. Use this form to track your income and expenses. From Dollar Works 2.
Adult Children's Knowledge of Retired Parent's Income — How much adult children know about the income and expenses of their retired parents can be an important issue when health changes requires caregiving. Transcript and audio (1:52)
Federal Poverty Guidelines (2014) (200 KB PDF) — Dollar Works 2 Action Page 3-6 — This easy-to-use chart helps you see if you qualify for any federal or state assistance programs based on your income level and household size. English (35 K PDF) | Spanish (67 K PDF)
Savers Tax Credit — The Savers Tax Credit reduces or eliminates the income tax a taxpayer may owe and encourages contributions to retirement plans or an IRA. Transcript and audio (2:05)
Earned Income Tax Credit for Tax Year 2013 — The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a tax benefit for working people who earn low or moderate incomes. Transcript and audio (2:05)
Adoption Tax Credit — The Adoption Tax Credit is available to help more families lower their tax bill by claiming expenses they incurred in adopting a child. Transcript and audio (2:12)
Minnesota K-12 Education Subtraction or Credit — The Minnesota K-12 Tax Subtraction or Credit can help a family with childcare expenses. Transcript and audio (1:49)
Tax Benefits for Higher Education — Tax benefits can be used to get back some of the money spent on tuition, loan interest paid or to maximize savings for future college expenses. Transcript and audio (2:10)
College Student Children and Earned Income Credit — A child who is a full-time student and still a dependent on their parents’ tax return can be claimed for the Earned Income Credit until age 24. Transcript and audio (1:33)
IRS Offer in Compromise: Dealing with the IRS — The IRS does have some options available to help people with their tax obligations due to unemployment or other financial problems. Transcript and audio (1:55)
Free Tax Preparation — Qualifying Minnesota individuals can get taxes prepared for free throughout the year.
Paid Tax Preparers Need IRS Identification Number — The IRS has initiated changes to strengthen the regulation of commercial tax preparers. Transcript and audio (2:15)
Tax Refund Decisions (436 K PDF) — Use Dollar Works 2 Action Pages to help you make decisions about maximizing your tax refund.
Revenue Recapture Through Tax Refunds — There are some situations when tax payers do not receive the refund shown on their Minnesota State tax returns. Transcript and audio (2:02)
Splitting Federal Income Tax Refunds and "Save Your Refund" Sweepstakes — Taxpayers have options and flexibility for choosing how to receive their federal income tax refunds. Transcript and audio (1:49)
Tax Credit Primer for Social Service Providers (2013) (137 K PDF) — Handbook used in the 2014 training for professionals about tax credits, free tax preparation sites, and tax reduction resources. You may also be interested in the recorded Tax Credit Training for Social Service Staff.
Other Recommended Resources
Deciding if Teens Should Work — Weigh the pros and cons of whether your teen should work when the family falls on hard financial times.
Families in Tough Times — Resources for families who are experiencing, avoiding, or recovering from tough times. Materials for farm families, stress, disaster recovery, and more.
Dollar Works 2 — Teach others how to manage their personal finances and make sound decision about money. This comprehensive curriculum has a unit on Understanding a Pay Statement and Taxes.
Tax Credit Primer Trainings for Social Service Providers — Free in-person or online training for those who help clients claim tax refunds. Learn about free tax resources and support, and 2014 tax year changes.
Tax Topic Index — United States Department of Internal Revenue Service — Answers to common questions; includes individual and business tax information.