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The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 - Donít Make Any Financial Decisions Before Reading This Article
On August 5, 1997, President Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 into law. We suggest that you don't make any major financial decisions before reading this article and following-up on the particular areas that might impact you. The scope of the legislation encompasses measures ranging from a child care tax credit for low and moderate-income families to new tobacco taxes. The Act will certainly affect the way some families fine-tune their family financial planning, such as whether less money can be set aside for college because of tax breaks.
The IRS is still in the process of developing documentation of how some the new rules will be implemented and also clarifying some of the phase-out limits. Nevertheless, if you are in the process of divorcing, its definitely worthwhile to pay attention to some of the nuances of the Act, as there may be issues that you should bring to the table that your lawyer or mediator may not be aware of. If you are already divorced, there may be issues that you need to raise with your ex-spouse, such as how college tax credit will be allocated. Some of the provisions have already been implemented such as the rules on capital gains for home sales and investments.
Some major highlights of the Act impacting intact and divorced families with children are included below. There are additional provisions covering estate taxes, tobacco taxes, airline ticket taxes, Medicare-medical savings accounts, welfare, immigrants and SSI, health care premiums for the self-employed and Medicaid uninsured children, which we have not included due to space considerations.
Details of the Major Provisions of the 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act
Child Tax Credit
College Tuition Credit (HOPE Scholarship)
Lifetime Learning Credit
Education - Interest Deduction
Capital Gains - Investments
Capital Gains - Home Sales
IRA for After-Tax Contributions - Roth IRA
In New Jersey, a separation agreement is any legal document signed by both spouses outlining the terms of the separation. Subjects resolved in a separation agreement can include child support, child custody, debt allocation and asset distribution. Notarizing the document ensures its validity, since there is no such case-type in New Jersey that provides for a "legal separation." Spouses wanting child support during the separation period, however, must file a claim with the New Jersey probation department.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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