What Exactly Is Tax Relief?

Sep 25, 2022 By Triston Martin

By "tax relief," we mean measures the government takes to ease taxpayers' financial strains, whether by lowering their tax obligations or facilitating the settlement of tax-related arrears.

The child tax credit, for instance, reduces a parent's tax liability if they have a kid under the age of 17. At the same time, the tax credit for environmentally friendly renovations helps bring about the United States stated objective of being less dependent on foreign oil while improving air quality.

Tax Relief: A Guide

Taxpayers can save money through tax deductions, credits, and exclusions thanks to tax relief programs and initiatives. Other programs assist taxpayers who owe taxes in settling such obligations, allowing them to avoid tax liens if they do so.

To address the widespread absence of retirement savings in the United States, lawmakers established tax breaks for retirement savings vehicles such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and workplace retirement plans (401(k)s).

Reductions in Taxes

When you itemize deductions on your tax return, you minimize your taxable income and, in turn, your tax liability. Schedule A of either Form 1040 or 1040-SR allows taxpayers to either claim the standard deduction or itemize their deductions.

Standard Deductions

Each taxpayer's standard deduction is calculated independently of others depending on their filing status, age, and whether or not they are disabled or claimed as a dependant on another taxpayer's tax return. The standard deduction amounts for the years 2021 and 2022 are listed below. 78

Itemized Deductions

You may reduce your taxable income and, thus, your tax payment by taking advantage of itemized deductions and deducting certain costs from your adjusted gross income. Suppose you don't want to take the standard deduction.

In that case, only then can you itemize your deductions. 11 If the sum of your itemized deductions is larger than the standard deduction for your filing status, it is more beneficial financially to itemize.

Reductions in Taxes

The term "tax credit" refers to another method of reducing taxable income. Tax credits decrease your tax liability without lowering your taxable income, as do deductions. 5 Here's a case in point. Assume a taxpayer's tax liability is $3,000, and they claim the standard deduction.

One's tax liability might be reduced by $1,000 if one qualifies for a tax credit. In contrast, a taxpayer in the 22 percent tax bracket would only save $220 with a $1,000 tax deduction.

Tax Exclusions

Tax exclusions exclude taxable income-specific forms of income, whereas tax deductions reduce the amount of taxable income. As a result, tax exclusions lower your taxable income and, consequently, your tax liability. Examples of income that are often not taxed are child support payments, term life death benefits, and interest from municipal bonds.

Tax breaks for health insurance provided by one's employer are rather popular. The percentage of your health insurance premiums your employer pays is typically not considered taxable income, and neither is the portion of your tips that your employer pays that is exempt from federal income or payroll taxes.

Reduction of Tax Obligations

By participating in the Fresh Start program, taxpayers may get a fresh start with the IRS and avoid tax liens, levies, wage garnishments, and even jail time. With a series of 2011 tax code amendments, the program simplifies the tax debt collection procedure and allows you to settle your tax obligation for less than the total amount you owe. The program is open to both individuals and corporations.

Compromising Offer

Using this government program, you can negotiate a reduced settlement of your tax burden with the IRS. Taxpayers with a tax debt that exceeds their ability to pay in full at once may qualify for this program.


If your gross monthly income is below what the IRS requires to avoid financial hardship, you may qualify for the CNC program. All IRS collection activities, including levies, garnishments, and seizure of property and bank accounts, are temporarily put on hold. Instead, payments are put off until you're in a better financial position.

Paid-In-Advance Contract

With an installment arrangement with the IRS, you can spread out the payment of your tax debt over a certain number of monthly installments over a more extended period. Until the whole amount is paid, interest and fees may be accrued.

Which Is Better: a Tax Deduction or a Tax Credit?

Both tax deductions and tax credits can reduce your taxable income and hence the amount of tax you owe. While both reduce your tax liability, credits often offer more significant savings. 5 A tax credit of $1,000, for instance, would reduce your tax liability by $1,000.

The same is true with tax deductions; if you claim $1,000 worth, that sum is subtracted from your taxable income. If you are in the 24% tax rate, deducting $1,000 would save you $240.

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