Many say being a homemaker is a full-time job. There are always more socks to wash, dinners to cook and sick kids to nurse — but never a paycheck. Besides the absence of an income, many homemakers are hit with a second blow: not being able to apply for tax breaks or credits. While it's true you won't find any "tax credits for homemakers" on the IRS's website, there are still plenty of credits out there from which a homemaker can benefit.
Joint Tax Return
Assuming you're married, your spouse can file a joint tax return, a return filed on behalf of both the husband and wife that allows them to apply for more deductions and lowers tax liability. Together, you must gather all your W-2s, 1099s, last year's tax returns and any records of business transactions to declare where you made money and where you might be eligible for a break. Under the joint filing, the spouse that is working can claim the head of household deduction. If your spouse pays more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year, he or she qualifies for a tax reduction to help pay off expenses.
Child Tax Credit
Having children also allows couples to apply for tax credits. Under the Child Tax Credit, couples are given up to $1,000 per qualifying child. Qualifying in this situation means a child that is related to you, adopted, a foster child or any child that is under your care. Along the same lines, married homemakers can check out the Earned Income Tax Credit, which allows the working spouse to reduce his taxes and increase his tax refund. Under it you can receive thousands of dollars for each child.
Small Business Incentives
Additionally, you can receive tax credits for running a business out of your home. You may argue that running a small business no longer makes you a homemaker, but Martha Stewart built an empire on being a homemaker. Whether it's a start-up bakery, salon or daycare center — the government gives plenty of tax breaks, incentives and perks to small businesses trying to expand.
And the government has stepped up its efforts to reward people for becoming more "energy efficient." If you bought a hybrid anytime since 2005, you may be eligible for thousands of dollars back depending on make and model. In addition to this the government gives tax credits for up to 30 percent of the cost for energy efficient insulation, doors, roofs, solar energy systems and even appliances. Check out the Energy Department's site for the full list.