unnamed 1If you're a college student (or the parent of one), you should know about some key tax breaks that are available to you when you do your taxes.

Tax Credits
There are two tax credits for higher education. They're targeted at different types of students, so it pays to know the differences.

American Opportunity Credit
This credit is for students who are earning their undergraduate degrees. The credit is specifically limited to those expenses incurred in the first four years of college.

The credit is worth $2,500; the really good news is that $1,000 of that is refundable, meaning you could get that back as a refund even if you don't owe any taxes. There's an $80,000 income ceiling for single filers to qualify for the credit ($160,000 if you're married filing jointly). If income is more than those amounts, the credit starts to decrease.

The credit is available through the 2017 tax year.

unnamedOn July 1 several tax changes will go into effect as part of the South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act ("Act") passed by the General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session. These changes are related to the Motor Fuel User Fee, Maximum Sales and Use Tax, and Infrastructure Maintenance Fee. The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) is working to ensure a smooth implementation of these taxes for all taxpayers.

"We are committed to assisting all South Carolina taxpayers in understanding, complying, and benefiting from this new legislation," Hartley Powell, SCDOR director, said.

Motor Fuel User Fee (Gas Tax)
The Motor Fuel User Fee will increase from $0.16 to $0.18 per gallon of fuel. The fee will continue to increase by $0.02 per gallon on July 1 every year until 2022. All sales of fuel subject to the Motor Fuel User Fee, such as gasoline or diesel, are subject to these rate increases.

Many of you have heard that President Donald Trump has proposed changes to the tax laws, some of which includes lowering the rates paid by businesses. Here are a few of the highlight's of the proposed plan:

Individuals have a higher standard deduction.

The standard deduction is a default amount of money that can be exempted from income taxes. Currently the standard deduction amount for single filers is $6,300, while the number for married couples is $12,700. Under Trump's plan, the standard deduction would double. A single filer would be able to deduct $12,600 from his taxes, while the deduction for joint filers would be $24,000.

The S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles will begin accepting documents from South Carolinians seeking a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card.

The agency stressed changing driver's licenses or state-issued ID cards to a REAL ID-compliant card is optional and voluntary. "If you feel you will not be boarding a commercial flight, visiting a secure federal building, or a military base, you do not need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID," the agency said in a release. The agency noted that residents who have received their first-ever SC license or ID during or after November 2010, do not have to bring documents. "If you have a valid U.S. passport/passport card, military ID, or another federally approved identification, you may use that as your form of identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building or military base, but you must carry it with you for the above activities," the agency added.

For those of you who may have to fork over soem additional funds to Uncle Sam, there are several options available for making payments.

If you can't pay your tax bill in full, a payment plan may be an option. Additional information about all payment and payment plan options can be found at www.irs.gov/payments and in Publication 5034, Need to Make a Payment? (English & Spanish).

The IRS also offers taxpayers the ability to pay using their mobile device through the IRS2Go app, available on the Apple or Google Play store.