we “go to press” we are just in the midst of a very
changeable tax year full of changes; and first impressions
point to even more changes coming in the following months as
we move past a bad economy. If you have not already, you can also view details of major
popular changes having already taken place in 2009 at our
recap the in-place changes so far:
- The 1st $ 2,400 of taxpayer (and additional $
2,400 for spouse) Unemployment Compensation benefits is
exempt from Federal tax.
A) – Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
February, 2009, 1st time homebuyers can take a
Tax Credit of 10% of 1st $ 80,000 of purchase
price of their first home, up to an $ 8,000 credit amount.
Either an Amendment to 2008 Federal taxes or can do
on 2009 Federal Income Tax return.
B) – Under the Worker, Home Ownership & Business
Assistance Act of November, 2009 signed November 6, 2009,
the 1st Time Homebuyer Credit deadline was
extended to April 30, 2010. Also now current homeowners who have lived in their
home for 5 continuous years out of last 8 years can qualify
for a Replacement Homebuyer’s Tax Credit of up to $ 6,500
(Married-Joint filing amount) if they enter into the buying
Contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.
taxpayers whose Gross Income is below $ 125,000 ($
225,000-joint filers) qualify for this Credit; the phase-out
amounts rise and eliminate at $ 145,000 ($ 245,000-joint
preceding only applies to this new law; NOT the previous $
8,000 credit. Further,
No credit is available if purchase price of home exceeds $
purchasers who are on active military duty AND currently
serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy this
other important note; Taxpayers qualifying under this law
have an extra filing requirement of attaching a copy of
Closing Statement documentation to their tax returns as a
prerequisite of qualifying for the Credit.
– Up to $ 1,500 Energy Credits for items purchased
collectively in 2009 or 2010 include: windows, furnace, air
conditioning, insulation, exterior doors and hot water
to purchase ONLY those items with the Energy Star label;
this ensures that what you bought qualifies for the Credit.
– If you purchased (not leased) new vehicles totaling less
than $ 49,500 in 2009, you can deduct Sales Tax on the
purchase(s) from taxable income.
– Social Security recipients may receive a check of an
undetermined amount (thought to be around $ 250) to replace
the annual Cost of Living increases you usually get.
This law was signed because the Cost of Living went
down for 2009. The check received will be subject, at this time, to
Federal taxation as income.
– Taxpayer who currently own Traditional IRAs and have
incomes higher than $ 100,000 can, after January 1, 2010,
convert them to Roth IRAs, even if filing Married-Separate.
Prior rule prohibited those high-income earners from
taxpayers can get a head start in 2009 by making a
non-deductible Traditional IRA contribution, and then
convert it to a Roth in 2010.
Thus, only earnings on this are taxed.
– Making Work Pay Credit.
This was the $ 400 credit workers received in their
paychecks and retirees in their pensions.
It was only available to workers and retirees with
Gross Income of under $ 75,000 ($ 150,000-joint filers).
taxpayers may owe extra tax due to their ineligibility under
the rules; those who have multiple jobs and where all
employers gave them extra credits, etc.
– American Opportunity Tax Credit, aka HOPE Tuition
HOPE Credit increased to max of $ 2,500 per eligible
student, is now applicable to first 4 college years and
includes expenses for course materials.
– Earned Income Credit percentage is increased to 45% of
first $ 12,750 of Earned Income for taxpayers with THREE or
more qualifying children.
Prior, Credit was only 40% of two or more children.
– Alternative Minimum Tax Patch for 2009 features the
Single and head of Households:
main point here is that there is an AMT exemption patch in
place, put in back in February.
Again, it is only a one-year patch and if Congress
does not reenact it in 2010, millions of taxpayers will be
then subject to the AMT additional tax on their incomes.
The AMT is now affecting middle-class taxpayers who
are general Gross Incomes exceed a general threshold of
around $ 130,000.
Without this patch, that general guideline threshold
falls to around two-thirds of your eligibility.