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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tax Time!!

Here are a few tax credits and deductions that might be helpful...

1) Energy-Efficient Home Improvement Credits:

Two tax credits repay homeowners for improvements that improve a home's energy efficiency. A 30 percent credit helps repay the cost of energy-efficient insulation, windows and doors. Another 30 percent credit reimburses cost and labor to install high-efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and some heating stoves. Both are up to $1,500 for the 2009 and 2010 tax years. Yet another credit gives back 30 percent of long-term investments in alternative energy equipment. These improvements include solar electric or hot water systems, wind turbines, fuel cells or geothermal heat pumps.

2) First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit:

First home purchases between Jan. 1, 2009, and April 30, 2010, could qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credit. The credit applies if you have never owned a home or have not owned a principal residence during the past three years. Home buyers who purchased early in 2009 might have claimed the tax credit on their 2008 income tax return. Be sure you do not attempt to claim the credit twice.

3) Gambling Losses:

Gambling losses are deductible if they do not exceed the amount of reported gambling winnings (which are taxable and must be reported). You must itemize deductions to claim this deduction.

4) Government Retiree Credit:

Some federal and state government retirees and Social Security recipients received a one-time tax credit of up to $250 per individual for 2009, which replaces the Making Work Pay credit.

5) Haiti Earthquake Relief:

Donations to help Haiti recover from the January earthquake can be deducted on 2009 income tax returns, thanks to special rules. Donations must have been made before Feb. 28. Donations after that date will be deductible on the 2010 tax return.

6) Homeownership Credit:

Home owners buying a new home after Nov. 6, 2009, and before April 30, 2010, who lived in their previous home for five of the past eight years, can receive a $6,500 tax credit.

7) Job Search Expense Deduction:

If youitemizedeductions, you may be eligible to write off expenses associated with a new job search during the last year.

8) Making Work Pay Credit:

Most workers are receiving this credit automatically in their paychecks. Working individuals receive a refund of 6.2 percent of their earned income up to a maximum of $400 for a single filer or $800 for a married couple filing a joint return in 2009 and 2010. Check your W-2 form to determine if your employer has applied the credit to your paychecks. If not, claim it when you file your income taxes.

9) Natural Disaster Losses:

Losses from casualty -- including natural disaster -- or theft may be deductible, minus the amount received in insurance reimbursement. Property lost in a natural disaster can be deducted, minus $500 per event, according to special rules for 2009. If your losses were greater than your income, you might have a net operating loss, whether you are in business or not.

10) Unemployment Compensation Deduction:

A specialrule enacted in 2009 allows taxpayers to exclude the first $2,400 in unemployment pay received during 2009 from taxation. Report the unemployment compensation received (reported on form 1099-G, box 1) minus $2,400.

11) Vehicle Sales Tax:

Alltaxpayers can deduct state and local sales or excise taxes paid on the purchase of new vehicles between Feb. 17, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2009, up to a purchase price of $49,500. 

Posted By Amy Preister At 11:09 AM • Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)
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