Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Misconception: 2009 Stimulus and Does It Apply To Me?

A lot of taxpayers are under the impression/misconception that we are entitled to (under the Obama Administration) that taxpayers will receive a stimulus refund for those who made at least $3000 in income for the 2oo8 tax year. Truth is that there is no stimulus refund for 2008, at least not in a cash out. However, there are other opportunities where certain taxpayers will be the recipient of tax benefits if the following applied to you:

* First Time Homwbuyer-What is the credit?
A. The first-time homebuyer credit is a new tax credit included in the recently enacted Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. For homes purchased in 2008, the credit operates like an interest-free loan because it must be repaid over a 15-year period.
The credit was expanded in 2009 for homes purchased in 2009, increasing the amount of the credit and eliminating the requirement to repay the credit, unless the home ceases to be your principal residence within the 36-month period beginning on the purchase date.
Q. How much is the credit?
A. The credit is 10 percent of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $7,500 ($8,000 if you purchased your home in 2009) for either a single taxpayer or a married couple filing a joint return, but only half of that amount for married persons filing separate returns. The full credit is available for homes costing $75,000 or more.
Q. Which home purchases qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit?
A. Any home purchased as the taxpayer’s principal residence and located in the United States qualifies. You must buy the home after April 8, 2008, and before Dec. 1, 2009, to qualify for the credit. For a home that you construct, the purchase date is considered to be the first date you occupy the home.

When Do I have to pay the credit for the home of the purchase?
When must I pay back the credit for the home I purchased in 2009?
A: Generally, there is no requirement to pay back the credit for a principal residence purchased in 2009. The obligation to repay the credit on a home purchased in 2009 arises only if the home ceases to be your principal residence within 36 months from the date of purchase. The full amount of the credit received becomes due on the return for the year the home ceased being your principal residence.

*Purchase of a vehicle-
In 2009, you can deduct the state or local sales and excise taxes imposed on the purchase of a qualified motor vehicle after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010. A qualified motor vehicle includes a passenger automobile, light truck, or motorcycle, the original use of which begins with that purchaser and that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less. A qualified motor vehicle also includes a motor home, the original use of which begins with that purchaser. The amount of tax you are able to deduct is limited to the tax that is imposed on the first $49,500 of the purchase price of the vehicle. The deduction is phased out over a $10,000 range that begins when modified adjusted gross income is more than $125,000 ($250,000 if married filing a joint return).

*Tax Credit For Energy Savors-
ARRA provides for a uniform credit of 30 percent of the cost of qualifying improvements up to $1,500, such as adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows, and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems. The new law replaces the old law combination available in 2007 of a 10-percent credit for certain property and a credit equal to cost up to a specified amount for other property.The new law also raised the limit on the amount that can be claimed for improvements placed in service during 2009 and 2010 to $1,500, instead of the $500 lifetime limit under the old law.
In addition, the new law has increased the energy efficiency standards for building insulation, exterior windows, doors, and skylights, certain central air conditioners, and natural gas, propane or oil water heaters placed in service after Feb. 17, 2009.

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