The House and Senate have reached an agreement on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known everywhere as “that huge stimulus bill“. I couldn’t stop myself from taking a peek. Here are some details that directly affect most taxpayers:
“Making Work Pay” Tax Credit: $400 per person, $800 per family
Apparently it won’t be sent out as a lum-sum check this time, but will directly increase your paycheck as an extra $13 a week in take-home pay starting in June (since it is retroactive to 2009), falling to about $8 a week in January 2010. I tend to think a lump-sum would have more “bang”. Starts to phase out at $75,000 modified adjusted gross income for single filers, $150,000 for married filing jointly.
“Not Working” Tax Credit: $250 per person
For retirees, disabled individuals and others who don’t work, they will receive a one-time $250 payment. This will probably be a check in the mail.
$8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit
Although there was talk of a $15,000 tax credit for all homebuyers, it looks like it was greatly reduced and still restricted to first-time homebuyers. Starts to phase out at $75,000 modified adjusted gross income for single filers, $150,000 for married filing jointly.
If you bought your house between April 9, 2008 and December 31st, 2008, the first-time homebuyer tax credit remains at $7,500 and you will have to pay it back over 15 years, or when you sell the house. If you bought your house after January 1st, 2009 and before December 1st, 2009, the credit is now increased to $8,000 and you will not have to pay it back as long as your live in it for 3 years.
New Car Tax Deductions
If you buy a new car, you can deduct
the interest you pay on your loan as well as the taxes you paid on it (on up to $49,500). Starts to phase out at $125,000 modified adjusted gross income for single filers, $250,000 for married filing jointly.
…and a whole lot more, including expanded unemployment benefits. An example of a tiny tidbit that got mixed in? In 2009 and 2010, you can now use your 529 plan money to pay for “computers and computer technology”, which could include peripherals, software, and even broadband internet fees.