Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Think There's Just About Something for Everyone

The following information is exactly how the new stimulus plan will impact everyone. I decided to reprint it here in case there are people who complain about the bill not helping "ordinary people". I think there is something in here for just about everyone.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

On February 17, President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion economic stimulus plan. That package includes many provisions that may directly benefit you:

Tax Breaks. Individuals earning $75,000 or less will receive a tax credit of $400 on payroll taxes paid in 2009 and 2010. Married couples are eligible for an $800 credit. The tax credit would phase out for single taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes (AIG) of $75,000 to $90,000 and married couples with AGI of $150,000 to $190,000. Retirees who receive Social Security benefits and individuals on disability would receive a one-time tax credit of $250.

Healthcare. The bill provides a subsidy to cover 65% of COBRA premiums for up to nine months. The subsidy is limited to workers who were laid off between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009.

Education. Parents of college students will be eligible to claim a tax credit of up to $2,500. Available in 2009 and 2010, the credit covers tuition, fees and course supplies such as textbooks. The credit phases out for individuals with AGI of $80,000 to $90,000 and married couples with AGI of $160,000 to $180,000.

New Housing. First-time homebuyers are eligible for an $8,000 tax credit, which does not have to be repaid unless you sell your home within three years. The credit is available for purchases between January 1, 2009, and before December 1, 2009. The credit phases out for individuals with AGI of $75,000 to $95,000 and married couples with AGI of $150,000 to $170,000.

Green Homes. New tax credits are now available for green home improvements on a principal residence starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. The credit covers 30% of qualifying upgrade costs, or a maximum amount of $1,500. Qualifying modifications must meet a certain efficiency level to be eligible for the credit. For record keeping, experts advise that you retain all receipts.

New Cars. New car buyers can deduct the sales tax from their AIG on purchases of up to $49,500. The deduction is limited to car and truck purchases made on the date of the enactment of the bill through December 31, 2009. The credit phases out for individuals with AGI above $125,000 and married couples with AGI above $250,000.

Green Cars. From January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2010, there is a tax credit for plug-in hybrid vehicles. This credit — based on the capacity of the battery system — for electric hybrid cars and trucks starts at $2,500 and is capped at $7,500. Previous tax credits for electric vehicles would have been phased out after 250,000 total vehicles. The current stimulus package has increased that number to 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer.

Always consult your tax advisor for tax information and advise.

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