Tips for tax season to get more of your money backPosted: Updated:
The tax deadline is nearing and if you are still gathering documents here are a couple of things to think about when looking to try and get some money back.
Valley accountant Shawn Burns says, "One of the biggest ones for this year is the changes in the rules for cancellation of debt in primary residence." He explains, "It used to be when the bank forgave the debt again it came back to you as income, which is kind of like a double whammy. Here you are out of a job and you're losing your house and they cancel $100,000 dollars worth of debt on your house and then you have to claim it as income."
According Burns you do not have to claim it anymore. "So that's huge for people when they're struggling to make their home payments and possibly facing foreclosures."
Burns says another way to get more money back in your bank account is "The stimulus payment that we had last year. Whether it was the $300, $600 or $1,200 or in between, that was a payment for 2008 based upon 2007 taxes. So there's going to be a lot of cases and we've seen it this year also where people's income have come down quite a bit. So now all of a sudden they may be eligible for more of the 2008 stimulus payment."
While there may not be a lot of changes to take advantage of this tax season, Burns says there are tons to look forward to in 2009. "With the new tax plan that's going into place, cobra benefits for people when they are laid off and that's healthcare that their employer used to provide, but under the new plan they only have to pay 3% of those costs."
Another break is if you are out of a job, up to $2,400 dollars of your un-employment compensation will now be non-taxable and some tax credits will even be thrown into the mix."
"Is property tax credits that now that's claimed whether or not you itemize so you can get property tax and also if you buy a new vehicle the sales tax associated with that new vehicle is also going to be a deduction in 2009 regardless of whether you itemize it or not."
If you want to make sure you do not miss anything when you are doing your taxes this year, Burns recommends asking the experts for help.