Important tax tips if you have been unemployed during 2009!

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Are you in the middle of a job search or career change? Make sure you get every deduction and credit you’re entitled to.

  • Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009 is tax exempt.
  • You may be able to reduce your taxes by deducting certain unreimbursed expenses such as employment agency fees, career counseling and printing and mailing of resumes—even if you do not get the job.
  • If you started your own business during the year, or acted as a consultant while looking for a new job, your income is considered self-employment income.
  • If you were a student during the tax year, you may be able to deduct your qualified education expenses such as tuition and fees. Or, you may be eligible for the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning education credits.
  • You may be able to deduct any mileage traveled while job hunting. The standard mileage rate is now 55 cents per mile.
  • You may qualify for the Earned Income Credit, which is treated as withholding and can create or increase a potential refund.If you accept a job and have to relocate, you may be able to deduct any qualified moving expense not reimbursed by your new employer.


It’s not too early to get ready for tax season

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Now is the perfect time to get your paperwork and documents together, so you’ll be ready to file your tax return as soon as possible. Get organized now — save time and avoid stress at tax time. offers a handy printer-friendly checklist  of the items you’ll need to prepare your taxes. Print yours out today ! 

Tax Tips from Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

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This year, more than ever before, it really does pay to “Go Green.” The Non-business Energy Property Credit has been increased to 30%, with non individual item caps for making energy-efficient home improvements such as heat pumps, central air conditioners, hot water heaters, wood stoves and qualified insulation. The total allowable credit for 2009 and 2010 is $1,500.

Get the facts on the 2-year increase in Earned Income Credit for qualifying taxpayers

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For tax years 2009 and 2010, there will be an additional Earned Income Credit (EIC) range for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. For 2009, the maximum amount of EIC for taxpayers with two or more children is $5,028. The change for 2009 will allow a maximum EIC amount of $5,657 for families with three or more qualifying children. This is a potential increase of $629 for families with three or more children! 

  • Credit for 1 qualifying child — $3,043 (up from $2,917) 
  • Credit for 2 qualifying children — $5,028 (up from $4,824) 
  • Credit for 3 qualifying children — $5,657 (new for this year) 
  • Credit for taxpayers with no children — $457 (up from $438) 

Deduction changes for 2009 could mean more money in your pocket!

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If you’re not sure about deduction changes for this year, relax. We’ve got you covered right here. Changes for this year include:

  • The standard mileage rate for business use of a vehicle increased to 55 cents per mile (from 50.5 cents). The standard mileage rate of a vehicle used for medical reasons or vehicle use related to moving expenses is 24 cents per mile. Charitable mileage remains at 14 cents per mile. 
  • The maximum income subject to Social Security tax has increased to $106,800 (from $102,000). There is no income limit for Medicare tax.
  • The maximum IRA contribution has increased to $5,000 ($6,000 if the taxpayer is age 50 or older). 
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount has increased to $70,950 (from $69,950) for MFJ and QW, $46,700 (from $46,200) for Single and HOH, and $35,475 9from $34,975) for MFS).

Breaking News...Senate and House Vote to Extend Homebuyer Tax Credit!

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There’s a new April 30, 2010, deadline! See if you qualify for this one-time refundable tax credit of up to $8,000!

There’s never been a better time to jump into the real estate market for the first time! If you purchased your first home this year, or you will be closing on your first home purchase within the next several months, you may be able to claim an $8,000 refundable credit on your tax return. Unlike most credits, you don’t have to wait to file your 2009 tax return; instead you can get the credit now!

First time home buyers are individuals who have not owned a home within the preceding three years and purchase their first home between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. There is a different First Time Homebuyer Credit available for anyone who made a first home purchase between April 8, 2008 and December 31, 2008.

Additional facts:
  • Qualifying taxpayers who purchase a home before January 1, 2010, have the option to claim the credit on either their 2008 or their 2009 tax return. If the home is purchased after December 31, 2009, and before May 1, 2010, you may claim the credit on your 2009 or 2010 tax return.  
  • Taxpayers who have lived in the same home for five consecutive years out of the eight years immediately preceding the closing of a new home may qualify for a reduced credit. All other requirements for the credit remain the same and the amount available is up to $6,500 ($3,250 if married filing separately). 
  • Taxpayers who enter into a binding contract to close on a home before May 1, 2010, may still qualify for the credit if they close before July 1, 2010.