Saturday, March 14, 2009, PM | Leave Comment
Your family budget could get a boost from the new stimulus package passed into law by Congress and signed by the President. It includes a mix of tax credit, aid to retirees and the unemployed, and incentives for spending. The latter must be for the better of the nation’s economy as a whole. Among the many items, here are the the five most likely to put some extra cash in your pocket.
- Economic Recovery Payments
This is a one-time payment to nearly 55 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income – SSI – beneficiaries. Individual would get $250 and couples – if both receive benefits – $500. Also, getting a payment will be older veterans and railroad retirees. You don’t have do anything on your part. It will show up by early June 2009 as an extra check. For details, go to Social Security Administration website.
- Worker Payments
A “making work pay” provision means that workers will get an additional $400 in 2009. For most taxpayers, this will show up in your paycheck as an additional $7.70 a week, approximately. Others will get it when they file their 2009 tax returns next year. This credit starts to phase out if you earn $75,000 a year for individuals and $150,000 for couples.
- COBRA Subsidy
If you lose your job between September 1, 2008 and January 1, 2010, you will be able to keep your company health insurance for nine months by paying 35% of your COBRA premiums – instead of 100%. Your employer will have to subsidize the remainder but will get a tax credit for its 65% share.
- Car Deals
If you buy a new car before the end of 2009, you will get a deduction for state and local sales taxes, even if you don’t itemize on your tax return. The credit applies only to the first $49,500 of the cost of the car.
- Homebuyer Breaks
If you are buying a home this year in 2009, either for the first time or if you have not bought a home in the last three years, you will get a tax credit of up to $8,000 to help with the down payment. The package also includes a new tax credit, up to a combined $1,500 for 2009 and 2010, for improving energy efficiency in your home. If you buy such items as replacement windows, insulation and energy-efficient appliance, you will get a 30% credit.
In a Nutshell
Looks good. Good for you, the President, the Congress and the Nation as a whole. Spend but spend wisely.
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