How Do I? Figure the first-time homebuyer tax credit?

  • April 13, 2009

The Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 (2008 Housing Act) gave a boost to individuals purchasing a home for the first time with a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit. The credit was enhanced from $7,500 to $8,000 and extended for certain purchases under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (2009 Recovery Act). This article explains how to determine the credit for eligible first-time homebuyers.

Social Security Trust Fund Projected to Vanish Next Year

  • April 1, 2009

The government has historically raided the Social Security trust fund using its surplus to make the deficit look smaller. Now the trust fund's annual surplus is forecast to vanish next year. President Obama has proposed applying payroll taxes to annual earnings over $250,000 to help fund the trust fund when the suplus vanishes.

The growing AMT threat: What is it, and how to avoid it?

  • March 31, 2009

You may have heard people who talk about money or politics for a living mention something about the Alternative Minimum Tax, or AMT, as it is often called. Mention of the AMT has become more frequent of late because millions more taxpayers will be forced to calculate and pay this tax in the next few years. Dubbed "the stealth tax," the AMT has been blindsiding many "ordinary" taxpayers who count on taking what have become "ordinary" deductions. The AMT has been made even more dangerous by the labyrinth of rules for calculating the tax, which are complicated enough to give seasoned tax professionals fits. There are two questions that taxpayers want answered when it comes to the AMT: "What is it?" and "What can I do to avoid it?"

Am I overpaying in withholding and estimated tax?

  • March 31, 2009

Although an annual review of your form W-4 (Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate) or estimated tax payments is always important, it may be particularly imperative to do so in 2009. The current economic recession and other changes to your personal and financial situation may have had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on your income. Moreover, recent changes in the tax law, including extensions of certain deductions and credits through 2009, make accurately estimating your tax and ensuring you are not overpaying in withholding all the more important. Changes in the latest stimulus tax package likely will require further adjustments to withholding and estimated tax for many taxpayers.

“Reasonable” compensation: Hot button for IRS auditors

  • March 31, 2009

In order to be tax deductible, compensation must be a reasonable payment for services. Smaller companies, whose employees frequently hold significant ownership interests, are particularly vulnerable to IRS attack on their compensation deductions.

All-Electric Tesla Roadster…0-60 In 3.9 Seconds And Saves Tax Dollars

  • March 10, 2009

If you purchase an all-electric Tesla Roadster (base price $109,000) you can receive up to a $7,500 tax credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Read about this and other Green Energy Tax incentives in the new tax act summerized in the latest Journal of Accountancy article.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 extends/creates business tax breaks

  • March 2, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (ARRTA) provides more than $75 billion worth of tax benefits for business for 2009 and 2010, in addition to numerous individual tax breaks. This article highlights some of the valuable tax breaks for businesses in the new law.

Individual tax incentives abound in American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009

  • March 2, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (ARRTA) is loaded with various tax incentives for individuals for 2009 and 2010. Among the individual tax breaks in the new law are incentives for homeownership, help for the unemployed and employed, as well as education assistance and tax breaks for taxpayers with children. This article provides an overview of the major individual tax incentives provided by the ARRTA.

Individual Tax Breaks in the Stimulus Package

  • February 23, 2009

With its new and expanded tax benefits for individuals, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 seeks to get more money into the pockets of American consumers. College students and their families, homebuyers, and buyers of new cars are among the potential beneficiaries, but so too are low-income Americans, with the act’s continuation and expansion of such tax breaks as a higher eligibility limit for the earned income tax credit.