Tax Law Changes : Tax-Year 2009 Individuals

Pick a topic from the list below to learn about the tax changes:

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

The following changes to the AMT went into effect for 2009. For more information , see Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax--Individuals, and its instructions.

AMT exemption amount increased. The AMT exemption amount has increased to $46,700 ($70,950 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $35,475 if married filing separately).

AMT exemption amount for a child increased. The AMT exemption amount for a child whose unearned income is taxed at the parent's tax rate has increased to $6,700.

Qualified motor vehicle tax allowed against AMT. If you claim a regular tax deduction for any state or local sales or excise tax on the purchase of a new motor vehicle, that tax is also allowed as a deduction for the AMT.

Tax-exempt interest on specified private activity bonds issued in 2009 or 2010 exempt from AMT. Tax-exempt interest on specified private activity bonds issued in 2009 or 2010 is not an item of tax preference and therefore is not subject to the AMT. A refunding bond is treated as issued on the date of the issuance of the refunded bond (or, in the case of a series of refundings, the original bond). However, tax-exempt interest on a specified private activity bond issued in 2009 or 2010 to currently refund a private activity bond issued after 2003 and before 2009 is not an item of tax preference.

Alternative tax net operating loss deduction (ATNOLD). The 90% limit on the ATNOLD does not apply to the portion of an ATNOLD attributable to any 2008 or 2009 loss you elect to carry back more then 2 years under section 172(b)(1)(H) of the Internal Revenue Code as amended by the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-92).

Last Updated: December 29, 2009

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Adoption Benefits Increased

For 2009, the maximum adoption credit has increased to $12,150. Also, the maximum exclusion from income for benefits under your employer's adoption assistance program has increased to $12,150. These amounts are phased out if your modified AGI is between $182,180 and $222,180. You cannot claim the credit or exclusion if your modified AGI is $222,180 or more.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Child's Investment Income

The amount of taxable investment income a child can have without it being subject to tax at the parent's rate has increased to $1,900 for 2009.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Earned Income for Additional Child Tax Credit

For 2009, the amount your earned income must exceed to claim the additional child tax credit is reduced to $3,000.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Decreased Estimated Tax Payments for Qualified Individuals With Small Businesses

For 2009, qualified individuals with small businesses may be eligible to make smaller estimated tax payments. If you qualify, your required annual payment for 2009 is the smaller of 90% of the tax shown on your 2008 tax return or 90% of the tax shown on your 2009 tax return. You must check box F in Part II on Form 2210 or box C on Form 2210-F to certify that you qualify.

You are a qualified individual if:

  • More than 50% of your gross income was from a business that had an average of fewer than 500 employees in 2008, and
  • Your adjusted gross income in 2008 was less than $500,000 ($250,000 if you are filing married filing separately for 2009).

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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Deduction for Credit or Debit Card Convenience Fees

If you pay your income tax (including estimated tax payments) by credit or debit card, you can deduct the convenience fee you are charged by the card processor to pay using your credit or debit card. The deduction is claimed for the year in which the fee was charged to your card as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on line 23 of Schedule A (Form 1040) (and is subject to the 2% of adjusted gross income floor).

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

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Deduction for Sales and Excise Taxes Imposed on Purchase of New Motor Vehicles

In 2009, you can deduct the state or local sales and excise taxes imposed on the purchase of a qualified motor vehicle after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010. A qualified motor vehicle includes a passenger automobile, light truck, or motorcycle, the original use of which begins with that purchaser and that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less. A qualified motor vehicle also includes a motor home, the original use of which begins with that purchaser. The amount of tax you are able to deduct is limited to the tax that is imposed on the first $49,500 of the purchase price of the vehicle. The deduction is phased out over a $10,000 range that begins when modified adjusted gross income is more than $125,000 ($250,000 if married filing a joint return). No deduction is allowed when modified adjusted gross income is equal to or more than $135,000 ($260,000 if married filing a joint return). The new deduction can be used to increase the amount of your standard deduction or you can take it as an itemized deduction (if you are not electing to take the state and local general sales tax deduction).

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

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Earned Income Credit

The following paragraphs explain the changes to the credit for 2009.

Amount of credit increased. The maximum amount of the credit has increased. The most you can get for 2009 is:

  • $3,043 if you have one qualifying child,
  • $5,028 if you have two qualifying children,
  • $5,657 if you have three or more qualifying children, or
  • $457 if you do not have a qualifying child.

Earned income amount increased. The maximum amount of income you can earn and still get the credit has increased for 2009. You may be able to take the credit if:

  • You have three or more qualifying children and you earn less than $43,279 ($48,279 if married filing jointly)
  • You have two qualifying children and you earn less than $40,295 ($45,295 if married filing jointly),
  • You have one qualifying child and you earn less than $35,463 ($40,463 if married filing jointly), or
  • You do not have a qualifying child and you earn less than $13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly).

The maximum amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) you can have and still get the credit also has increased. You may be able to take the credit if your AGI is less than the amount in the above list that applies to you.

Investment income amount increased. The maximum amount of investment income you can have and still get the credit has increased to $3,100 for 2009.

Advance payment of the credit. If you get advance payments of the credit from your employer with your pay, the total advance payments you get during 2009 can be as much as $1,826.

Last Updated: December 04, 2009

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Economic Recovery Payment

Any economic recovery payment you receive during 2009 is not taxable. These $250 payments are being made to most people who:

  • Receive social security benefits, supplemental security income (SSI), railroad retirement benefits, or veterans disability compensation or pension benefits, and
  • Live in a U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

If you are married and you and your spouse both meet these requirements, each of you may get a $250 payment.

If you are entitled to a payment, you will get it automatically. You do not need to apply for it.

Making Work Pay and Government Retiree Credits

Two new credits you may be able to take for 2009 are the:

  • Making work pay credit, and
  • Government retiree credit.

Making work pay credit. You may be able to take this credit if you have earned income from work. Even if your federal income tax withholding is reduced during 2009 because of the credit, you must claim the credit on your return to benefit from it.

You cannot take the credit if:

  • Your modified AGI is $95,000 ($190,000 if married filing jointly) or more,
  • You are a nonresident alien, or
  • You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.

The credit is 6.2% of your earned income but cannot be more than $400 ($800 if married filing jointly). The credit will be reduced if:

  • You receive a $250 economic recovery payment (described earlier) during 2009,
  • Your modified AGI is more than $75,000 ($150,000 if married filing jointly), or
  • You take the government retiree credit discussed next.

Government retiree credit. You can take this credit if you receive a pension or annuity payment in 2009 for service performed for the U.S. Government or any U.S. state or local government (or any instrumentality of one or more of these) and the service was not covered by social security. The credit is $250 ($500 if married filing jointly and both you and your spouse receive a qualifying pension or annuity). However, you cannot take the credit if you receive a $250 economic recovery payment during 2009. If you file a joint return, both you and your spouse receive a qualifying pension or annuity, and both of you receive an economic recovery payment, no government retiree credit is allowed; if only one of you receives an economic recovery payment, the credit is $250.

Social security number. To take either credit, you must include your social security number (if filing a joint return, the number of either you or your spouse) on your return. A social security number does not include an identification number issued by the IRS.

Schedule M. Generally, you will use new Schedule M (Form 1040A or 1040) to figure both the making work pay credit and the government retiree credit. Both credits are refundable, which means they are treated like payments you made and may give you a refund even if you had no tax withheld from your pay or your pension. If you are filing Form 1040EZ, you can take the making work pay credit on that form and do not have to file Schedule M.

More information. If you want to figure now the amount you can expect from these credits, see Worksheet 2-9 in Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.

Last Updated: May 01, 2009

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Education Savings Bond Exclusion

An individual who redeems qualified U.S. saving Bonds to pay for higher education expenses may be able to exclude interest income from gross income.

For 2009, the amount of your interest exclusion is phased out (gradually reduced) if your filing status is married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) and your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $104,900 and $134,900. You cannot take the exclusion if your modified AGI is $134,900 or more.

For all other filing statuses, your interest exclusion is phased out if your modified AGI is between $69,950 and $84,950. You cannot take the exclusion if your modified AGI is $84,950 or more. For more information, see chapter 11 in Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

Last Updated: November 25, 2009

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Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits

For tax years 2009 and 2010, there is a new education credit called the American opportunity tax credit (AOC). This is a modification of the Hope Credit.

  • The maximum amount of the AOC is $2,500 per student. The credit is phased out (gradually reduced) if your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $80,000 and $90,000 ($160,000 and $180,000 if you file a joint return). Exception. For 2009, if you claim a Hope credit for a student who attended a school in a Midwestern disaster area, you can choose to figure the amount of the credit using the previous rules. However, you must use the previous rules in figuring the credit for all students for which you claim the credit.
  • The credit can be claimed for the first four years of post-secondary education. Previously the credit could be claimed for only the first two years of post-secondary education.
  • Generally, 40% of the AOC is now a refundable credit for most taxpayers, which means that you can receive up to $1,000 even if you owe no taxes.
  • The term "qualified tuition and related expenses" has been expanded to include expenditures for "course materials." For this purpose, the term "course materials" means books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study whether or not the materials must be purchased from the educational institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.

For more information, see chapter 2 of Publication 970.

Income limits for Hope and lifetime learning credit reduction increased. For 2009, the amount of your Hope or lifetime learning credit is phased out (gradually reduced) if your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $50,000 and $60,000 ($100,000 and $120,000 if you file a joint return). You cannot claim a Hope or lifetime learning credit if your modified AGI is $60,000 or more ($120,000 or more if you file a joint return). For more information, see chapters 3 and 4 in Publication 970.

Eligibility for the Hope credit. For 2009, you can claim a Hope credit only if at least one eligible student is attending an eligible educational institution in a Midwestern disaster area and you do not claim an American opportunity credit for any other student in the same year.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Student Loan Interest Deduction

For 2009, the amount of the student loan interest deduction is phased out (gradually reduced) if your filing status is married filing jointly and your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $120,000 and $150,000. You cannot take the deduction if your modified AGI is $150,000 or more.

For all other filing statuses, your student loan interest deduction is phased out if your modified AGI is between $60,000 and $75,000. You cannot take a deduction if your modified AGI is $75,000 or more. For more information, see chapter 5 in Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education.

Last Updated: November 25, 2009

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Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)

For Archer MSA purposes for 2009, the minimum annual deductible of a high deductible health plan increases to $2,000 ($4,000 for family coverage). The maximum annual deductible of a high deductible health plan increases to $3,000 ($6,050 for family coverage). The maximum out-of-pocket expenses limit increases to $4,000 ($7,350 for family coverage).

Last Updated: November 25, 2009

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Health Coverage Tax Credit

Increase in the amount of the health coverage tax credit (HCTC). For coverage months beginning after April 2009 and before 2011, the credit increases to 80%.

Payment for monthly premiums paid prior to commencement of advance payments. For coverage months beginning after 2008 and before 2011, newly-enrolled monthly participants will be able to receive a retroactive credit on their HCTC account for qualified health insurance payments they paid while enrolling in the monthly HCTC program.

Note. Although these payments will not begin until August 2009, the credits will apply to any coverage month beginning after 2008.

TAA recipients not enrolled in training programs eligible for credit. For coverage months beginning after February 2009 and before 2011, training and waiver requirements have changed for TAA recipients, making it easier for them to be eligible for the HCTC. Certain individuals who are receiving unemployment compensation (whether or not they meet TAA training requirements) and certain individuals who have a break from training, are now eligible for the HCTC.

Other changes. Effective as of February 17, 2009, qualified health insurance is expanded to include coverage under an employee benefit plan funded by a voluntary employees' beneficiary association.

Individuals receiving COBRA premium assistance are not eligible for the credit for any month that assistance is provided.

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSAs)

Qualified reservist distribution from a health FSA. A special rule allows amounts in a health FSA to be distributed to reservists ordered or called to active duty. This rule applies to distributions after June 17, 2008, if the plan has been amended to allow these distributions. A qualified reservist distribution is allowed if:

  1. The individual was, by reason of being a member of a reserve component, ordered or called to active duty for a period in excess of 179 days or for an indefinite period, and
  2. The distribution is made during the period beginning on the date of such order or call and ending on the last date that reimbursements could be made for the plan year which includes the date of such order or call.

For more information, see Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.

Last Updated: February 17, 2009

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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). For HSA purposes, the minimum annual deductible of an HDHP increases to $1,150 ($2,300 for family coverage) and the maximum annual deductible and other out-of-pocket expenses limit increases to $5,800 ($11,600 for family coverage).

Limits on contributions. The maximum HSA contribution increases to $3,000 ($5,950 for family coverage). The maximum additional contribution for individuals age 55 or older increases to $1,000.

For more information, see Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Long-Term Care Premiums

Increase in Deductible Limit for Long-Term Care Premiums

For 2009, the maximum amount of qualified long-term care premiums you can include as medical expenses has increased. You can include qualified long-term care premiums, up to the amounts shown below, as medical expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040).

  • Age 40 or under - $320.
  • Age 41 to 50 - $600.
  • Age 51 to 60 - $1,190.
  • Age 61 to 70 - $3,180.
  • Age 71 or over - $3,980.

Last Updated: November 25, 2009

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Discharge of Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended the exclusion from gross income for the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness by an additional 3 years. The exclusion now applies to debt discharged after 2006 and before 2013. See Form 982, Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness (and Section 1082 Basis Adjustment), and Publication 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments (for Individuals), for more information.

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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First-Time Homebuyer Credit

First-Time Homebuyer Credit Extended to April 30, 2010; Some Current Homeowners Now Also Qualify

WASHINGTON — A new law that went into effect Nov. 6 extends the first-time homebuyer credit five months and expands the eligibility requirements for purchasers.

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extends the deadline for qualifying home purchases from Nov. 30, 2009, to April 30, 2010. Additionally, if a buyer enters into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, the buyer has until June 30, 2010, to settle on the purchase.

The maximum credit amount remains at $8,000 for a first-time homebuyer — that is, a buyer who has not owned a primary residence during the three years up to the date of purchase.

But the new law also provides a "long-time resident" credit of up to $6,500 to others who do not qualify as "first-time homebuyers." To qualify this way, a buyer must have owned and used the same home as a principal or primary residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date of purchase of a new home as a primary residence.

For all qualifying purchases in 2010, taxpayers have the option of claiming the credit on either their 2009 or 2010 tax returns.

A new version of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit, will be available around late December, 2009. A taxpayer who purchases a home after Nov. 6 must use this new version of the form to claim the credit. Likewise, taxpayers claiming the credit on their 2009 returns, no matter when the house was purchased, must also use the new version of Form 5405. Taxpayers who claim the credit on their 2009 tax return will not be able to file electronically but instead will need to file a paper return.

A taxpayer who purchased a home on or before Nov. 6 and chooses to claim the credit on an original or amended 2008 return may continue to use the 2008 Form 5405.

Income Limits Rise

The new law raises the income limits for people who purchase homes after Nov. 6. The full credit will be available to taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes (MAGI) up to $125,000, or $225,000 for joint filers. Those with MAGI between $125,000 and $145,000, or $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers, are eligible for a reduced credit. Those with higher incomes do not qualify.

For homes purchased prior to Nov. 7, 2009, existing MAGI limits remain in place. The full credit is available to taxpayers with MAGI up to $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. Those with MAGI between $75,000 and $95,000, or $150,000 and $170,000 for joint filers, are eligible for a reduced credit. Those with higher incomes do not qualify.

New Requirements

Several new restrictions on purchases that occur after Nov. 6 go into effect with the new law:

  • Dependents are not eligible to claim the credit.
  • No credit is available if the purchase price of a home is more than $800,000.
  • A purchaser must be at least 18 years of age on the date of purchase.

For Members of the Military

Members of the Armed Forces and certain federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and still qualify for the credit. An eligible taxpayer must buy or enter into a binding contract to buy a home by April 30, 2011, and settle on the purchase by June 30, 2011.

For more details on the credit, visit the First-Time Homebuyer Credit page on IRS.gov.

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Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Sale of Main Home

Gain from the sale or exchange of the main home is no longer excludable from income if allocable to periods of nonqualified use.

Generally, nonqualified use means any period after 2008 where neither you nor your spouse (or your former spouse) used the property as a main home (with certain exceptions).

A period of nonqualified use does not include:

  1. Any portion of the 5-year period ending on the date of the sale or exchange that is after the last date you (or your spouse) use the property as a main home;
  2. Any period (not to exceed an aggregate period of 10 years) during which you or your spouse is serving on qualified official extended duty:
    • As a member of the uniformed services,
    • As a member of the Foreign Service of the United States, or
    • As an employee of the intelligence community; and
    • Any other period of temporary absence (not to exceed an aggregate period of 2 years) due to change of employment, health conditions, or such other unforeseen circumstances as may be specified by the IRS.

To figure the portion of the gain that is allocated to the period of nonqualified use, multiply the gain by the following fraction:

total nonqualified use during period of ownership after 2008 total period of ownership

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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Income Averaging for Farmers and Fisherman

Exxon Valdez litigation. If you received qualified settlement income made up of interest and punitive damages in connection with the civil action In re Exxon Valdez, No. 89-095-CV (HRH) (Consolidated) (D. Alaska), you may treat this settlement payment as income from a fishing business for the purpose of income averaging. You are eligible to make this election only if you are a plaintiff in the civil action or you were a beneficiary of the estate of your spouse or a close relative who was such a plaintiff from whom you acquired the right to receive qualified settlement income. See the Instructions for Schedule J (Form 1040).

New rules for averaging farming and fishing income. The four items discussed below are effective for tax years beginning after July 22, 2008. However, you may apply any of these provisions to tax years beginning after December 31, 2003, and before July 23, 2008, if those provisions are consistently applied in each tax year. For more information, see Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9417, 2008-37 I.R.B. 693.

Farming and fishing business. If you operate both a farming and fishing business, you combine the income, gains, deductions, and losses from both businesses to figure the amount of income eligible for income averaging.

Lessors of fishing boats. You are treated as being in a fishing business if you lease a boat and your lease payments are based on a share of the catch (or a share of the proceeds from the sale of the catch) from the lessee's use of the boat, but only if this manner of payment is determined under a written lease agreement entered into before the lessee begins significant fishing activities resulting in the catch.

Crew members on fishing boats. Crew members on a commercial fishing vessel are engaged in the fishing business for purposes of income averaging if their compensation is based on a share of the boat's catch or a share of the proceeds from the sale of the catch. The compensation of such a crew member is treated as income from a fishing business, whether or not he or she is treated as an employee for employment tax purposes.

Merchant Marine Capital Construction Fund (CCF) deposits. If you reduced your taxable income on Form 1040, line 43, or Form 1040NR, line 40, by any amount deposited into a CCF account, take into account the CCF reduction in figuring taxable income for income averaging purposes. Also, the CCF reduction is generally treated as a deduction attributable to your fishing business in figuring elected farm income. However, if any taxable income (without regard to the carryback of any net operating or net capital loss) from the operation of agreement vessels in the fisheries of the United States or in the foreign or domestic commerce of the United States is not attributable to your fishing business, that amount does not reduce elected farm income.

Last Updated: June 02, 2009

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Increase in Limit on Long-Term Care and Accelerated Death Benefits Exclusion

The limit on the exclusion for payments made on a per diem or other periodic basis under a long-term care insurance contract increases for 2009 to $280 per day. The limit applies to the total of these payments and any accelerated death benefits made on a per diem or other periodic basis under a life insurance contract because the insured is chronically ill.

Under this limit, the excludable amount for any period is figured by subtracting any reimbursement received (through insurance or otherwise) for the cost of qualified long-term care services during the period from the larger of the following amounts.

  • The cost of qualified long-term care services during the period.
  • The dollar amount for the period ($280 per day for any period in 2009).

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Increase in Personal Casualty and Theft Loss Limit

Generally, a personal casualty or theft loss must exceed $500 to be allowed for 2009. This is in addition to the 10% of AGI limit that generally applies to the net loss.

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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Maximum Tax Rate on Qualified Dividends and Net Capital Gain Reduced

For tax years beginning after 2007, the 5% maximum tax rate on qualified dividends and net capital gain (the excess of net long-term capital gain over net short-term capital loss) is reduced to 0%. The 15% maximum tax rate on qualified dividends and net capital gain has not changed.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Penalty for Failure to File Income Tax Return Increased

If you do not file your return by the due date (including extensions) you may have to pay a failure-to-file penalty. For income tax returns required to be filed after 2008, the failure-to-file penalty for returns filed more than 60 days after the due date (including extensions) is increased. In this situation, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax.

Last Updated: November 25, 2009

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Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits

Beginning January 1, 2009, the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes increased to $120 and the monthly exclusion for qualified parking increased to $230. Beginning March 1, 2009, the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes increased to $230.

Beginning January 1, 2009, you may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses of qualified bicycle commuting. Reasonable expenses include the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage. The exclusion for a calendar year is $20 multiplied by the number of qualified bicycle commuting months during that year. A qualified bicycle commuting month is any month you use the bicycle regularly for a substantial portion of the travel between your residence and place of employment and you do not receive any of the other qualified transportation fringe benefits. You are not entitled to this exclusion if the reimbursement for bicycle commuting is made under a compensation reduction agreement.

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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Social Security and Medicare Taxes

The maximum amount of wages subject to the social security tax for 2009 is $106,800. There is no limit on the amount of wages subject to the Medicare tax.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Standard Deduction Increased

The standard deduction for people who do not itemize their deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) is, in most cases, higher for 2009 than it was for 2008. In addition to the annual increase due to inflation adjustments and the increase allowed for the deduction for certain real estate taxes and a net disaster loss, your 2009 standard deduction is increased by any state or local sales tax imposed on the purchase of a qualified motor vehicle after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010. For details, see Deduction for Sales and Excise Taxes Imposed on Purchase of New Motor Vehicles. To figure your 2009 standard deduction, see your tax return instructions booklet. However, you must use Schedule L (Form 1040A or 1040) to figure your standard deduction if:

  • You paid state or local real estate taxes in 2009.
  • You have a net disaster loss on Form 4684, line 18, or
  • You paid state or local sales or excise taxes (or certain other taxes or fees in a state without a sales tax) on the purchase of any new motor vehicle(s) after February 16, 2009, and before January 1, 2010.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Standard Mileage Rate

For 2009, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is 55 cents per mile.

Car expenses and use of the standard mileage rate are explained in chapter 4 of Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Medical- and move-related mileage. For 2009, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for medical reasons or as part of a deductible move is 24 cents per mile.

See Transportation under What Medical Expenses Are Includable in Publication 502 or Travel by car under Deductible Moving Expenses in Publication 521, Moving Expenses..

Charitable-related mileage. For 2009, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for charitable purposes remains 14 cents per mile.

Last Updated: November 26, 2009

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Unemployment Compensation

For any tax year beginning in 2009, each recipient of unemployment compensation can exclude from gross income up to $2,400 of the amount he or she received during the year.

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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Wage Threshold for Household Employees

The social security and Medicare wage threshold for household employees is $1,700 for 2009. This means that if you pay a household employee cash wages of less than $1,700 in 2009, you do not have to report and pay social security and Medicare taxes on that employee's 2009 wages. For more information, see Social security and Medicare wages in Publication 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide.

Last Updated: July 09, 2009

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