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New York State To Delay Refunds…Again!

The crippling budget crisis in NY has now spilled over to the taxpayer. It has just been announced that NY almost certainly will delay over $500,000,000 in refunds to the majority of taxpayers. This is now the third year in a row NY State has delayed refunds in one form of the other. Continue reading.

Child Tax Credit Set to Decrease in 2011

The popular Child Tax Credit is set to decrease in 2011. The good news is that the $1000 credit per qualifying child will remain unchanged for tax years 2009 & 2010. However, come 2011, the credit is to be reduced a whopping 50% to $500 per qualifying child.

Tax Credits are different and better than Tax Deductions as credits reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar; i.e the Child Tax Credit currently reduces your taxes owed or increases your refund by $1000 per child. However, for a taxpayer in the 25% tax bracket it would take $4,000 in tax deduction to have the same effect on the bottom line. This is a major reduction by the IRS which will have a negative impact on refunds and taxes owed.

More information on other critical tax benefits.

Hope Credit Replaced with the American Opportunity Credit

The Hope Scholarship Credit which used to offer as much as $1,800 for most qualifying students over their first two years of college has been replaced. The new American Opportunity Credit now offers more per annum at $2,500 per year and is more inclusive for higher income families.

The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 for married couples filing jointly. Continue reading.

Additional Requirements For First Time Home Buyers Credit

The following was recently released by the IRS:

“The IRS encourages buyers seeking the homebuyer credit to sign the settlement statement when they file their tax return — even in cases where the settlement form does not include a signature line”.

When the IRS “encourages” something, it is highly recommended that taxpayers follow their instructions; especially if you want your tax return processed without unnecessary delays.

The First-Time Homebuyer Credit (FTHC)–where qualifying taxpayers can receive up to an $8,000 tax credit–is under tremendous scrutiny by the IRS as it has been earmarked this year as a credit that is likely to be abused. However, those that legitimately qualify for this credit MUST be diligent in the documentation they provide in order to receive this credit. More information on the FTHC.

Looking for additional resources?

Visit these sections of our blog for additional reading and tax resources: The True Cost of Doing Your Own Taxes



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