Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Forgot to file or did not receive a 2008 Stimulus Payment? You may be able to qualify for a recovery rebate credit through your 2008 tax return

For those that did not file for a 2008 Stimulus Payment , you may qualify for a recovery rebate credit in 2009. Even if you received a 2008 Stimulus Payment, you may qualify if you meet one of the following criteria:

-you did not receive a Stimulus Payment in 2008 or you received less than the
maximum of the 2008 Stimulus Payment
-your gross income was too high or too low
-you gained a qualifying child after you filed in 2008
-you were claimed as a dependent on someone else's return in 2007 but
-you will not be claimed as a dependent on 2008 return
-you received a Social Security number is 2008 and did not have one for

You can get the recovery rebate on your 2008 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. If you are using a tax software like TaxSmarty - it will ask you a question "did you receive a Stimulus Payment?"; "How much was your Stimulus Payment?" From there, Tax Smarty or your tax software will determine if you qualify for the recovery rebate credit.

NOTE: This is a CREDIT and not a separate check. You will receive this tax credit as part of your 2008 federal return (either increasing your refund or lowering the balance you owe). It's a good deal so don't miss out if you qualify.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Maximize your work-related and self-employed travel deductions

If you are a person who travels significantly for your employer or if you are self-employed, you of course want to maximize your tax deductions related to your business travel or self-employment income. One simple and effective way to track your mileage and other travel-related expenses is to keep a small appointment book/calendar in your vehicle and record all of your business miles driven as you travel for business throughout the year. You can also record any tolls paid, meals and entertainment for business purposes, etc. in your appointment book/calendar in order to make sure you are tracking all of your trips and expenses as you incur them. Many people wait until the end of the year and then they end up scrambling to go back and remember all of their trips and expenses and usually end up missing a significant amount of expenses due to their lack of record-keeping. Recording these things as they occur in this simple manner can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars during any given year. Plus, this will help you immensely in the event that you are audited by the IRS or your state taxing authority since this is another level of documentation that you have in addition to the receipts, itineraries, employer travel schedules, etc. that you should be keeping as well.

Please visit for all of your income tax information, preparation and planning needs.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Did you know you can deduct up to $500 ($1000 for joint filers) for paid real estate taxes if you used the standard deduction?

Did you know you can claim up to $500 deduction for property taxes ($1000 for joint filers) if you DO NOT itemize?

It is absolutely true – for tax years 2008 and 2009 and you don’t itemize deductions (just take the standard deduction) AND you paid real estate taxes you can increase your standard deduction up to $500 single and up to $1000 for joint filers. Those sneaky IRS guys slipped this one in. Just check box 39c on page 2 of your 1040 form or if you are using the 1040A form, look at line 23c.

Check out for additional free tax planning resources and filing options.