Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stimulus and your Taxes


What kinds of tax savings will the stimulus plan offer Americans?

Deloitte Tax crunched some numbers to come up with an initial answer.

To be sure, the data is preliminary. Congress is still hashing out the final terms of President Obama's economic recovery package and a full picture won't emerge until the tax lady sings.

Most of the savings are accounted for by the Make Work Pay Credit, which was a centerpiece of Obama's election campaign. It would be worth up to $500 a year for individuals and up to $1,000 for couples.

The full credit would be available for 2009 and 2010, but is limited to those making $75,000 or less ($150,000 or less for workers filing joint returns).

The Make Work Pay Credit also would be refundable, meaning that even tax filers without any income tax liability -- typically very low-income workers -- would receive one.

An amendment to the Senate bill this week would protect middle- and upper middle-income taxpayers from the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT was intended primarily for high-income taxpayers but has in recent years threatened to engulf those lower down the income scale. That provision is not in the current House bill, but may make its way to the final bill.

The amount of savings an individual or family receives from the stimulus bill will depend in part on how many children they have. Changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the child tax credit will offer big tax savings to very low-income families with three kids or more.

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