Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00
Senator Kemp Hannon is reminding you to review this end of the year savings checklist, to make sure you don’t miss out on your savings.
1. Homeowners Tax Credit - If you are a first-time homeowner who bought a house in 2009, you can receive a tax credit of up to $8,000. Perhaps you’re not a first time homebuyer? Well, if you buy a house on or after Nov. 7, 2009 and prior to May 1, 2010, you can qualify for a credit worth $6,500.
2. STAR (school tax relief) Program – You must have filed your STAR application by Dec. 31, 2009 to ensure that you will get your savings. The School Tax Relief (STAR) exemption provides a partial exemption from school taxes for most owner-occupied, primary residences. The exemption consists of two parts: (1) a “Basic” exemption available to virtually all New Yorkers who own their own one, two, or three family home, condominium, cooperative apartment or mobile home; and (2) an “Enhanced” exemption available to senior citizens (age 65 and older) with yearly incomes of $74,700 or less. If you are already receiving the Basic STAR exemption or have been participating in the Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program, there is no need to re-file.
3. Tuition Tax Credits - Are you or your children heading to college? Then take advantage of the newly expanded American Opportunity Tax Credit. Those who spend more than $4,000 in a single year on their education will get a $2,500 tax credit, which is 40 percent refundable (up to $1,000 cash back). The credit begins to phase out for individual taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes over $80,000 or $160,000 for married couples filing jointly.
4. Newlyweds and New Children Credits - If you got married, had a baby or adopted a child in 2009, you may be eligible for a personal exemption worth $3,650 for each member of your newly expanded family. For 2009, the tax exemptions for married couples filing together start to get partially phased out at adjusted gross incomes of $250,200, $125,100 for married filing separately, and for heads of households, $208,500.
5. Purchased a Car in 2009 Tax Credit - If you buy a new vehicle after Feb. 17, 2009, and before 2010, you can get a tax deduction for the state and local sales tax. The deduction is for new vehicles costing up to $49,500, and the benefit begins to phase out for individuals with a modified adjusted income of $125,000 ($250,000 if married filing jointly). You may claim this benefit on your 2009 tax return even if you do not itemize.
6. Home Improvements Credit – Did you make any “green” improvements to your primary home this year? If so, you may be eligible for a residential energy property credit, which is capped at 30 percent of the price of certain qualifying improvements, such as energy-efficient windows and doors to several home heating systems. The credit is available for 2009 and 2010, up to a combined maximum of $1,500.
If you have any questions or need assistance regarding any of these tax credits, call Senator Hannon’s community office at 739-1700 and visit his website at www.kemphannon.com.