Sunday, August 30, 2015 08:11pm
North Adams, MA now: 68 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
LOG IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
The Independent Investor: It's That Time Of The Year — Again
By: Bill Schmick On: 10:29AM / Monday April 11, 2011

We all waited with bated breath until the end of last year, only to see Congress extend the Bush tax cuts for another two years. Although the legislation passed, it did create some issues that you should be aware of in filing your taxes this year.

Let's start with property taxes; something most of us have learned to despise. Until last year, if you owned a home you were able to deduct a portion of your state property taxes in the form of an enhancement or an addition to your standard deduction. The deduction was worth between $500 and $1,000 depending on whether you were married or single. This provision was not extended, but you can still claim the deduction providing you itemize your deductions. The problem with this new wrinkle is that many Americans do not have a sufficient amount of deductions to make itemizing worth doing.

Given the vast number of workers who lost their job during this last recession, if you were unemployed in 2009, the government granted an exemption in unemployment income up to $2,400 per person. That meant you only had to pay taxes on earned income above that amount. That exclusion has been eliminated as well.

So if you were unemployed at any time last year and collected unemployment compensation you owe taxes on 100 percent of that income. The problem here is that few of these jobless taxpayers withhold taxes from this income, so now they will need to come up with the cash they owe the IRS.

The first-time home buyer credit and the follow-on home buyer tax credit on primary residences provided a tax credit ($8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,000 for other buyers) but require that you keep your new residence for at least 36 months. That means if you bought and sold that new home you must repay that tax credit to the government this year.

The American Opportunity tax credit was a bit of new legislation that replaced the Hope credit that allows taxpayers earning $80,000 ($160,000) for joint filers) to claim $2,500 tax credit for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for educational studies paid in 2010. There is some confusion about this tax credit because the government already allows a deduction of up to $4,000 for the same items. You can't claim both the deduction and the credit.

People become confused between a credit and a deduction. Simply put, a deduction reduces your income while a tax credit reduces your tax bill. If you earned $60,000, for example, and took the $4,000 education deduction that would reduce your adjusted gross income to $56,000. If you were in the 20 percent tax bracket, then the tax savings for you would be ($4,000 X 20 percent) or $800. However if you selected the tax credit, your tax bill would be reduced by $2,500, a dollar-for-dollar tax savings.

Because Congress acted so late in the year, the IRS said it would need until mid-February to reprogram its systems. As a result, they advised that those who plan to itemize their deductions wait until after March 1 to file their taxes. Since most of us wait until the very last second (or longer) to file, this delay should not have a major impact on us taxpayers. In any case, the coast is clear for filing your taxes. I bet you just can't wait.

Note: You've got some extra time. Tax day is Tuesday, April 19, this year because the 15th falls on a Friday holiday in Washington and Monday falls on Patriots Day in Massachusetts.

Bill Schmick is an independent investor with Berkshire Money Management. (See "About" for more information.) None of the information presented in any of these articles is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at (toll free) or e-mail him at wschmick@fairpoint.net. Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill's insights.



Tags: taxes, IRS, deductions      
News Headlines
Cornerstone Completes Sweep in BABL Final
Habitat For Humanity Cuts Ribbon On New 'ReStore'
Adams Aces Take Lead in BABL Final
Revised Proposal For New Pittsfield Dunkin Would Spare Church Building
Lanesborough Elementary School Bus Routes 2015
Retiring Clark Art Director Leaves Lasting Impression
Adams & Cheshire School Bus Route 2015
McCann Technical School Bus Routes 2015
Williams College Class of 2019 Set to Arrive Aug. 31
YMCA Accepting Registration for Elementary School-Age Programs

Bill Schmick is registered as an investment advisor representative and portfolio manager with Berkshire Money Management (BMM), managing over $200 million for investors in the Berkshires. Bill’s forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of BMM. None of his commentary is or should be considered investment advice. Anyone seeking individualized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill’s insights.

 

 

 



Categories:
@theMarket (178)
Independent Investor (242)
Archives:
August 2015 (7)
August 2014 (1)
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (8)
May 2015 (6)
April 2015 (8)
March 2015 (6)
February 2015 (7)
January 2015 (9)
December 2014 (7)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (9)
September 2014 (5)
Tags:
Greece Stimulus Recession Pullback Metals Currency Bailout Stocks Japan Debt Ceiling Energy Stock Market Europe Debt Fed Oil Election Fiscal Cliff Banks Housing Jobs Retirement Deficit Taxes Markets Europe Crisis Rally Selloff Interest Rates Congress Federal Reserve Euro Commodities Economy
Popular Entries:
The Independent Investor: Don't Fight the Fed
The Independent Investor: Understanding the Foreclosure Scandal
@theMarket: QE II Supports the Markets
The Independent Investor: Does Cash Mean Currencies?
@theMarket: Markets Are Going Higher
The Independent Investor: General Motors — Back to the Future
The Independent Investor: Will the Municipal Bond Massacre Continue?
@theMarket: Economy Sputters, Stocks Stutter
The Independent Investor: Why Are Interest Rates Rising?
The Independent Investor: How Will Wall Street II Play on Main Street?
Recent Entries:
@theMarket: Are We There Yet?
The Independent Investor: The Marijuana Market
@theMarket: Markets Are Supposed to Pullback
The Independent Investor: Not All Bonds Are the Same
The Independent Investor: The Risk of Rising Rates
The Independent Investor: Boomers' Kids Don't Want Your Stuff
@theMarket: Month-End Musings
The Independent Investor: Supermarkets Evolve to Survive
The Independent Investor: Are You Ready for El Niņo
@theMarket: O Ye of Little Faith


Motorama Winners 2015
Plenty of trophies, plaques and jackets were awarded to...
Motorama 2015
The 5th annual Motorama filled downtown North Adams with...
Live on the Lake: Madison...
Madison Avenue wrapped up the 2015 Live on the Lake concert...
Whitman's Wins Torchia League...
The Pat Torchia Women's Softball League playoffs concluded...
Berkshires Craft Beer Fest...
The 9th annual Western Mass beer festival drew hundreds of...
Pat Torchia Women's Softball...
Whitman's took the first game in the best two out of three...
Third Thursday August 2015
It was another beautiful night for 3rd Thursday on North...
Berkshire Chamber @ Darrow...
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce held its monthly...
Shire City Sessions August...
Wild Adriatic performs at Monday's Shire City Sessions, a...
BYP Networking @WTF
The Berkshire Young Professionals held its networking event...
Softball: VFW Post vs Pizza...
VFW Post vs Pizza House at DiSanti field on Monday night.
Second Cheshire Block Party
Cheshire resident enjoyed good food and music by the...
Downtown Celebration 2015
The annual Downtown Celebration brought hundreds to Main...
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair was held at the Pittsfield Common on...
Annual Cruz Nite And...
Cheshire residents enjoyed classic cars, good food, a BMX...
Adams National Night Out 2015
Adams recognized its first responders on Tuesday night...
Motorama Winners 2015
Plenty of trophies, plaques and jackets were awarded to...
Motorama 2015
The 5th annual Motorama filled downtown North Adams with...
Live on the Lake: Madison...
Madison Avenue wrapped up the 2015 Live on the Lake concert...
Whitman's Wins Torchia League...
The Pat Torchia Women's Softball League playoffs concluded...
Berkshires Craft Beer Fest...
The 9th annual Western Mass beer festival drew hundreds of...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings |
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2012 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy| User Agreement