Tax Returns

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon — November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009 // 0 Comments

Jerry Coon, Enrolled Agent Five items most affect returns this year Boy, there sure is a lot going on in the tax arena this year. I have written about this regularly and previously, but it bears repeating: virtually by the minute, our tax system is getting more complicated. I attended a two-day seminar last week that was attended predominantly by Enrolled Agents, such as me, and Certified Public Accountants. In theory, and in my judgment, these tax professionals are the best informed and educated tax professionals in the market, but even these people were surprised when the manual of topics to be covered was handed out at the registration desk. It was over 800 pages long. The topics covered included not only the tax laws that were passed this year but also the tax laws passed last year that went into effect this year, as well as the myriad of courts cases and Internal Revenue Service rulings and publications that will affect returns prepared this coming tax season. Even to us veteran tax professionals, it’s mind-boggling. What are some of the items that will affect the largest amount of returns we will file this year? Here is the list as I see it right now: 1. Residential Energy Credit. I wrote a few weeks ago about the energy credit that is available on purchases of golf carts. That was fun to write about, but it’s really important to remember that purchases of energy improvements made to our personal residences can result in a credit of up to $1,500. Remember to keep those receipts and take that credit on this year’s return. 2. Homebuyer’s $6,500 Tax Credit. Any taxpayer who owned and occupied a personal residence for five out of the last eight years and now buys a new personal residence will qualify for a refundable credit of $6,500. The closing has to have taken place after November 6, 2009. The previous residence doesn’t even have to be sold. Stay tuned for more clarifications, but this is a huge credit. 3. New Hope Tuition Credit. The Hope tuition credit was substantially expanded. The old Hope credit was up to $1,800 per year for up to two years, was non-refundable, and began to phase out at the relatively […]