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Tax Breaks

New Homebuyer Credit

Take up to 10% off your purchase price.

If you buy a new home this year before December 1, you may qualify for a tax credit worth 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000. And you don't have to pay it back as long as you remain in your new home for at least three years. (Qualified buyers who bought a house last year, between April 9 and December 31, are eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500, but they must repay it over 15 years.)

You can claim the home buyers' tax credit on either your 2008 return (due April 15, or October 15 if you file for an extension) or the 2009 return due next April. Use the revised Form 5405. The tax credit is refundable, meaning it not only reduces your tax bill dollar for dollar, but it can also wipe out your tax liability and result in a refund.

Not everyone is eligible for the full credit, however. The 2008 and 2009 credits begin to phase out for those with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. You are considered a first-timer if you (and your spouse, if you are married) didn't own a primary residence in the past three years.

See More From the Stimulus Guide

The New Stimulus Tax Credit

This tax break puts up to $400 in your pocket.


New Car Sales-Tax Deduction

Car buyers have till the end of the year to grab this above-the-line deduction.

Better Benefits for the Unemployed

Qualified filers get an extra $25 a week.

Health-Care Subsidy for the Unemployed

Now there's extra help for paying COBRA coverage.

AMT Tax Relief

Taxpayers get a one-year fix on the alternative minimum tax.


College Aid Gets Fresh Funding

Rather than introduce big new ideas, this bill mostly replenishes underfunded programs and increases amounts available to families.