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Tax Breaks

The New Stimulus Tax Credit

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

The stimulus provides a tax credit based on 6.2% of taxable wages in 2009 and 2010, up to a maximum of $400 each year for single taxpayers and $800 for married couples filing jointly. You won't receive a check. Instead, less tax will be taken out of your paycheck, meaning you'll get about $45 more a month in 2009 (married workers will receive an extra $65).


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Self-employed workers can adjust their quarterly estimated tax payments to benefit from the extra money this year. When you file your 2009 tax return, claim the credit, which will reduce your tax liability for the reduced payments or withholding.

The credit begins to phase out for single filers with adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000, and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. It disappears for single filers with AGI of more than $95,000, or $190,000 for joint filers.

See More From the Stimulus Guide

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.

New Homebuyer Credit

Take up to 10% off your purchase price.

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.