Tax Planning for 2009 Tip 422

New Car on the Brain?

If you purchased a new vehicle* after Feb 16th of this year, 2009 -- or if you plan to purchase one before January 1st, 2010 - you may qualify for a deduction of the state and local sales taxes paid on the vehicle, with a purchase price of up to $49,500.

You qualify for the deduction even if you do not itemize.

The deduction is phased out between $125,000 and $135,000** if you are an individual, and between $250,000 and $260,000** if you are filing a joint return.

You'll claim the deduction on your 2009 return.

This may be as good a time as any to satisfy your desire and help the economy out at the same time. Can you say win-win?

* car, light truck, motor-home, motor-cycle.

** your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).


Left Money on the Table?

Love to find some hidden money?
If you think you may have overpaid the IRS over the last couple of years, you may be right.
Take a look at your tax returns for the last two years, 2006 and 2007, and you may even go as far back as 2005, if you filed an extension for that year. There may be money hiding there. Can you think of a better time to go get it?
Think back.
Did you take all of your deductions?


Who's First on Your Payroll?

Some think of it as a platitude, I think it is a major financial tenet - what am I talking about? Pay yourself first. Your ability to build wealth should not be placed on the back burner, it should not be an afterthought, it should not be somethng you get around to after Peter, Paul and Mary have been paid, it should be your first priority.

An easy and painless way to do this is to have your payroll department deposit a fixed amount or percentage into a specific savings account. You can also request that a portion of your tax refund be placed into that account [the IRS will direct deposit your refund in up to 3 accounts - use Form 8888]. From this holding fund you can make your investment decisions at intervals that are appropriate for your financial goals.
"No matter who you are, making informed decisions about what you do with your money, will help build a more stable financial future for you and your family." Alan Greenspan