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Some More Info on The Homebuyer Credit

[Stacie says: although I did summarize this information in earlier posts here, this is a good breakdown of the Homebuyers Credit.]

WASHINGTON — A new law that went into effect Nov. 6 extends the first-time homebuyer credit five months and expands the eligibility requirements for purchasers.

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extends the deadline for qualifying home purchases from Nov. 30, 2009, to April 30, 2010. Additionally, if a buyer enters into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, the buyer has until June 30, 2010, to settle on the purchase.

The maximum credit amount remains at $8,000 for a first-time homebuyer –– that is, a buyer who has not owned a primary residence during the three years up to the date of purchase.
But the new law also provides a “long-time resident” credit of up to $6,500 to others who do not qualify as “first-time homebuyers.” To qualify this way, a buyer must have owned and used the same home as a principal or primary residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date of purchase of a new home as a primary residence.

For all qualifying purchases in 2010, taxpayers have the option of claiming the credit on either their 2009 or 2010 tax returns.

A new version of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit, will be available in the next few weeks. A taxpayer who purchases a home after Nov. 6 must use this new version of the form to claim the credit. Likewise, taxpayers claiming the credit on their 2009 returns, no matter when the house was purchased, must also use the new version of Form 5405. Taxpayers who claim the credit on their 2009 tax return will not be able to file electronically but instead will need to file a paper return.

A taxpayer who purchased a home on or before Nov. 6 and chooses to claim the credit on an original or amended 2008 return may continue to use the current version of Form 5405.

Income Limits Rise

The new law raises the income limits for people who purchase homes after Nov. 6. The full credit will be available to taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes (MAGI) up to $125,000, or $225,000 for joint filers. Those with MAGI between $125,000 and $145,000, or $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers, are eligible for a reduced credit. Those with higher incomes do not qualify.

For homes purchased prior to Nov. 7, 2009, existing MAGI limits remain in place. The full credit is available to taxpayers with MAGI up to $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. Those with MAGI between $75,000 and $95,000, or $150,000 and $170,000 for joint filers, are eligible for a reduced credit. Those with higher incomes do not qualify.

New Requirements

Several new restrictions on purchases that occur after Nov. 6 go into effect with the new law:

    Dependents are not eligible to claim the credit.No credit is available if the purchase price of a home is more than $800,000.A purchaser must be at least 18 years of age on the date of purchase.

For Members of the Military

Members of the Armed Forces and certain federal employees serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and still qualify for the credit. An eligible taxpayer must buy or enter into a binding contract to buy a home by April 30, 2011, and settle on the purchase by June 30, 2011.

For more details on the credit, visit the First-Time Homebuyer Credit page on IRS.gov.

Related Items:
IRS YouTube Videos:
New Homebuyer Credit
Consejo Tributario: Consejos Tributarios de Fin de Año

NOL Revenue Procedure Issued under the WHBA Act of 2009

WASHINGTON — Most businesses may use losses incurred during the economic downturn to reduce income from prior tax years, under a revenue procedure issued [Friday] by the Internal Revenue Service.

The relief provided under the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 differs from similar relief issued earlier this year in that the previous relief was limited to small businesses.

The current relief is applicable to any taxpayer with business losses, except those that received payments under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The relief also applies to a loss from operations of a life insurance company.

Taxpayers under the procedure may elect to carry back a net operating loss (NOL) for a period of three, four or five years, or a loss from operations for four or five years, to offset taxable income in those preceding taxable years. An NOL or loss from operations carried back five years may offset no more than 50 percent of a taxpayer’s taxable income in that fifth preceding year. This limitation does not apply to the fourth or third preceding year.

The procedure applies to taxpayers that incurred an NOL or a loss from operations for a taxable year ending after Dec. 31, 2007, and beginning before Jan. 1, 2010.

Revenue Procedure 2009-52 provides guidance under § 13 of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, which allows taxpayers to elect a 3, 4, or 5-year net operating loss (NOL) carryback instead of a normally 2-year carryback. The election applies to an applicable NOL, which is an NOL for a taxable year ending after December 31, 2007, and beginning before January 1, 2010. The revenue procedure tells taxpayers the time and manner for making the election if the taxpayer (1) has not claimed a deduction for an applicable NOL; (2) previously claimed a deduction for an applicable NOL; or (3) previously filed an election to forgo the NOL carryback.

Revenue Procedure 2009-52 will be in IRB 2009-49, dated December 7, 2009.

More on the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009

Here is an expanded outline on how the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 may affect some businesses (this outline does not include all the provisions of the act). Click here to read the bill as passed by both the House and the Senate.

  1. Allow for a 5 year carryback of 2009 NOLs
    1.  
        i. Small business will be exempt from the 1 election rule. Thus small business claiming the 5 year carryback for 2008 losses can still elect 5 year carryback for 2009 losses
    2. a. Removes the small business requirement
      b. Offset 50% of taxable income in 5th prior year
      c. Offset 100% of taxable income in 4th thru 1st prior years
      d. Only 1 election allowed (either for fiscal years beginning in 2008 or fiscal years beginning in 2009)

  2. Homebuyer credit
    1.  
        i. If using binding contract rule – must close by July 1, 2010
    2. a. Extended for purchases (binding contracts entered into by) through 4/30/2010b. Recapture waived for 2009 purchases
      c. Credit = lesser of 10% of purchase price or $8,000.
      d. Credit phases out for modified agi between $125k and $145k ($225k and $245k for married joint returns.)
      e. Can elect to treat 2009 purchases as if made in 2008 and claim credit on 2008 return
      f. Need not be a new buyer

        i. Existing homeowners living in current residence for at least 5 consecutive years during 8 year period ending on date of purchase are eligible for credit
        ii. Must live in new home for at least 3 years
        iii. Credit reduced to $6,500

      g. Limitations

        i. Purchase price must be < $800,000 ii. Skip buying a house for the kids – no credit allowed if can be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer iii. No credit for taxpayers under 18 1. Emancipated minors out of luck unless one is at least 18

      h. MUST attach copy of settlement statement to the return

  3. Penalty for failure to file partnership or s corp returns increased to $195 per partner/shareholder per month beginning with 2010 returns.
  4. Electronic filing mandate
      a. Must use efile if preparing at least 10 individual income tax returns
      b. Individual income tax returns means returns for individuals, estates & trusts
  5. Large Corporation estimated tax payments increased to 100.58% for payments due in July, August or Sept.
      a. Large corporation is a corporation with at least $1b in assets at the end of the preceding tax year.

Guidance – Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008

Notice 2009-85 provides guidance under section 877A, which was enacted by section 301 of the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (the “Act”) and applies to individuals who expatriate on or after June 17, 2008. Section 877A generally provides that all property of a “covered expatriate” is treated as sold on the day before the individual’s expatriation date. Gain and loss from the deemed sale must be taken into account at that time (subject to a $600,000 exclusion amount, which will be indexed for inflation – Exclusion amount for 2009 is $626,000) unless the individual elects to defer payment of the tax by providing security and waiving treaty rights that would prevent assessment or collection of the deferred tax. There are special rules for deferred compensation items, specified tax deferred accounts, and interests in nongrantor trusts.

Notice 2009-85 will be in IRB 2009-45, dated November 9, 2009.

Tax Credit Certification for New Hires – October 17 Deadline Approaching Fast

WASHINGTON ― Businesses planning to claim the recently-expanded work opportunity tax credit for eligible unemployed veterans and disconnected youth hired before mid-September now have until Oct. 17 to request the certification required for these workers, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

In Notice 2009-69, released in August, the IRS extended the certification deadline from Aug. 17, 2009, to Oct. 17, 2009, and clarified the definition of “disconnected youth.” Revised Form 8850 , available on IRS.gov, is used by employers to request certification from their state workforce agency.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in February, added unemployed veterans returning to civilian life and certain younger workers, referred to as disconnected youth, to the list of groups covered by the credit.

Normally, a business must file Form 8850 with the state workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. But under a special rule, businesses have until Oct. 17, 2009, to file this form for unemployed veterans and disconnected youth who begin work on or after Jan. 1, 2009 and before Sept. 17, 2009. The instructions for Form 8850 provide details on requesting the certification.

Last Day To Purchase a Home and Qualify for The First Time Homebuyers Credit is November 30, 2009

First-Time Homebuyer Credit Provides Tax Benefits to 1.4 Million Families to Date, More Claims Expected.

WASHINGTON — With the deadline quickly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded potential homebuyers they must complete their first-time home purchases before Dec. 1 to qualify for the special first-time homebuyer credit. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extended the tax credit, which has provided a tax benefit to more than 1.4 million taxpayers so far
.
The credit of up to $8,000 is generally available to homebuyers with qualifying income levels who have never owned a home or have not owned one in the past three years. The IRS has a new YouTube video and other resources that explain the credit in detail.

The IRS encouraged all eligible homebuyers to take advantage of the first-time homebuyer credit but at the same time cautioned taxpayers to avoid schemes that help ineligible people file false claims for the credit. Currently, the agency is investigating a number of cases of potential fraud and is using computer screening tools to identify questionable claims for the credit.
Because the credit is only in effect for a limited time, those considering buying a home must act soon to qualify for the credit. Under the Recovery Act, an eligible home purchase must be completed before Dec. 1, 2009. This means that the last day to close on a home is Nov. 30.
The credit cannot be claimed until after the purchase is completed. For purchases made this year before Dec. 1, taxpayers have the option of claiming the credit on their 2008 returns or waiting until next year and claiming it on their 2009 returns.

For those considering a home purchase this fall, here are some other details about the first-time homebuyer credit:

The credit is 10 percent of the purchase price of the home, with a maximum available credit of $8,000 for either a single taxpayer or a married couple filing jointly. The limit is $4,000 for a married person filing a separate return. In most cases, the full credit will be available for homes costing $80,000 or more.

The credit reduces the taxpayer’s tax bill or increases his or her refund, dollar for dollar. Unlike most tax credits, the first-time homebuyer credit is fully refundable. This means that the credit will be paid to eligible taxpayers, even if they owe no tax or the credit is more than the tax owed.
Only the purchase of a main home located in the United States qualifies. Vacation homes and rental properties are not eligible.

A home constructed by the taxpayer only qualifies for the credit if the taxpayer occupies it before Dec. 1, 2009.

The credit is reduced or eliminated for higher-income taxpayers. The credit is phased out based on the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). MAGI is adjusted gross income plus various amounts excluded from income—for example, certain foreign income. For a married couple filing a joint return, the phase-out range is $150,000 to $170,000. For other taxpayers, the range is $75,000 to $95,000. This means the full credit is available for married couples filing a joint return whose MAGI is $150,000 or less and for other taxpayers whose MAGI is $75,000 or less.

The credit must be repaid if, within three years of purchase, the home ceases to be the taxpayer’s main home. For example, a taxpayer who claims the credit based on a qualifying purchase on Sept. 1, 2009, must repay the full credit if he or she sells the home or converts it to business or rental use at any time before Sept. 1, 2012.

Taxpayers cannot take the credit even if they buy a main home before Dec. 1 if:
The taxpayer’s income is too large. This means joint filers with MAGI of $170,000 and above and other taxpayers with MAGI of $95,000 and above.

The taxpayer buys a home from a close relative. This includes a home purchased from the taxpayer’s spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild.

The taxpayer owned another main home at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase. For a married couple filing a joint return, this requirement applies to both spouses.

For example, if the taxpayer bought a home on Sept. 1, 2009, the taxpayer cannot take the credit for that home if he or she owned, or had an ownership interest in, another main home at any time from Sept. 2, 2006, through Sept. 1, 2009.

The taxpayer is a nonresident alien.

For details on claiming the credit, see Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit.

Wondering About Recovery Act Tax Benefits? Here is Some Information

WASHINGTON — As part of a larger effort to increase the awareness and use of tax benefits available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), the Internal Revenue Service announced the availability of a vast array of products that help explain several tax benefits currently available to American Families.

With time running out to qualify for some of the Recovery benefits, the IRS has unveiled new YouTube videos, radio public service announcements (PSAs) and multi-lingual informational flyers that provide basic information for taxpayers. The items are available on IRS.gov for partner groups, the media, web sites and other organizations whose audience could benefit from the new tax changes.

These products are in addition to earlier IRS efforts on YouTube (www.youtube.com/irsvideos) and iTunes to increase public awareness about the tax credits. The IRS.gov official web site also contains links and complete information about ARRA at www.irs.gov/recovery. The PSAs are in English and Spanish in either 30-second or 60-second formats. The flyers and posters are in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.

Topics covered include:
The first-time homebuyer credit which provides a maximum $8,000 tax credit to people who meet eligibility requirements and complete the purchase of their homes before December 1;

The American Opportunity Credit expands education tax credits to $2,500 for tuition and a change in 529 plans allows for the purchase of computers for college use;
The energy credit expands to a maximum of $1,500 for certain energy-saving upgrades;
A new deduction for the sales or excises taxes paid on the purchase price of new vehicles;

The Making Work Pay tax credit, which many American workers received in April through reduced tax withholding in their paychecks. The Making Work Pay credit is $400 for single taxpayers and $800 for married taxpayers who meet certain income guidelines. However, some people, such as married spouses, workers with two jobs, pensioners, some Social Security recipients and dependents, should check their tax withholding to ensure they are not having too little withheld.

There’s Nothing Like Free CPE – Here’s How To Get Some

[Stacie says: You don’t need to be a tax professional to learn how to take advantage of the tax laws. The IRS offers free online classes to help taxpayers and professionals to learn more. Why not sign up? In fact, if you are a college student, here is a way to beef up your resume. It’s free, its convenient, heck – why not?]

WASHINGTON — Experts from the Internal Revenue Service and the tax preparation industry will discuss the many tax credits, deductions and incentives contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for 2009 on the Oct. 6 Internet airing of Tax Talk Today.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained benefits for:
First-time homebuyers
People purchasing new cars
Energy efficient home upgrades
Parents and students paying for college

The October program for qualifies for one CPE credit for tax professionals. To access the web cast at no charge, viewers can register online at Tax Talk Today.

Panelists include: Virginia M. Tarris, IRS tax law specialist; Amy Stanton, IRS program manager; CPA Gerard H. Schreiber, Jr, partner, Schreiber and Schreiber; and CPA and attorney Donna Rodriguez, managing partner, Donna L. Rodriguez, PLLC. The moderator is Les Witmer.

Tax Talk Today is a free, live, interactive webcast aimed at educating tax professionals on the most contemporary and complex tax issues. Viewers are encouraged to submit questions during the live broadcast. Tax professionals in need of continuing education credits should select Continuing Education at the Web site for more information.

They can view Tax Talk Today with Windows Media Player and Real Player; both are free software that may already be installed on your computer. If not, click the link for Installing System Software to view Internet Broadcast under “How to View.”

Subscribers can view live web casts as well as archived programs; listen to audio podcasts or read show transcripts through Dec. 31, 2009. Subscribers also can order audio and video recordings. A transcript and audio of the July 14 Webcast, “OPR: A Balanced Approach,” is now available.

Beware – 110 Percent Penalty For Anyone Who Continues to Receive COBRA Subsidy After Becoming Eligible For Alternate Coverage.

[Stacie says: This reminder, issued by the IRS is a must read for anyone who has received a COBRA health insurance subsidy due to involuntary termination from a prior job. As indicated below, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided this 65 percent subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums. ]

The IRS Say:

Individuals who have qualified and received the 65 percent subsidy for COBRA health insurance, due to involuntary termination from a prior job, should notify their former employer if they become eligible for other group health coverage.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a subsidy of 65 percent of the COBRA health insurance premium for employees who are involuntarily terminated from September 30, 2008, to December 31, 2009. The subsidy requires only 35 percent of the premium to be paid for COBRA coverage for individuals, and their families, who have involuntarily lost their job and do not have coverage available elsewhere.

The IRS announced the subsidy in a February 26, 2009, information release, IR-2009-15.

If an individual becomes eligible for other group health coverage, they should notify their plan in writing that they are no longer eligible for the COBRA subsidy. The notice that the United States Department of Labor sent to the individual advising them of their right to subsidized COBRA continuation payments includes the form individuals should use to notify the plan that they are eligible for other group health plan coverage or Medicare.

If an individual continues to receive the subsidy after they are eligible for other group health coverage, such as coverage from a new job or Medicare eligibility, the individual may be subject to the new IRC § 6720C penalty of 110 percent of the subsidy provided after they became eligible for the new coverage.

Taxpayers who fail to notify their plan that they are no longer eligible for the COBRA subsidy may wish to self-report that they are subject to the penalty by calling the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040. In addition, taxpayers will need to notify their plan that they are no longer eligible for the COBRA premium subsidy.

Anyone who suspects that someone may be receiving the subsidy after they become eligible for group coverage or Medicare may report this to the IRS by completing Form 3949-A, Information Referral (PDF).

Did You Purchase a New Car This Year? – Here Are Some Facts about the New Vehicle Sales and Excise Tax Deduction

[Stacie says: Here are some great tips from the IRS if you purchased a new car this year.]

Taxpayers who buy new motor vehicles this year may be entitled to a special tax deduction for the sales or excise taxes on those purchases when they file their 2009 federal tax returns next year. This tax break is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Taxpayers in states that do not have state sales taxes may be entitled to deduct other fees or taxes imposed by the state or local government.
Here are nine important facts the IRS wants you to know about the deduction.
State and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of each qualifying vehicle are deductible.

Qualified motor vehicles generally include new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles.

To qualify for the deduction, the new cars, light trucks and motorcycles must weigh 8,500 pounds or less. Motor homes are not subject to the weight limit.

Purchases must occur after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010.

Taxpayers who purchase new motor vehicles in states that do not have state sales taxes may be entitled to deduct other fees or taxes assessed on the purchase of those vehicles. Fees or taxes that qualify must be based on the vehicles’ sales price or as a per unit fee. These states include Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.

Taxpayers who purchase qualified motor vehicles may claim the deduction when they file their 2009 tax return in 2010.

The deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.

This deduction can be taken regardless of whether the buyers itemize their deductions or choose the standard deduction.Taxpayers who do not itemize will add this additional amount to the standard deduction on their 2009 tax return.

The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.

For more information on this and other key tax provisions of the Recovery Act visit the official IRS Website at IRS.gov.

Links:
Sales Tax Deduction for Vehicle Purchases
YouTube Video: Vehicle Tax Deduction
Audio File for Podcast – ARRA Vehicle Tax Deduction: English Spanish
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Center

Tax Credits and Incentives You Should Know About

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides tax incentives for first-time homebuyers, people purchasing new cars, those interested in making their homes more energy efficient, and parents and students paying for college.

Here are six things the IRS wants you to know about ARRA tax incentives for individuals:

First-Time Homebuyer Credit Taxpayers who haven’t owned a principal residence during the past three years prior to the purchase date of a home before Dec. 1 of this year may be eligible to receive a credit of up to $8,000 on an original or amended 2008 tax return. They can also wait and claim the credit on their 2009 return.

New Vehicle Purchase Incentive Qualifying taxpayers can deduct the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles. The deduction per vehicle is limited to the tax on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of each qualifying vehicle and phases out for taxpayers at higher income levels.

Making Work Pay and Withholding The Making Work Pay Credit lowered employees’ tax withholding rates this year and has already put more money into the pockets of wage earners. Self-employed individuals will have an opportunity to claim this credit when they file their 2009 return. Taxpayers who fall into any of the following groups should review their tax withholding rates to ensure enough tax is currently being withheld: multiple job holders, families in which both spouses work, workers who can be claimed as dependents by other taxpayers, workers without a valid social security number, some social security recipients who work and pensioners. Failure to adjust your withholding in these situations could result in potentially smaller refunds or in limited instances may cause you to owe tax rather than receive a refund next year.

Tax Credit for First Four Years of College The American Opportunity Credit can help parents and students pay part of the cost of the first four years of college. The new credit modifies the existing Hope Credit for tax years 2009 and 2010, making it available to a broader range of taxpayers. Eligible taxpayers may qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.

Certain Computer Technology Purchases Allowed for 529 Plans ARRA adds computer technology to the list of college expenses that can be paid for by a qualified tuition program, commonly referred to as a 529 plan. For 2009 and 2010, the law expands the definition of qualified higher education expenses to include expenses for computer technology and equipment or Internet access and related services.

Energy-Efficient Home Improvements The credit for nonbusiness energy-efficient improvements is increased for homeowners who make qualified improvements to existing homes. Qualifying improvements include the addition of insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems.

For more information on this and other key tax provisions of the Recovery Act, visit the official IRS Website at IRS.gov/Recovery.

Links:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Center
YouTube Videos:
First-Time Homebuyer: English Spanish ASL
Check Your Withholding; Making Work Pay: English ASL
Home Energy Credit: English ASL
Education Credits (Parents): English ASL
General Recovery (ARRA) Message: English Spanish ASL

529 Plan Qualified Tuition Programs – Technology Expenses Special Break

Taxpayers who purchase computer technology for higher education purposes may be eligible for a special tax break. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 added computer equipment and technology to the list of college expenses that can be paid for by a qualified tuition program, commonly referred to as a 529 plan.

A qualified, nontaxable distribution from a 529 plan during 2009 or 2010 now includes the cost of the purchase of any computer technology, equipment or Internet access and related services. To qualify the beneficiary must use the technology, equipment or services while enrolled at an eligible educational institution.
Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about 529 plans.

A 529 plan is an educational savings plan designed to provide tax-free earnings for the benefit of a student. Withdrawals must be used for qualified higher education expenses at an eligible educational institution.

Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, reasonable costs of room and board, mandatory fees, computer technology, supplies and books.

An eligible educational institution includes any college, university, vocational school or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the Department of Education.

Contributions to a 529 plan cannot be more than the amount necessary to provide for a student’s qualified education expenses.

For more information about 529 plans, see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education. For more information on other key tax provisions of the Recovery Act, visit the official IRS Website at IRS.gov/Recovery.

Links:
Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center
Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education
Fact Sheet 2009-12, How 529 Plans Help Families Save for College; and How the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Expanded 529 Plan Features
529 Plans: Questions and Answers
YouTube Video: English Spanish ASL
Audio file for Podcast
IR-2009-78, Special IRS Web Section Highlights Back-to-School Tax Breaks; Popular 529 Plans Expanded, New $2,500 College Credit Available

Expanded NOL Election Deadline September 15 for Corporations – Don’t Miss Out

WASHINGTON — Eligible taxpayers must act soon if they want to take advantage of the expanded business loss carryback option included in this year’s Recovery law. According to the Internal Revenue Service, eligible calendar-year corporations have until Sept. 15, and eligible individuals have until Oct. 15 to choose this special option.

This carryback provision offers small businesses that lost money in 2008 an excellent way to quickly get some much needed cash if they were profitable in previous years. This option is only available for a limited time, so small businesses should consider it carefully and act before it’s too late.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), enacted in February, many small businesses that had expenses exceeding their income for 2008 can choose to carry the resulting loss back for up to five years, instead of the usual two. This means that a business that had a net operating loss (NOL) in 2008 could carry that loss as far back as tax-year 2003, rather than the usual 2006. Not only could this mean a special tax refund, but the refund could be larger, because the loss is being spread over as many as five tax years, rather than just two.

This option may be particularly helpful to any eligible small business with a large loss in 2008. A small business that chooses this option can benefit by:

Offsetting the loss against income earned in up to five prior tax years,
Getting a refund of taxes paid up to five years ago,

Using up part or all of the loss now, rather than waiting to claim it on future tax returns.

Under ARRA, eligible taxpayers can choose to carry back a NOL arising in a taxable year beginning or ending in 2008 for three, four or five years instead of two. Eligible taxpayers are eligible small businesses (ESB) that have no more than an average of $15 million in gross receipts over a three-year period ending with the tax year of the NOL. This includes a sole proprietor that qualifies as an ESB, an individual partner in a partnership that qualifies as an ESB and a shareholder in an S corporation that qualifies as an ESB. This choice may be made for only one tax year.

Taxpayers must choose this special carryback by either:

Attaching a statement to an income tax return for the tax year that begins or ends in 2008 or,

Claiming a refund on Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund or Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund, or on an amended return for the tax year to which the NOL is being carried back.

Most taxpayers still have time to choose the special carryback and get a refund. A calendar-year corporation that qualifies as an ESB must make this choice by Sept. 15, 2009. For individuals, the deadline is Oct. 15, 2009. Deadlines vary for fiscal-year taxpayers, depending upon when their fiscal year ends and whether they are making the choice for the tax year that ends or begins in 2008.

A calendar-year taxpayer that chooses the special carryback by attaching a statement to the income tax return has until December 31, 2009, to claim the refund on Form 1045 or 1139, or 3 years after the due date (including extensions) for filing the 2008 income tax return to claim a refund on an amended return.

These forms, along with answers to frequently-asked questions about this special carryback, and other details can be found on IRS.gov
Related Items:
Net Operating Loss Carryback

Treasury News Release – Highlights of The Recovery Act Impact

WASHINGTON – As part of an effort to highlight the success of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) in revitalizing communities across the country, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released a report providing state-by-state data on Treasury program funding. The report, issued around the 200 day anniversary of the Recovery Act, details funds provided to states, local communities, and families through a variety of programs, including the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, payments for renewable energy production, funds for affordable housing development, and Build America Bonds.

“In 200 days, the Recovery Act has made significant progress in revitalizing our communities and providing the basis for economic growth,” said Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin. “Through innovative programs established by the Recovery Act, the Treasury Department has provided tax relief to millions of families, supported increased development of affordable housing and clean energy projects, and provided new tools for states and communities to fund much needed infrastructure projects.”

Highlights of the impact from Treasury’s Recovery Act programs during the first 200 days include:

· $66.1 billion in estimated tax benefits provided to individuals, families, and businesses through the implementation of various tax provisions. The Making Work Pay credit has been a significant element of these provisions.

· $502 million in payments made to promote renewable energy production throughout the country

· $2.3 billion provided to 37 states to spur the development of affordable housing

· $28.2 billion in Build America Bonds issuances to help 37 states finance a variety of public improvement projects

The report also provides information on the First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit, the $250 one- time stimulus payments, New Markets Tax Credits, Qualified School Construction Bonds, and Recovery Zone Bonds. The comprehensive report is available here. Additional information on Treasury’s Recovery Act programs follows:

Making Work Pay Tax Credit: In 2009 and 2010, the Making Work Pay provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a credit of up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns. The tax credit is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and will phase out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Recovery Zone Bonds: Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds are one type of taxable Build America Bond that allow state and local governments to obtain lower borrowing costs through a new direct federal payment subsidy, for 45 percent of the interest, to finance a broad range of qualified economic development projects, such as job training and educational programs. Recovery Zone Facility Bonds are a type of traditional tax-exempt private activity bond that may be used by private businesses in designated recovery zones to finance a broad range of depreciable capital projects. Both of these are allocated directly to counties and large municipalities.

Qualified School Construction Bonds: Investors who buy these bonds receive tax credits worth 100 percent of the interest, allowing state and local governments to obtain financing without having to pay any interest. States may directly issue the bonds on behalf of eligible schools or provide school districts with the authority to issue the bonds within the state.

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds: These bonds are authorized under an expanded tax credit bond program of the Recovery Act of 2009 for states and large local governments based on population data. The bonds are tax credit bonds that provide a federal subsidy for repair and rehabilitation of public schools and related authorized purposes through a federal tax credit to investors intended to cover 70 percent of the interest on the bonds.

Build America Bonds: Under the Build America Bonds program, Treasury makes a direct payment to the state or local governmental issuer in an amount equal to 35 percent of the interest payment on the Build America Bonds. Potential investors include pension funds that traditionally do not hold tax exempt bonds and foreign investors. These investors have been important additions to the market for municipal debt.

One-time $250 Payments: Treasury’s Financial Management Service, in coordination with the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, have issued more than 54 million Economic Recovery payments to beneficiaries totaling more than $13 billion.

Community Development Financial Institutions: The CDFI Fund makes monetary awards (grants, loans and other investments) on a competitive basis to certified CDFIs. A CDFI is a specialized financial institution that works in low-income communities or serves individuals or businesses that lack access to mainstream financial institutions. Among many financial services, CDFIs provide capital to small businesses and micro-enterprises; mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers; financing to support the development of affordable housing projects and community facilities; and retail banking services to the unbanked.

New Markets Tax Credit: With the increased investment authority made available through the Recovery Act, this program incentivizes private-sector capital investment in distressed communities across the country to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and jumpstart the lending necessary for financial stability. The credit provided to the investor totals 39 percent of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period.

Affordable Housing Payments: Under this program, state housing agencies that apply receive funds to finance the construction or refurbishment of qualified affordable housing developments. Applicants agree to forgo tax credits down the line in favor of an immediate payment. Through this program, the Treasury Department works with state housing agencies to jump start the development or renovation of qualified affordable housing across the country.

Renewable Energy Payments: The Recovery Act authorized Treasury to make direct payments to companies that create and place in service renewable energy facilities. Previously, these companies could file for a tax credit to cover a portion of the renewable energy project’s cost. Under the new program, applicants would agree to forgo tax credits down the line in favor of an immediate payment.

First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit: Taxpayers who qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit and purchase a home this year before December 1 have a special option available for claiming the tax credit either on their 2008 tax returns or on their 2009 tax returns next year. The maximum credit is $8,000.

Treasury News Release -$500 Million in Recovery Act Awards for Clean Energy Projects

WASHINGTON– Marking a major milestone in the effort to spur private sector investments in clean energy and create new jobs for America’s workers, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $502 million in the first round of awards from an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) program that provides cash assistance to energy production companies in place of earned tax credits. The new funding creates additional upfront capital, enabling companies to create jobs and begin construction that may have been stalled until now.

“The Recovery Act is investing in our long-term energy needs while creating jobs in communities around the country,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “This renewable energy program will spur the manufacture and development of clean energy in urban and rural America, allowing us to protect our environment, create good jobs and revitalize our nation’s economy.”

Said Secretary Chu: “These grants will help America’s businesses launch clean energy projects, putting Americans back to work in good construction and manufacturing jobs. The initiative will help double our renewable energy capacity over the next few years and make sure America leads the world in creating the clean energy economy of the future.”

Created under Section 1603 of the Recovery Act, the program is expected to provide more than $3 billion in financial support for clean energy projects by providing direct payments in lieu of tax credits. These payments will support an estimated 5,000 bio-mass, solar, wind, and other types of renewable energy production facilities in all regions of the country over the life of the program. As a result of this first round of funding, more than 2,000 Americans will have access to jobs in the renewable energy industry – both in construction and in manufacturing – while moving the nation closer to meeting the Administration’s goal of doubling renewable energy generation in the next few years.

The Treasury Department opened the application process for the 1603 program on July 31, 2009 and is today making the first awards in half the statutorily mandated turnaround time of 60 days. The following is a chart of projects funded as part of today’s announcement. Additional awards under the program will be announced in the coming weeks.

Movement Gym PV System (Solar), Boulder, CO, $157,809

Solaire Development, LLC Danbury, CT, $2,578,717.00

Evergreen Wind Power V, LLC, Danforth, ME, $40,441,471

Moraine II Wind Farm, Woodstock, MN, $28,019,520
NY
Canadaigua Power Partners, LLC (Wind), Cohocton, NY, $52,352,334

Canadaigua Power Partners II, LLC (Wind), Cohocton, NY, $22,296,494

Wheat Field Wind Farm, Arlington, OR, $47,717,155.00

Hay Canyon Wind Farm, Moro, OR, $47,092,555

Pebble Springs Wind Farm, Arlington, OR, $46,543,219

Highland Wind Farm, Salix, PA, $42,204,562

Locust Ridge II, LLC (Wind), Shenandoah, PA, $59,162,064

Penascal Wind Farm, Sarita, TX, $114,071,646

Total Amount $502,637,546

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