Practical Financial Tips - Quarterly Newsletter

Mortgage and Lending

Karl Peidl
Accredited Loan Consultant
Pleasant Valley Home Mortgage Corp.
Phone: 856-252-1224
Cell: 609-254-6687



  $8,000 Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

With tax season approaching, we decided to focus this edition of our quarterly newsletter on a few tax incentives we think you'll definitely want to discuss with your tax professional. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends and loved ones as they prepare their 2009 returns.

Up first is the popular $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. Originally scheduled to expire on November 30th, 2009, this valuable tax credit of up to 10% of the purchase price or up to $8,000 was extended into 2010 (purchase agreements must be signed by April 30, 2010, and closings must be final by June 30, 2010). The new program was also expanded to include a tax credit of up to $6,500 (or up to 10% of the purchase price) for qualified buyers of a second or "replacement" home under the same deadlines. To qualify, home purchasers must have owned and occupied a primary residence for five consecutive years during the last eight years. Most importantly, the new program significantly increases previous income requirements.

There are other important guidelines to meet in order to qualify, so be sure to discuss your situation with a tax professional. And don't forget, you can still buy a home before April 30th and qualify - even you've already filed your 2009 taxes - so don't hesitate to give us a call.


   Property-Tax Deduction for Non-itemizers

You don't have to be a new homeowner in 2009 to deduct qualifying property taxes, but prior to 2008, you did have to itemize your taxes in order to receive the benefit - not anymore. Under the new rule, homeowners who don't itemize can boost their standard-deduction amount by up to $500 if they're single and up to $1,000 if they're married and file a joint return to account for property taxes paid during 2009. You'll need to include a Schedule L with your 2009 tax return, but it's definitely worth it if you qualify. Talk to your tax preparer and don't be one of the millions of taxpayers who will claim the standard deduction and miss out on the savings.

Refinancing Points - When you buy a house, you get to deduct (all at once) the points paid to get your mortgage. When you refinance a mortgage, though, you have to deduct the points over the life of the loan. That means you can deduct 1/30th of the points per year if it's a 30-year mortgage. It's not a lot of savings, but everything helps when you're legally trying to lower your tax bill.


  Energy and Home Improvements Credits

Homeowners can make energy-conscious purchases that will provide tax benefits when filling out their tax returns for 2009. The new law provides tax credits for making your principal residence more energy efficient and for buying certain energy efficient items.

Residential Energy Property Credit - The new law increases the energy tax credit to 30% of the cost of all qualifying energy-efficient improvements to existing homes. It also raises the maximum credit limit to $1,500 for improvements placed in service in 2009 and 2010. Qualified improvements include adding insulation, energy efficient exterior windows, energy-efficient heating, air conditioning systems, and more. A similar credit was available for 2007, but was not available in 2008. Ask your tax professional about the IRS' issued guidance, deadlines, and other important qualifying factors for this and the following tax credit.

Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit - You can receive a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price of qualified energy-efficient products installed in the taxpayer's main home in the United States. The tax credit for home improvement purchases is limited to $500 and applies to the total credit you can claim for all years combined.


  Other 2009 Tax Breaks

New Car Purchases - If you bought a qualifying new car or truck ($49,500 or less) between February 16 and December 31st, you may be able to deduct the sales or excise tax. Your income must be less than $125,000 for a single taxpayer or $250,000 for a couple to get the full deduction. The benefit applies to more than one vehicle, as long as all of them qualify and delivery was taken by Dec. 31.

Unemployment Benefits - Unemployment benefits are usually fully taxable. If you received any unemployment benefits at any time during 2009, however, you are eligible to exclude the first $2,400 of these benefits when you file your tax return. For a married couple, the exclusion applies to each spouse separately.

Moving expenses - If you were unemployed in 2009 but you got a new job, moving expenses may be deductible, if you moved more than 50 miles away - and you don't have to itemize to get it. For 2009, you can deduct the cost of getting yourself and your household goods to that new area 50+ miles away, this includes 24 cents per mile for driving your own vehicle, plus parking fees and tolls.



New Jersey: Licensed by the N. J. Department of Banking and Insurance Delaware: Licensed Lender by the Delaware Office of the State Bank Commissioner.


Karl Peidl
Pleasant Valley Home Mortgage Corp.
305 Harper Drive, Suite 3
Moorestown, NJ 08057

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