U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) highlighted today the broad-based tax cuts enacted for working families since last year. These include 25 different tax cuts in the Recovery Act, the largest health care tax cut in history, job-creating tax incentives to spur hiring of out-of-work Americans, and tax credits and accelerated write offs for small businesses.
"Don't take my word for it," said Spratt. "Bruce Bartlett, President Reagan's domestic policy advisor, noted that "federal taxes are considerably lower by every measure since Obama became president.'"
"Most people don't realize that tax cuts are the biggest individual piece of the Recovery Act," said Spratt. "The President and Congress gave 95% of working Americans one of the largest tax cuts in history through the Recovery Act."
Spratt also said that in tax year 09, citizens may qualify for a series of other generous tax cuts -- including credits for attending college, making energy-saving home improvements, purchasing a home for the first time, or buying a new car.
Taxpayers can claim a variety of benefits on their 2009 tax returns, including:
* The "Making Work Pay" tax credit -- Ninety-five percent of working families are already receiving in their paychecks the Recovery Act's Making-Work-Pay tax credit of $400 for an individual or $800 for married couples filing jointly. They will continue to see these benefits in 2010. In the 5th Congressional District of South Carolina, an estimated 285,000 families are benefiting from the Making Work Pay tax credit.
* Tax credits for college expenses -- Families and students are eligible for up to $2,500 in tax savings under the American Opportunity Credit, as well as enhanced benefits under Section 529 college savings plans, which helps families and students pay for college expenses. More than four million additional students will be able to attend college thanks to this tax credit.
* The First Time Homebuyers tax credit -- First time homebuyers can get a credit of up to $8,000 for homes purchased by April 30, 2010 under the First Time Homebuyers tax credit. In South Carolina, so far, 27,208 households have taken advantage of the credit.
* Tax credits for energy efficient renovations -- Taxpayers are eligible for up to $1,500 in tax credits for making energy efficient improvements to their homes, such as adding insulation and installing energy efficient windows.
* The vehicle sales tax deduction -- Taxpayers can deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid for new vehicles purchased from February 17, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2009 under the vehicle sales tax deduction.
* Expanded family tax credits -- Moderate income families with children may be eligible for an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit and the additional Child Tax Credit.
* Tax-free unemployment benefits -- Thanks to the Recovery Act, individuals who received unemployment insurance in 2009 do not have to pay taxes on the first $2,400 of such benefits.