While no one welcomes tax season, 98% of taxpayers are seeing lower taxes this year. Beginning with the Recovery Act, which cut taxes by $288 billion, Congress has enacted a number of tax cuts aimed at creating jobs and boosting businesses. Tax relief for both families and businesses is an integral part of our nation's economic recovery, and we must continue working to create jobs and rebuild the economy. Our economy still has a long way to go before we achieve a full recovery, but the tax cuts already enacted are injecting consumer demand into the economy and spurring job creation. All totaled, Congress has enacted more than $800 billion in tax cuts, with another $285 billion making their way through Congress, such as permanent estate tax relief and the research and development tax credit to spur business innovation.
The Recovery Act contained 25 different tax cuts, including the Making Work Pay Tax Cut, which was one of the broadest tax cuts in history. The Recovery Act also provides tax cuts for making homes more energy efficient, buying a home, buying a car and sending a child to college. Congress has also enacted numerous job-creating tax incentives and the largest health care tax cut in history, with enactment of health insurance reform.
As a result of the tax cuts is that tax refunds are already up 10 percent, pushing the average refund up to a record $3,000 per taxpayer. Taxpayers in eastern North Carolina and across the country are benefiting from a number of important cuts, including:
The Making Work Pay tax credit -- Ninety-five percent of working families are already receiving the Recovery Act's Making Work Pay tax credit of $400 for an individual or $800 for married couples filing jointly in their 2009 paychecks -- and will continue to see these benefits in 2010. In North Carolina's First District, 240,000 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 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.
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 Homebuyer tax credit. In North Carolina, more than 54,641 households have already taken advantage of the First Time
Homebuyers tax 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.
Vehicle sales tax deduction -- taxpayers can deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid for new vehicles purchased from Feb. 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 a 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 earnings.
The 2010 Census continues, and most eastern North Carolina residents are already participating at a higher rate than the 2000 Census. By being counted, you're helping your community secure the resources and representation it needs and deserves.
Accurate data reflecting changes in the community are crucial in deciding how almost $450 billion in federal funding per year is allocated for projects like new hospitals, roads, job training centers and schools. Census data also determine apportionment in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures.
Below is a First Congressional District county-by-county comparison of the final mail-in participation for the 2000 Census with the 2010 Census as of April 16, 2010:
2010 Mail-In Participation
County 2000 Census Mail-In Participation
(As of April 16, 2010)
Beaufort County 60 73
North Carolina (Statewide) 66 70
If the Census Bureau does not receive a completed questionnaire by mail, beginning May 1, a census worker will make door-to-door home visits to obtain the information. All census takers are required to carry official government badges marked with their name, and you may also ask them for a picture ID from another source to confirm their identity. Census takers will NEVER, under any circumstances, ask to enter your home.
If you still are uncertain about their identity, please call your Local Census Office in Rocky Mount at (252) 544-9080 or Greenville at (252) 493-7040.
Please also be aware that the Census Bureau is not delivering census forms to P.O. boxes. Instead, it will be delivering forms to individual's physical addresses. If you have not yet receive your census form, please call the number above.