Today, Congresswoman Laura Richardson urged Californians to take advantage of the 25 different tax cuts in the Recovery Act -- part of the more than $800 billion in tax cuts for working families and small businesses that this Congress has passed since last year.
Unlike the Bush tax cuts, which focused on the wealthy, this Congress has enacted more than $800 billion in broad-based tax cuts for working American families. These include 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. Bruce Bartlett, President Reagan's domestic policy advisor, noted that "federal taxes are very 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," Congresswoman Richardson said. "President Obama and Congress gave 95 percent of working Americans one of the largest tax cuts in history through the Recovery Act. And as you file your 2009 income taxes, you may qualify for a series of other generous tax cuts, for example, you could save money for attending college, making energy-saving home improvements, purchasing a home for the first time, or buying a new car. I encourage all the residents of the 37th Congressional District to take advantage of these and other tax cuts as they are filing their 2009 taxes. And if you missed out on any of these tax cuts, there is still time to amend your 2009 return to get the full benefits of the Recovery Act."
Taxpayers in 37th Congressional Districtand across the country 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 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 the 37th Congressional District of California, 227,000 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 911,000 families and students pay for college expenses. More than 520,000 additional California 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 Homebuyer tax credit. In California, 199,092 households have already taken advantage of the First Time Homebuyers tax credit totaling nearly $1.5 billion.
· 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 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 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 earnings.
To find out what tax cuts you may qualify for, check the White House online tax calculator by visiting www.whitehouse.gov/recovery/tax-saving-tool.
"When President Obama took office, our economy was in freefall, losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month, cutting into Americans' retirement savings and freezing lending to small businesses," Congresswoman Richardson added. "We passed the Recovery Act, which has saved and created more than two million jobs in the first year of a two-year effort. The Recovery Act tax cuts are easing the burden on American families and small businesses struggling to make ends meet, while injecting more demand into the economy to create jobs."