New Tax Law Changes Can Help Taxpayers Save Money Jackson Hewitt – Four Corners Highlights Changes That May Spell Tax Time Savings for Maryland

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® - Four Corners office encourages taxpayers to find out how these new tax credits and deductions can help lower their individual tax liability and possibly put more money back in their pockets this tax season.

Silver Spring, MD, --( What continues to weigh heavy on the minds of many people is the slowing U.S. economy – unemployment has reached the highest percentage in years at 6.7 percent*, layoffs and business closures continue and the housing market remains weak. In 2008, lawmakers passed more than a hundred new tax law changes intended to help millions of individual taxpayers. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® - Four Corners office encourages taxpayers to find out how these new tax credits and deductions can help lower their individual tax liability and possibly put more money back in their pockets this tax season.

"Every year some taxpayers leave money on the table by failing to claim all of the tax benefits available to them," said John J. Lah, MBA, CFA, Franchise Owner of the Four Corners Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. "Taxpayers affected by the many changes this year could see significant savings, and with the current recession, it is even more important that people get all of the tax benefits they deserve."

Tax Law Changes Mr. Lah outlines some money-saving tax law changes for 2008, including:

Housing Assistance Tax Act: Taxpayers who pay real estate taxes and are not otherwise eligible to itemize deductions can increase their standard deduction amount by the lesser of:

Real estate taxes paid in 2008 OR $500 ($1,000 if married filing jointly)

First Time Homebuyers Credit: Taxpayers who purchased a new home for the first time after April 8, 2008, may qualify for a refundable credit up to $7,500. Part of the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act, this refundable tax credit works like an interest-free loan for all qualified taxpayers. The credit must be paid back in equal parts over a period of 15 years beginning in 2010.

Unemployed in 2008: For those taxpayers who were unemployed in 2008, it is important to remember that unemployment compensation is taxable on federal and most state tax returns. Income tax is not automatically withheld from unemployment compensation, however, individuals can elect to have taxes deducted. If you did not have taxes withheld throughout the year, you may have a potential balance due when you file your 2008 income taxes.

For those taxpayers looking for a job during 2008, there are deductible costs they can claim if they itemize deductions, including:

  • Mileage costs accrued on a personal vehicle while job hunting including trips to job interviews and to the unemployment office. Between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2008, taxpayers can claim 50.5 cents per mile. Between July 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008, taxpayers can claim 58.5 cents per mile.
  • Costs for creating, printing and mailing a resume
  • Costs for a headhunter or job placement agency
  • Transportation costs such as a bus, taxi, train or plane to an interview
  • Meals and lodging if out of town for an interview
  • Parking and tolls when driving to an interview
  • Long distance or mobile phone call charges directly associated with a job search
  • Business research services
  • Physical exam expenses if required by a potential employer

If a taxpayer accepted a new job which required relocation, he or she may be able to deduct qualified moving expenses not reimbursed by the new employer. Taxpayers should keep receipts related to all moving expenses in order to substantiate these expenses.


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