"Deb's Desk"

Debra L. Roberts, CPA, CRC
VP of TLR Business Solutions

2008 Tax Return! The tax season is in full force and it's common to let your tax documents pile up while you sit back and think about where to start. - If you are one of the millions of taxpayers who puts doing your taxes on the back burner, rule No. 1 is, don't panic. Your next steps should be to locate all of your tax documents and gathering them in a secure location. Then you may want to consider using a professional CPA. - Every year, brings new changes in tax law that may affect your tax liability. Here are some important effect in 2008. - Economic stimulus payment: Any economic stimulus payment you received is not taxable but reduces your recovery rebate credit. - Recovery rebate credit. If you did not receive the full economic stimulus payment, you may be able to claim the recovery rebate credit. - First-time homebuyer credit. If you bought your main home after April 8, 2008, and are a first-time homebuyer, you may be able to claim this credit. - Standard mileage rates increased. For 2008, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is 50.5 cents per mile (58.5 cents per mile after June 30, 2008). - Capital gains rate reduced: the 5 percent capital gain tax rate is reduced to zero. - Limits on itemized deductions. Some of your itemized deductions may be limited if your adjusted gross income is more than $159,950 ($79,975 if you are married filing separately). - Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount increased. The AMT exemption amount is increased to $46,200 ($69,950 if married filing jointly or a qualifying widow or widower $34,975 if married filing separately). - IRA deduction increased. If you and your spouse are filing jointly, each of you may be able to deduct an IRA contribution of up to $5,000 ($6,000 if age 50 or older at the end of 2008). - Earned income credit (EIC). The maximum amount of income you can earn and still get EIC increased. The amount depends on your filing status and number of children. The maximum amount of investment income you can have and still be eligible for the credit increased to $2,950. If you need more information, help or advice? Visit our "free stuff" page, or just give us a call!