Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Many in Louisiana to see effects of federal stimulus law

About 1.7 million Louisiana workers and their families stand to benefit from the tax credits, worth $400 for individual filers and $800 for married couples from the giant stimulus bill signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

Employers should begin changing tax withholding from paychecks for most employees in the next few months; other employees will have to claim it when they file their 2009 tax returns. The benefit starts phasing out for individual taxpayers who earn $75,000 and couples who earn $150,000.

Taxpayers can get as much as $2,500 in tax credits to offset tuition at colleges and universities. The credit is equal to 100 percent of the first $2,000 in college costs, including textbooks, and 25 percent of the next $2,000 in costs. To get the maximum credit, a taxpayer will need to spend $4,000. Money would be recouped from 2009
tax filings.

First-time home buyers, defined as anyone who hasn't bought a home in the past three years or claimed a home they owned as their primary residence during those three years, would qualify for a refundable tax credit of as much as $8,000, based on a formula tied to 10 percent of the purchase price.

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