Personal Exemptions - Divorced couples listen up!
A noncustodial parent claiming the exemption for a child can NO LONGER rely on a divorce decree or separation agreement. You MUST fill out Form 8332 (Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption) if the decree was executed after 2008. The noncustodial parent must attach the form, or similar statement signed by the custodial parent.
Children Qualifying as Dependents
- The Qualifying Child must be younger than the individual claiming the deduction, unless the child is totally disabled.
- If the parents of a child can claim the child as a dependent, but nobody does so, no one else can claim the child (such as a grandparent) unless that person's adjusted gross income is higher than the AGI of either of the parents.
For tax years beginning in 2009, up to $2,400 of unemployment compensation is considered tax-free. This is to avoid the "kick 'em when they're down" mentality of taxing people's unemployment proceeds.
Moving Expenses - Line 26
The mileage rate for moving expenses is now 24 cents per mile.
IRA Deductions - Line 32
The IRA contribution limit is $5,000 ($6,000 if over 50 by 12/31/09). For 2009, participants in employer plans are allowed to contribute so long as their AGI is less than $89,000 for single filers or $109,000 for joint filers.
Standard Deduction - Line 40
The standard deduction is $5,700, $11,400 and $8,350 for single, joint, and head of household tax returns, respectively. A taxpayer may be able to increase his standard deduction for the amount of sales tax paid on the purchase of a NEW motor vehicle or by paying real estate taxes. The standard deduction is no longer so standard, as it may require the attachment of the new Schedule L - Standard Deduction for Certain Filers.
Exemptions - Line 42
The personal exemption amount for 2009 will be $3,650. There is a phase out if adjusted gross income exceeds $166,800 (single), $125,100 (MFS), $250,200 (MFJ), or $208,500 (HH).
More to come later about tax, tax credits, and items that occur below Line 42!