Tax Extender Update: TurboTax Has the Facts

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It’s that time of the year again when the weather cools down, leaves begin to fall, and we head into the final stretch of the year.

Another typical occurrence this time of the year is Congress determining whether recently expired or expiring tax breaks called tax extenders, will be temporarily extended or passed.

A number of temporary tax breaks or extenders that may impact individuals and businesses expired at midnight on December 31, 2013, so Congress is expected to vote before the end of this year on whether these tax extenders or breaks will be extended or reinstated.

All this is nothing new for TurboTax, and don’t worry, this year will not be a nail biter like tax year 2012 when there was talk of falling off the “Fiscal Cliff.”

There really isn’t a “cliff” this year since Congress already permanently passed the Alternative Minimum Tax and the potential tax extenders are expected to be either temporarily extended or permanently passed, helping to keep more money in your pocket come tax time.

To help keep you informed, here is a short list of some of the tax extenders that are on the table for passage:

  •  The Educator Expense Deduction– If you are a teacher, this tax law allows you to claim up to $250 of classroom expenses for supplies, materials, books and software.

 

  • Tuition and Fees Deduction – College students or parents may be able to deduct education expenses related to schooling, including tuition, books and other supplies, up to $4,000 under this law.

 

  • Energy Tax Breaks – Homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their homes that meet certain Energy Star guidelines are able to claim the Non-Business Energy Property Credit under this law. This credit could mean as much as $500.

 

  • State and Local Sales Tax Deduction – Under this law, you have the option to choose between deducting state and local income tax or state and local sales tax. This is especially beneficial for people that live in a state like Florida or Texas that doesn’t collect state income tax or if you made large purchases and paid substantial local sales tax.

 

  • Mortgage Debt Relief If extended, amounts forgiven or discharged when your principal residence is foreclosed on, sold in a short sale, or your loan is modified will not be included in your income.

So when will we know what has passed for sure? No one knows the specific date. It is expected to be after the mid-term elections in November, but no matter when and how the tax extenders are passed, TurboTax will be up to date with the latest tax laws and ready for taxpayers within a matter of days of changes to the tax code.

Check back with the TurboTax blog soon to find out the latest update regarding passage of the tax extenders.

And if you have questions, TurboTax tax experts are here for you year-round to answer your tax questions, helping you understand what these tax laws may mean to you and your family.

 

 

Lisa Greene-Lewis

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Lisa has appeared on the Steve Harvey Show, the Ellen Show, and major news broadcast to break down tax laws and help taxpayers understand what tax laws mean to them. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to taxpayers to help them keep more of their money is paramount. More from Lisa Greene-Lewis

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