Friday, August 28, 2009

Making Work Pay Tax Credit

Most have forgotten about the Making Work Pay tax credit by now. In a few months a nasty surprise may show up on your tax return if you don't check into this credit immediately.

Making Work Pay is a refundable federal tax credit of $400 for individuals and $800 for marrieds filing jointly. I'm not going to go into details on how the credit is calculated, but you need to know how it will affect your tax return next spring.

The credit applies to working people only; if you have no earned income, you don't get the credit. Pensioners, married couples with multiple incomes, individuals with multiple jobs, dependents, Social Security recipients with jobs, and workers without valid Social Security numbers need to pay special attention.

The IRS withholding tables provided employers have some flaws. The table works best for individuals with one job, but may under withhold in multiple job situations and for those working and receiving Social Security and/or a pension. Withholding for pensions is also wrong as it allows the credit when it is disallowed on the tax return.

Check to make sure you have enough withheld. We are early enough in the year to change your withholding without major pain. Review you tax situation and withholding with your tax advisor or look at last year's return and compare it to current withholding. If too little is withheld, file a new W-4 with your employer.

Take care of this now to protect your refund in spring.

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