There isn’t a whole lot that’s new about this year’s federal income taxes, but some old things are making a reappearance with new twists.

There isn’t a whole lot that’s new about this year’s federal income taxes, but some old things are making a reappearance with new twists.

“There’s a couple of things I think are very interesting,” said Bob Fisher, partner and accountant with Integrity Accounting and Tax Service in Canton, Ohio.

“One is the rebate checks that people got last year. There’s an effort this year to make sure that everyone receives it,” he said.

Fisher said if you didn’t receive the stimulus payment last year, you can mark your form 1040 and get it this year.

“The whole stimulus payment is causing a lot of confusion this year,” said Donald Sauerbrier, a certified public accountant in Plain Township.

He said the biggest mistakes people are making on returns concern the economic stimulus.

“Some people are including it as taxable income, which it’s not,” he said. “Others are claiming it again, which you can’t.”

Even if you received a stimulus payment last year, if you had a baby in 2008, you may be eligible for another $300 in stimulus payment this year.

The Internal Revenue Service is advising that a number of tax breaks were renewed for tax years 2008 and 2009, including the educator’s expense deduction on Form 1040, and tuition and fees deduction on Form 8917 .

Also renewed was the deduction for state and local sales taxes on Form 1040.

“If you made a large purchase like a refrigerator or a car, you can add that along with the state income tax as a deduction,” Fisher said.

“I’m excited about this new stimulus package,” Fisher said. The new package adds $250 for people who are on Social Security, disability or a veteran’s pension that didn’t get a rebate last year, he said.

If you bought your first house after April 8, there is a $7,500 refundable tax credit. It has to be repaid over 15 years starting in 2010, Sauerbrier said. If you sell the house at a profit, you have to pay it back, but if you take a loss on the house, the credit doesn’t have to be repaid.

Unfortunately, the energy tax credit for 2006 and 2007 for purchase of energy efficient furnaces and other appliances wasn’t available last year, he said. If you buy one this year, you can claim it next year.

Something that should benefit many seniors who don’t itemize is a change in property tax deductions, Sauerbrier said.

“This year, you’re allowed to deduct property taxes up to $500 if you’re single or $1,000 if you’re married filing jointly, in addition to the standard deduction, and you don’t have to itemize,” he said.

Until now you had to itemize to deduct property tax.

“It’s not really obvious on the form, so I think a lot of people doing their own tax return might miss that,” he said.

The basic standard deductions have all increased. The new totals are: $10,900 for married couples filing jointly, and qualifying widows and widowers; $5,450 for singles and married individuals filing separately; and, $8,000 for heads of household.

Canton Repository