Friday, January 18, 2008

Navigating taxes in 2008

Taxes are never a fun topic. And as we enter tax season, navigating taxes this year has been confusing and a learning experience for myself and my husband. As a first-time home owner, living in a dual income household, there is a lot going on in the tax front.

  • With a recession looming the feds are working on a plan to send out tax rebate checks in the next few weeks, officials say. How much is currently up for debate. Democrats in Congress are proposing $500 per household, but President Bush is pushing for $800 per single person, and $1600 for married couples.
  • Most school districts have come out with their proposed budgets. Almost all have promised some sort of property tax hike, some as high as double digits. But it's not all gloom and doom. The state's casino revenue has exceeded expectations and has surpassed the $570 million mark, letting the state give relief to property tax payers in Pennsylvania. What this means for tax payers is that those tax hikes could be eliminated, or their taxes even lowered. Keeping tabs on the situation is important, because homeowners will be responsible for notifying their mortgage holders to adjust their escrow accounts accordingly. Final numbers per school district are to be released in April. More info to come.
When you go to file your taxes this year be sure to check on the following for tax breaks:
  • Energy Efficiency improvements on your home
  • School loan interest
  • Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Points paid on the mortgage
  • Property taxes
  • Childcare costs
  • Healthcare costs
  • Moving costs
  • Work-related costs that were not reimbursed
  • Donations
Any other tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'll keep you posted on things as I learn about them!

Vanessa Williams