Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Taxing Times

I came across a press release from the National Association of Realtors® that I thought was a good reminder as the tax deadline rapidly approaches. Congress and the state of California have made a lot of changes through the stimulus package and the state budget that impact home owners. It is crucial tax information that may affect the bottom lines of all homeowners, buyers and sellers.

“Congress has passed new tax laws that will help many people who may be struggling in these challenging times,” said National Association of Realtors® President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “As the leading advocate for housing issues, NAR wants to make sure that homeowners, buyers and sellers can make full use of the tax advantages available to them.”

Some of the issues you need to explore:

  • How declining home values are affecting you property taxes, and what it all means for federal returns, and if you think that your property needs reassessment here is a link to the Alameda County Assessors Office Reassessment form. This will require you to do a little homework and submit comparative market data.  
  • What energy efficient home improvements can reduce homeowners’ tax bills, both the federal government and California SB1 are providing breaks. Energy Star has a list of federal tax credits. If you need more information on SB1 go to the state page.
  • first-time home buyer can now take advantage of the temporary $8,000 tax credit and how it will affect buyers’ tax returns. The National Association of Homebuilders has created a website to give you the facts: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/
  • How proposed changes to the mortgage interest deduction may affect homeowners, buyers and sellers at all income levels. The SF Gate wrote an editorial on the proposal.

Don’t procrastinate, and get those returns in early. April 15 will come fast. 

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