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New items to note on 2009 tax returns

With the tax code in a constant state of change, the IRS and state taxing authorities have to revise many tax forms each year.  Here are a three that you may want to take a closer look at as you start preparing for the 2009 filing season:

1. Schedule M: If your modified AGI is less than $75,000 (or $150,000 if you are married filing jointly), you may be eligible for the Making Work Pay credit and this is the form used to claim the credit.  Although you may see a credit of up to $400 ($800 if you are married filing jointly) on your return, don't expect it to impact your bottom line as the withholding tables were adjusted during 2009 to provide the actual cash benefit to you throughout the year.

2. Schedule L: If you don't have enough deductions to be able to itemize but still pay property taxes or paid sales tax on a new car purchase, you can add up to $500 of property taxes ($1,000 if you are married filing jointly) and the sales tax on up to $49,500 of your car's cost to your standard deduction.  You will need to include this form in your return to claim the additional deductions.

3. Illinois Schedule ICR: If you pay property taxes on your primary residence that is located in Illinois you are eligible for a 5% property tax credit on your Illinois tax return.  Illinois is now requiring that you include your PIN number in order to receive the credit.  PIN numbers can be found on your property tax bill, by contacting your mortgage company if you escrow your taxes or by contacting the assessors office for your county.

If you are using a tax preparer they should be fully aware of these forms as well as the many other changes that may impact your tax returns.  If you are tackling your returns on your own, you may want to check the "What's New" areas on the IRS and your state's taxing authorities websites for any other items before submitting your returns.

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