New Tax Benefits for the Unemployed

Tax Act

New Tax Benefits for the Unemployed

If you were unemployed last year and are working on completing your tax return for 2009, there are a number of new tax benefits that can reduce the amount of tax you owe. The first place to look is at unemployment insurance which is normally taxable income. But during 2009, the first $2,400 of unemployment insurance is not taxable. So do not include this amount in your benefit when you complete your taxes.

There are a couple new wrinkles to IRA and 401K laws. You can avoid paying the 10% penalty on retirement plan withdrawals if you used the money for medical reasons or for any reason if you are over the age of 55.

Taxpayers that itemize can deduct their job hunting expenses on Schedule A. The floor for such deductions is 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), but any amounts over the first 2 percent can be itemized and deducted. Consider travel, marketing, and communication costs when totaling your yearly expense.

And finally, taxpayers that moved for a new job can deduct moving expenses as long as their new job is an additional 50 miles from their prior residence. You are allowed to deduct reasonable expense amounts for moving your household items, travelling yourself, 30 days of storage, utility connection and disconnection costs, lodging, and shipping for a pet.

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