Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Economic Stimulus Package now Law

Category: Tax Law and Planning

President Bush signed the new Economic Stimulus Package into law today. For an excellent and detailed summary look to CCH 2008 Tax Alert.

Some quick hallmarks:

Tax Rebates for induvidual taxpayers with incomes less than $87,000/$174,000: At least $300 to almost everyone earning a paycheck, including low-income earners. Social Security recipients and disabled veterans making too little to pay income taxes would receive $300 checks as well, as long as they have at least $3,000 in income from various sources in 2007.

Families with children would receive an additional $300 per child. The full rebate would be limited to individuals earning $75,000 or less and couples with incomes of $150,000 or less, but a partial rebate would go to individuals earning up to $87,000 and couples earning up to $174,000. The caps are higher for people with children. Illegal immigrants are disqualified.

_Business tax write-offs: So-called bonus depreciation and more generous expensing rules to spur investment.

_Housing rescue: Allow more subprime mortgage holders to refinance into federally insured loans by raising the limit on Federal Housing Administration loans from $362,790 to as high as $729,750 in expensive areas. Increase the availability of mortgages by providing a one-year boost to the cap on loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy, from $417,000 up to $729,750 in high-cost markets.

Information Courtesy of:
Assocaited Press

The package amounts to about 1% of U.S. gross domestic product.

Taxpayers will not have to apply for the rebate; it would come automatically based on their 2007 tax return.

Economists who have analyzed the numbers say it will give the economy a much-needed boost in the middle of the year. But almost every economist agrees that the business tax breaks will have very little impact on the economy this year. See Capitol Report.

Surveys show most consumers say they'll save the tax-rebate money, or use it to pay down debts. Only a minority of consumers say they'll spend it. To be an effective short-term stimulus to the economy this year, the money would have to be spent.

Information Coutesy of:


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