Money Matters

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Today on money matters ... we're all looking to save money on our taxes in these tough economic times.

New rules and a new president have changed the tax game. Here are a few things to help you with your 2008 taxes.

Profit from your pain. The losses from stocks, bonds or mutual funds sold in 2008 can offset gains elsewhere in your portfolio. No gains? Then use the losses to write off up to $3,000 in ordinary income on your return.

The state sales tax deduction set to expire in 2008 has been extended. Either take the deduction or write off your state income tax on your federal return.

Fund your retirement. You have until April 15th to send the check for a 2008 IRA. You can sock $5,000 away -- up from $4,000 last year.

If you lost your job, remember you can write off the cost of job hunting.

Also remember, you can't deduct medical expenses unless they are 75% of your adjusted gross income. But if you're laid off and you're paying for medical coverage under cobra you may have met that threshold.

And the stimulus checks mailed out last year were based on 2007 returns. If you lost your job in 2008 ... you could now qualify for a rebate check. Use the calculator at www.irs.gov to determine how much you're eligible to receive.

If you do your own taxes…this may be the year to consider consulting a professional.


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