Consumer Watch: Tax deadline

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 8 at 1:51 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A lot of changes this year and there's some good news and some bad for American taxpayers, with a lot of it depending on just how much money people make.

At the start of 2013, the Bush-era tax cuts were permanently extended. Which mean most won't see a huge difference, but higher income earners will be coughing up more.  

Single filers earning over $400,000 will have a top tax rate of 39.6 percent, for married couples it's $450,000.  

And a lot of those deductions and personal exemptions that counted in the past are now gone.

Hefty wage earners will also kick in more to the Medicare pot, an extra 0.9 percent for singles taking home over $200,000, for couples it’s a quarter million.

Medical expenses are now a little tougher to write off, people will need to exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income, unless you're over 65.

Education deductions have been extended. Those paying for school could get up to a $2500 credit per student for tuition and fees, plus extra deductions.

Deductions for working from home have gotten a little simpler.  Until now, at-home workers had to itemize their expenses, but now they can take a standard deduction of $5 per square foot of home space used as an office, up to 300 feet, the maximum deduction under the new rule: $1500.

Finally, 2013 was a banner year for same sex couples! Those married in any state that has legalized gay marriage generally must file joint returns no matter where they currently live.  On the plus side, same sex married couples no longer have to treat employer-provided health coverage for spouses as taxable income.  

On the down side--they may hit the aptly-called marriage penalty, fewer deductions and higher taxes, once they pool their incomes together.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

 

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