We’re talking tax this morning. My tax experts are:

Bill Nemeth, currently president of the Atlanta Metro chapter of the Georgia Association of Enrolled Agents. He and Merry Brodie, an accountant and EA, are married and you can find him at [email protected].

Chet Burgess, EA and currently state president of GAEA and owner of Brookwood Tax Service, in Atlanta. Find him at his website, www.brookwoodtax.com.

To find an enrolled agent close to you, go to www.4gaea.org (for Georgia) or www.naea.org for anywhere else in the country.

What’s new in tax? Here’s what Bill Nemeth had to say:

Stimulus payment If you filed your 2007 tax return by Oct 15, you were supposed to get a stimulus payment. But the IRS had trouble processing the last batch, so they’ve extended the deadline. If you didn’t get it last year, file 2008 tax return to get Recovery rebate credit. Ask how much was check received. Google “how much is my stimulus payment?” That will take you to a www4.irs.gov calculator on the IRS web. Put in your primary social security number, exemptions and whatever other information it requires. It’s a nifty tool.

Real Estate Tax Changes: For people who do not itemize, you can realize additional standard deduction if you’re paying property taxes on first or second home. The deduction is up to $1,000 or the amount of property tax paid. There is also a refundable tax credit of $7,500 for first-time home buyers who purchase a house before June 30, 2009. Think of this as an interest-free loan because you have to pay it back over 15 years. Finally, PMI is deductible through 2010, even for refinancings (the original rule was only good for purchases).

When it comes to short sales and foreclosures, and for tax years 2007-2009, if lose your home due to foreclosure, it wil not trigger a taxable event on debt cancellation for primary residences. This is good for mortgage debts up to $2 million.

February 1, 2009