Feb 17 The $787 billion U.S. economic stimulus package contains about $287 billion in tax cuts, according to the latest congressional calculations on the value of the package and its impact on U.S. budget deficits.
President Barack Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, saying he wants quick action to boost the struggling economy.
Here are some of the major tax provisions in the bill:
FOR WORKERS, CONSUMERS AND RETIREES
* A "making work pay" refundable tax credit championed by Obama of up to $400 per individual and $800 for couples in 2009 and 2010. It is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and is phased out for individuals with adjusted incomes over $75,000 and couples with incomes over $150,000.
* A one-time payment of $250 to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. State government retirees not eligible for Social Security would also get the $250 payment.
* Increases the earned income tax credit for low-income workers with three or more children.
* Increases eligibility for the refundable child tax credit to more low-income workers. The bill reduces the income floor to $3,000 in 2009 and 2010 from the current floor of $8,500.
* A new $2,500 tax credit for college education expenses. The credit phases out for individuals earning more than $80,000 and couples with incomes over $160,000.
* An $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers for homes purchased between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2009. The tax credit phases out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and couples earning more than $150,000.
* Temporary relief from the alternative minimum tax for millions of middle-class taxpayers who otherwise would be ensnared by the tax originally meant for the very wealthy.
* Small businesses with gross receipts of up to $15 million can write off 2008 losses against five previous tax years. Current laws allows a two-year carryback of losses.
Businesses will also be allowed to immediately write off more of their investments in computers and other equipment.
* Businesses that repurchase debt at a lower amount than when it was issued will be able to defer taxes on it. Usually reduced or canceled debt is treated as income and taxed. The break applies to debt repurchased adjusted after Dec. 31, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2011.
* A tax break on capital gains from the sale of stock held in a small business for more than five years.
* The bill raises about $7 billion in revenues by repealing a Treasury Department decision last year to liberalize rules that were intended to prevent companies in a merger from taking huge tax breaks on losses of firms they were acquiring.
FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
* Creates a new category of tax-preferred bonds for investment in economic recovery zones for job training, education and economic development.
* Creates a new category of tax-preferred bonds for the construction, and repair of public schools and the purchase of land for schools.
* Creates a federal subsidy for state and local governments offering bonds that give investors credits against their federal taxes in place of interest payments.
FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
* Extends tax breaks for wind facilities and other renewable energy facilities and provides other tax incentives to encourage development of renewable energy facilities.
* Authorizes an additional $1.6 billion of new clean renewable energy bonds as well as $2.4 billion of energy conservation bonds to finance state and local government projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
* Extends tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes.
* Provides a tax credit for purchase of "plug-in" electric vehicles of at least $2,500. The credit is increased depending on the battery capacity of the car purchased.
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