Press Release

As Tax Day Approaches, Gillibrand Reminds New York Families To Take Full Advantage Of Tax Breaks

Apr 14, 2009

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged all middle class families in New Yorkers to take full advantage of tax breaks when they file their taxes this year. Middle class New Yorkers who buy their first home, pay for child care, or own a small business are all eligible for new tax cuts.

“New Yorkers pay some of the highest taxes in the nation,” said Senator Gillibrand.  “This year, there are new tax breaks aimed at helping middle class families with the cost of buying a home, educating their children, operating a business, and more.  These new tax cuts will make life a little more affordable for families and I want to make sure New Yorkers receive all the tax breaks they are eligible for.”

The New Home Tax Credit provides an $8,000 tax credit for home purchases made by individuals who have not owned a home in the past three years. Those who qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit and purchase a home this year before Dec. 1, can claim the tax credit on either a 2008 income tax return or a 2009 tax return, allowing them to rapidly access the money.  The first-time homebuyer credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 as an individual or $150,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.

The Expanded Child Tax Credit offers parents a credit for each qualifying child, based on their income above a certain point. Legislation passed by Congress last fall reduced the income threshold required for this credit from $12,050 to $8,500.  This means that 132,000 more New York children will be eligible for the credit this year, and 579,000 New York children will have the credit expanded.

Additionally, individuals who did not receive an economic stimulus payment last year or did not receive one up to the $600 limit may also claim this credit on their 2008 taxes.

Small Business Tax Deductions secured as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allows qualified small businesses to extend current year losses back against income earned in the past five years, helping entrepreneurs and small business owners offset their losses from the current economic slowdown.

Additional tax reductions will be available in 2009 as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act including:

  • Up to $2,400 in Unemployment Benefits Tax Free in 2009;
  • Expansion of the Child Tax Credit, providing greater benefits to an additional 795,000 NY children;
  • The new American Opportunity Credit to help pay for college tuition, which will offer up to $2,500 to help students pay for college tuition;
  • Expanded Health Coverage Tax Credit, which offers help to individuals who have lost their jobs due to outsourcing in paying for health insurance, from 65 percent of the cost of premiums to 80 percent;
  • The Making Work Pay Tax Credit will offer working families a refundable tax credit of up to $800 a year to reduce the withholding taxes taken out of worker’s paychecks.  

Senator Gillibrand is a proud supporter of President Obama’s economic recovery plan, which will save or create more than 215,000 jobs in New York State alone. The economic recovery plan will lay the foundation for future economic growth by building new transportation infrastructure, improving health care technology, investing in development of renewable energy and supporting investments in public education.