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Time for a mid-year tax check

Posted by Jill Boynton  June 26, 2009 09:35 AM

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In light of President Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credit, now is a good time to check the amount of federal taxes being withheld from your paycheck. The provision will provide a refundable tax credit in 2009 and 2010 of up to $400 for working individuals and $800 for married workers filing joint returns.

If you are normally paid via a paycheck with federal taxes withheld, then most likely your employer has adjusted your federal tax withholding to reflect the credit, and there is nothing you need to do. You probably noticed that your take-home pay increased a little bit this past Spring (however if you make more than $75,000 – or $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly – you are not eligible for the credit.)

Some people should pay close attention to their withholding. The credit is reduced by the recent $250 payment given to Social Security recipients. If you received this payment you should review your withholding to ensure that it won’t be reduced by the whole $400. Married couples with two jobs, individuals with more than one job and workers who can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return may also end up having less withheld than they will owe in federal taxes. To check your personal situation you can use the IRS withholding calculator. If you find you need to change your withholding you can submit a Form W-4 to your employer.

Those individuals receiving pensions may also want to review their situation. Pensions are not considered earned income, yet if taxes are withheld from payments they may have been adjusted for the tax credit. The IRS has given pension plans an optional adjustment procedure. You may want to check with your pension plan administrator to see just how your taxes have been adjusted.

Finally, one last note: self-employed individuals should estimate their tax liability and reduce it by the tax credit if they are eligible.

For more information click here to go to the IRS website.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Local finance professionals share insights and advice on issues such as budgeting, managing debt, and retirement planning.

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D. Abraham Ringer is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner and a Financial Adviser with Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management in Boston. He is registered in MA, NH, NY and several other states to which his articles are directed. For more information please visit
Financial Planning Association™ of Massachusetts has 900 members who specialize in the financial planning process. Many of its members engage in philanthropic pro bono work in their communities, recommend legislation, elevate public awareness, promote financial literacy, and advocate for sound economic and tax policies.
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