- Days left

Senators say no to checks for elderly, disabled

In February 2009, Congress voted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A significant part of the ARRA was the Making Work Pay Credit, but there was one catch: Retirees, veterans, and the disabled were not eligible for the credit. Instead, Congress elected to authorize one time payments of $250 for eligible retirees, veterans and the disabled.

So, of course, with the economy still slow, Congress would do it again ... or not. On Wednesday, the Senate rejected a measure to issue the checks for a second year. Despite support from President Obama, the measure still did not pass. The Senate defeated the measure by a vote of 50 to 47. The vote was largely along party lines, with only one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-MAINE), and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), voting in favor. Three Senators did not join the vote: Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO.), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA.).

Those who supported the bill were disappointed with the outcome, noting that Social Security payments will otherwise not increase this year. This is because Social Security payments do not receive an automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase. Instead, adjustments are tied to consumer prices; there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) over the last year.

In an election year, this won't be the last you hear about Social Security benefits. The powerful American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has already responded, with Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond saying she was "disappointed" there had been no action. It is highly likely that another bill will be introduced to benefit seniors in some way over the next several weeks. However, with a major hole in the budget, it won't be an automatic pass: Expect to see a lot of give and take in any bill that includes more benefits in 2010.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

Managing your Portfolio

Keeping your portfolio and financial life fit!

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What is IRS Form 8824: Like-Kind Exchange

Ordinarily, when you sell something for more than what you paid to get it, you have a capital gain; when you sell it for less than what you paid, you have a capital loss. Both can affect your taxes. But if you immediately buy a similar property to replace the one you sold, the tax code calls that a "like-kind exchange," and it lets you delay some or all of the tax effects. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 8824 for like-kind exchanges.

What are ABLE Accounts? Tax Benefits Explained

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. ABLE accounts work much like the so-called 529 accounts that families can use to save money for education; in fact, an ABLE account is really a special kind of 529.

What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the many benefits of working at home is that you can deduct legitimate expenses from your taxes. The downside is that since home office tax deductions are so easily abused, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tends to scrutinize them more closely than other parts of your tax return. However, if you are able to substantiate your home office deductions, you shouldn't be afraid to claim them. IRS Form 8829 helps you determine what you can and cannot claim.

What is IRS Form 8859: Carryforward of D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 8859 is a tax form that will never be used by the majority of taxpayers. However, if you live in the District of Columbia (D.C.), it could be the key to saving thousands of dollars on your taxes. While many first-time home purchasers in D.C. are entitled to a federal tax credit, Form 8859 calculates the amount of carry-forward credit you can use in future years, not the amount of your initial tax credit.

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum