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Unemployed? Here Are Five Ways to Save on 2009, 2010 Taxes

(RIVERWOODS, ILL., February 25, 2010) – If you’re unemployed, there are a few twists and turns in the tax code that can work to your benefit, according to CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services (CCHGroup.com).

  1. You can exclude up to $2,400 of unemployment compensation from your 2009 gross income. This break has expired for 2010.
  2. You can avoid a “penalty tax” on IRA and 401(k) withdrawals if the withdrawal covers (but doesn’t exceed) deductible medical expenses whether or not you actually take an itemized deduction for the expenses. (If you’re receiving Trade Readjustment Allowances under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and similar programs, you may be eligible for an even better deal, the Health Care Tax Credit, which can pay up to 80 percent of your premiums.)
  3. You can avoid the penalty tax on 401(k) and IRA withdrawals by establishing a payment schedule of regular equal withdrawals over your lifetime or the joint lives of you and your beneficiary. There’s also no penalty if you take a distribution from your 401(k) when you separate from service at age 55 or older.
  4. If you itemize, you can deduct job-hunting expenses as a “miscellaneous itemized deduction,” to the extent that all your miscellaneous itemized deductions exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. Job-hunting expenses can include: resume printing costs; postage; long-distance calls and faxes; travel expenses, including air, taxi and rail as well as mileage and tolls; and lodging expenses for out-of-town interviews.
  5. If you find a new job and move, you may be able to deduct moving expenses. To qualify, the new job must be at least 50 miles further from your old home than your old job was from your old home. This is an “above the line” deduction, available whether you itemize or not.

For more information, check out IRS Publication 4128, Tax Impact of Job Loss, Publication 521, Moving Expenses and Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income.

About CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business (CCHGroup.com) is a leading provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services. It has served tax, accounting and business professionals since 1913. CCH is based in Riverwoods, Ill. Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands (www.wolterskluwer.com).

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