In the current economic conditions almost everyone could use an economic stimulus, and analysts have identified provisions that can benefit America’s retirees.
They include a one-time $250 tax-free payment, regardless of income, to Social Security recipients or an equivalent tax credit for those who do not receive benefits such as retired government workers.
Retirees (and others) may also be able to deduct sales or excise taxes on the first $49,500 of the sales price of most motor vehicles purchase before the end of the current year.
The analysis conducted by CNNMoney.com also points out some novel provisions that reward energy conservation. Consumers may obtain tax credits for a range of eco-friendly home improvements such as solar-energy heating systems, geothermal heat pumps and wind energy systems.
Moreover, retirees who want to take courses at local colleges may be eligible for education credits, and high-income seniors in particular could benefit from a provision that shields more taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax (AMT).
Such benefits are especially timely given that a slew of recent reports has painted a pessimistic picture of the state of American retirement funds.
According to a recent survey by Pensions & Investment, the 1,000 largest plans lost almost $1 trillion in the year ended September 2008, their worst decline in 30 years.