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November 18, 2008

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I lost my job in 2008...I also received a rebate check from this year's stimulus package. Am I eligible to receive another rebate in 2009?

If you didn't get a stimulus payment before, just get divorced now and you may be able to get one. Awesome.

2008 will be the best year to tax loss harvest as much as. Since the majority of investors have large losses this year, so you can carry over $3000 in losses per year for years to come!

Amanda - you won't get a 2nd rebate, unless Congress does another round of stimulus checks.

What he's talking about is people that didn't get a check before or didn't qualify, they can now claim it on the 2008 return (filed in 2009).

A few years ago, our accountant told us that you can only claim an interest deduction for one extra house payment (in other words, prepaying for January 2009, in 2008), for a total of 13 payments in any one calendar year. He said you can make as many house payments in one year as you want (if your mortgage company allows prepayment), but that you can only take a deduction for 13 payments. Does that sound right to you all?

Katy - unfortunately your accountant is right. According to IRS Publication 936, if you prepay interest for a period that goes beyond the end of the tax year, you can only deduct the portion that is applicable to the current tax year, not future years. I'm not sure the mortgage company would bother to break out the difference on the 1098 though.

For example, say your mortgage is due Jan 15, 2009 (and it covers the period Dec 16 to Jan 15). If you paid it in 2008, you would only be able to deduct the portion of interest for Dec 16 - Dec 31, 2008. The rest would be for 2009.

Thank you, Kevin! I didn't think I'd made that up. Kind of makes the year-end tax tip from Turbo Tax difficult to understand, though....

Every little bit helps, I guess, when you're trying to bundle your deductions, but that one seems like more hassle than it's worth....

The good thing is you can keep carrying forward capital losses (which a lot of us have this year, thanks to the 40% drop in markets) indefinetly. Also you need to remember that $3000 is the net capital gains loss (ie absolute gains - losses).

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