CONSUMER ALERT: Most Important Tax Changes From The IRS - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

CONSUMER ALERT: Most Important Tax Changes From The IRS

KHQ.COM - Despite the availability of professional tax preparation services, an estimated 40 percent of Americans do their own taxes. The typical do-it-yourself filer needs about 24 hours to complete the task, according to the IRS.

Commercially available software undoubtedly makes the job a lot easier, but no brand is guaranteed to be infallible. Thus, it's important for do-it-yourself filers to keep up as best they can with relevant changes to the tax code as a safeguard against errors in their tax prep software. Here are three of the most important changes to know about as you prepare your 2010 return.

1. Smaller deductions for business and medical mileageYou can't write off the cost of a daily commute by car, but you can deduct other work-related mileage you're not reimbursed for. This year, for example, you'd get 50 cents a mile for driving from, say, Boston to New York City and back for a trade show. That's five cents less per mile than you'd have gotten for the same trip in 2009.

At 16.5 cents a mile, the deduction for operating your car for medical reasons is 7.5 cents less than last year. However, driving for charitable purposes is still deductible at 14 cents per mile, just like last year.

2. Better limits on deductions for property damage or loss due to theftFor damaged or stolen property to be deductible, the loss amount must now only exceed $100, compared with $500 in 2009. The "10 percent of AGI" rule still generally applies though.

Remember, AGI is the sum of all your income — such as wages, interest and alimony received — minus certain adjustments, such as IRA contributions, student loan interest you've paid and moving expenses.

3. Bigger deductions for Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance premiumsIRS rules allow LTC insurance policy owners to deduct more of their premiums in 2010 than in 2009. For example, those ages 51 to 60 can claim up to $1,230 in LTC insurance premiums this year, compared with $1,190 last year — about a 3 percent increase. Similar increases have been approved for other age groups as well: 40 and under, 41-50, 61-70 and 71 or over. At $330, the deduction is smallest for the 40-and-under age group. It rises progressively to a maximum of $4,110 for those ages 71 or over.

Other tax law changes as you can probably imagine, the government has tinkered with the tax rules quite a bit more than this article describes. To see what other potentially beneficial changes have been made, check out a list called "Tax Changes for Individuals" at the IRS website.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Violent Spokane drug trafficker gets 30 years in prison

    Violent Spokane drug trafficker gets 30 years in prison

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 12:00 AM EDT2017-05-24 04:00:27 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A 32-year-old Spokane man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, after he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges, firearms offenses and threatening witnesses. The United States Attorney's Office reported Tuesday that Aren Lee Perryman, aka Filthy, pleaded guilty to Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Heroin; Possessing and Using Firearms in Connection with Drug Trafficking; and Intimidating and Threatening witnesses.

    >>
  • Graco recalls 25,000 car seats

    Graco recalls 25,000 car seats

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 9:53 AM EDT2017-05-24 13:53:02 GMT

    DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.

    >>

    DETROIT (AP) - Graco Children's Products is recalling more than 25,000 car seats because the harness webbing can break in a crash and may not keep children restrained. The recall affects certain My Ride 65 convertible seats made on July 22, 2014 with a code of 2014/06 on a tag that's on the webbing.

    >>
  • Woman lost in Montana wilderness tells miraculous story of survival

    Woman lost in Montana wilderness tells miraculous story of survival

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 8:56 PM EDT2017-05-24 00:56:55 GMT

    By David Winter ABC Fox Montana/KTMF A Chicago woman visiting family in Montana captivated the nation for nearly a week as she was lost in the woods. Then miraculously, found alive and well with her dog, Mogie. Now Madeline Connelly, her family and members of the search crew are sharing their stories from Maddie's seven days alone in the woods.

    >>

    By David Winter ABC Fox Montana/KTMF A Chicago woman visiting family in Montana captivated the nation for nearly a week as she was lost in the woods. Then miraculously, found alive and well with her dog, Mogie. Now Madeline Connelly, her family and members of the search crew are sharing their stories from Maddie's seven days alone in the woods.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/