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Helpful Hints(p4)


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Filing status.(p4)

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We want you to use the proper filing status as you go through the instructions and tables. You can file as Single or Married filing jointly.
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Icons.(p4)

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We use icons throughout the booklet to draw your attention to special information. Here are some key icons:
icon IRS e-file. This alerts you to the many electronic benefits, particularly tax filing, available to you at www.irs.gov.
tip Tip. This lets you know about possible tax benefits, helpful actions to take, or sources for additional information.
caution Caution. This tells you about special rules, possible consequences to actions, and areas where you need to take special care to make correct entries.
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Writing in information.(p4)

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Sometimes we will ask you to make an entry in the space to the left of line . . . The following examples (using line 1) will help you make the proper entry:  
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Income Text DescriptionIncome   
 
 
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Section 1—Before You Begin(p4)


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What's New for 2009(p4)


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Making Work Pay Credit(p4)


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If you have earned income from work, you may be able to take this credit. It is 6.2% of your earned income but cannot be more than $400 ($800 if married filing jointly). See the instructions for line 8 on page 12.
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Economic Recovery Payment(p4)


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Any economic recovery payment you received is not taxable for federal income tax purposes, but it reduces any making work pay credit. See the instructions for line 8 on page 12.
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Cash for Clunkers(p4)


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A $3,500 or $4,500 voucher or payment made for such a voucher under the CARS cash for clunkers program to buy or lease a new fuel-efficient automobile is not taxable for federal income tax purposes.
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Buying U.S. Savings Bonds With Your Refund(p4)


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You can now receive up to $5,000 of U.S. Series I Savings Bonds as part of your income tax refund without setting up a TreasuryDirect® account in advance. For more details, see Form 8888.
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Unemployment Compensation(p4)


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You do not have to pay tax on unemployment compensation of up to $2,400 per recipient. Amounts over $2,400 per recipient are still taxable. See the instructions for line 3 on page 11.
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Earned Income Credit (EIC)(p4)


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You may be able to take the EIC if you earned less than $13,440 ($18,440 if married filing jointly). See the instructions for lines 9a and 9b that begin on page 13.
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Certain Tax Relief for Midwestern Disaster Areas Expired(p4)


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Certain tax benefits for Midwestern disaster areas have expired, including the election to use your 2007 earned income to figure your 2008 EIC.
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Recovery Rebate Credit Expired(p4)


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This credit has expired and does not apply for 2009.
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Mailing Your Return(p4)


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You may be mailing your return to a different address this year because the IRS has changed the filing location for several areas. If you received an envelope with your tax package, please use it. Otherwise, see Where Do You File? on the back cover.