Products & Pricing
Online products
CD/download products
Mobile products
Self-employment taxes
Small business taxes
Compare products
TurboTax Advantage
Previous years' products
File an IRS extension
Access my downloads
Tools & Tips
Tax calculators
Tax tips & videos
Track my donations
TurboTax blog
After You File
Track my refund
Check my e-file status
Print my return
Amend my return
Access prior year returns
Go to Turbo
TurboTax Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Expert Services
How TurboTax works
Tax Reform

2009 Stimulus Package: What's Still In It For You in 2010

Updated for Tax Year 2010


For most taxpayers, there's more good news ahead. On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law -- an economic stimulus bill that gives tax breaks to a large portion of Americans of all ages and income levels, as well as to businesses. Many of those breaks continue into 2010. In late 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed a tax relief act that added additional breaks and extended them into 2011 and beyond.

Many taxpayers will get more money in their pockets in 2010

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: According to White House estimates, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gives a direct tax break to 95 percent of workers and their families. It includes tax breaks that provide a financial boost to everyone from the unemployed, to families with children and children in college, to first-time homebuyers. Here are some of the benefits that continue into 2010:

Who benefits, and how


Making Work Pay Credit: Workers and the self-employed get another payroll tax credit for 2010 of up to $400 for single taxpayers, and up to $800 for couples filing jointly.
For single tax filers, the credit begins phasing out at an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $75,000. For married couples filing jointly, the phaseout zone starts at $150,000 of AGI. (Adjusted Gross Income is your total income from wages and other income minus certain adjustments, such as deductible IRA contributions and alimony paid.)

To learn more, read Making Work Pay Credit Increases Take Home Pay


Lowered cost for COBRA health insurance: Workers who were involuntarily terminated from their employment between September 1, 2008 and May 31, 2010, may be eligible for a 65-percent subsidy of their COBRA premiums for a period of up to 15 months. This is a valuable benefit for workers who lose their health insurance when they lose their jobs. This government subsidy should help more unemployed people afford to keep their health insurance.

To learn more, read Health Insurance Assistance for The Unemployed.

First-time homebuyers

First-time Homebuyer's Credit: If you signed a contract to buy your first house before May 1, 2010, and closed on it before October 1, 2010, you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000.

College students and their families

Expanded Hope Credit: The Hope Credit for college costs was increased to $2,500 for 2009 and 2010 and renamed the American Opportunity Credit. It covers 100 percent of the first $2,000 of tuition and related expenses per year and 25 percent of the next $2,000. In late 2010, Congress extended the credit through the end of 2012.
The credit is available for the first four years of college, up from only two years, and also covers the cost of books. It is 40 percent refundable, meaning the government could send you up to $1,000 even if you don’t owe that much in taxes. The credit begins to phase out at $80,000 of AGI for single filers and $160,000 of AGI for married couples.
The bill also allows tax-free distributions from Section 529 College Savings Plans to cover computer purchases.
To learn more, read Bigger, Better College Tax Credit.


Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): More couples who file jointly and have children will qualify for the Earned Income Credit.
The tax package starts the phaseout range at $21,420. In 2009, the credit was increased for families with three or more children to 45 percent of the first $12,570 of earned income, up from 40 percent.
To learn more, read A Stimulus Boost for Some Earned Income Tax Filers.
Enhanced Child Tax Credit: The Child Tax Credit will now cover more low-income earners: For 2010, the credit is refundable to the extent of 15 percent of an individual’s earned income in excess of $3,000.

Current Homeowners

Expanded Homebuyer's Credit: First time buyers who did not own a principal residence in the three years before the purchase are eligible for a credit of 10% of the home’s purchase price to a maximum of $8,000. If you owned your own home and lived in it for at least five of the last eight years you may qualify for a 10% credit of up to $6,500. To be eligible for the credit you must have signed the contract before May 1, 2010, and closed on the purchase before October 1, 2010.

Extended energy-saving credits: The tax credit for energy-saving home improvements remains at 30 percent and was extended through the end of 2010. In late 2010, Congress extended the credit through the end of 2011. Improvements that qualify for the credit include energy-efficient insulation, windows and outer doors, along with energy-saving water heaters, central air conditioners and biomass stoves.
The bill also eliminates individual credit caps for the different types of property, and instead imposes a $1,500 cap on all qualifying property.
For more information, read Conserve Energy, Save Money with Larger Credits.

Middle-income taxpayers

Two-year "patch" on the Alternative Minimum Tax: To keep millions of middle-income taxpayers from being forced to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), Congress in late 2010 passed a measure that increases the minimum tax exemptions to $72,450 for couples filing jointly and $47,750 for single filers in 2010 and $74,450 for couples filing jointly and $48,450 for single filers in 2011. Otherwise, the exemptions would have topped out at just $45,000 for couples and $33,750 for singles.

Small businesses

The following changes would affect small businesses:Bonus depreciation

In late 2010 Congress increased the special 50 percent, first-year bonus depreciation to 100 percent for for assets bought and placed in service after September 8, 2010 through the end of 2011. The 50 percent bonus depreciation is available for property placed in service in 2012.

A TurboTax solution for every situation

See which tax prep product is right for you

Looking for more information?

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

Security is built into everything we do
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Absolute Zero $0 federal (1040EZ/1040A) + $0 state offer only available with TurboTax Federal Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase expected in March. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed: File your 2016 TurboTax Self-Employed return between 4/19/17 and 10/16/17 to receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed until 10/31/18. Activation by 12/31/17 required. Sign in to QuickBooks Self-Employed via mobile app or at; e-mail address used for activation and sign-in. Offer valid only for new QuickBooks Self-Employed customers. See for price comparison.
    • When you use TurboTax Self-Employed to file your 2017 taxes, you will have the option to renew your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription. If you do not purchase TurboTax Self-Employed by 10/15/18, you will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 10/31/18 for another year at the then-current annual subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2016. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Expert Help, Tax Advice and SmartLook: Included with Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed (via phone or on-screen); not included with Federal Free Edition (but available for purchase with the Plus bundle). SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. TurboTax experts provide general advice, customer service and product help; tax advice provided only by credentialed CPAs, enrolled agents and tax attorneys. Feature availability varies by device. State tax advice is free. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access, My Docs and My Analysis & Advice features: Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available until you file your 2017 tax return or through 10/31/2018, whichever comes first. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2015 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by March 13, 2017.

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected in March. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice via phone is included with Premier and Home & Business; fees apply for Basic and Deluxe customers. State tax advice is free. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2015 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2015 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2011 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.
Online Software Products
CD/Download Products
Mobile Tax Apps
Help and Support
Tax Tools and Tips
More Products from Intuit