Senators say no to checks for elderly, disabled

In February 2009, Congress voted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. A significant part of the ARRA was the Making Work Pay Credit, but there was one catch: Retirees, veterans, and the disabled were not eligible for the credit. Instead, Congress elected to authorize one time payments of $250 for eligible retirees, veterans and the disabled.

So, of course, with the economy still slow, Congress would do it again ... or not. On Wednesday, the Senate rejected a measure to issue the checks for a second year. Despite support from President Obama, the measure still did not pass. The Senate defeated the measure by a vote of 50 to 47. The vote was largely along party lines, with only one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-MAINE), and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), voting in favor. Three Senators did not join the vote: Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO.), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA.).

Those who supported the bill were disappointed with the outcome, noting that Social Security payments will otherwise not increase this year. This is because Social Security payments do not receive an automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase. Instead, adjustments are tied to consumer prices; there was no increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) over the last year.

In an election year, this won't be the last you hear about Social Security benefits. The powerful American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has already responded, with Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond saying she was "disappointed" there had been no action. It is highly likely that another bill will be introduced to benefit seniors in some way over the next several weeks. However, with a major hole in the budget, it won't be an automatic pass: Expect to see a lot of give and take in any bill that includes more benefits in 2010.

Getting Divorced

If you're going through a divorce, taxes may be the last thing on your mind, so we're here to help. We've got tips for you on which filing status to choose after the divorce, who can claim the exemptions for the kids, and how payments to an ex-spouse are treated for tax purposes.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

5 Tax Tips for Single Parents

Filing taxes as a single parent requires coordination between you and your ex-spouse or partner. Usually the custodial parent claims the child as a dependent, but there are exceptions. A single parent is allowed to claim applicable deductions and exemptions for each qualifying child. Even though you claim your child as a dependent, she may still have to file her own tax return if she has income, such as from an after-school job.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

7 Requirements for the Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit can reduce your tax bill by as much as $1,000 per child, if you meet all seven requirements: 1. age, 2. relationship, 3. support, 4. dependent status, 5. citizenship, 6. length of residency and 7. family income. You and/or your child must pass all seven to claim this tax credit.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Guide to Filing Taxes as Head of Household

The IRS has provided a series of guidelines to help taxpayers understand whether or not they qualify to file as head of household.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.