The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Information Center
Update May 31, 2013 — Some of the credits and other provisions described on this page, which either expired at the end of 2011 or were set to change or expire at the end of 2012, were extended by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). Updated information is noted, where applicable, on the web pages relating to these specific credits and other provisions.
Update Oct. 31, 2011 — Some of the credits and other provisions described on this page, which were to change or expire at the end of 2010, were extended by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010. Additional updated information is noted, where applicable, on the web pages relating to these specific credits and other provisions.
Update July 6, 2010 — For those claiming the homebuyer credit, the deadline for closing (going to settlement) on home purchases was extended from June 30 to Sept. 30, 2010.
Information for Individuals
Can you benefit from Recovery Act tax credits? Try the White House Tax Savings Tool to find out.
Many of the Recovery Act provisions are geared toward individuals:
- Education benefits. The American Opportunity Tax Credit and enhanced benefits for 529 college savings plans help families and students find ways to pay higher education expenses.
- Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC increased beginning in 2009.
- Additional child tax credit. More families qualify for the ACTC starting in 2009.
- Home energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives. See what you can do to reap tax rewards.
- Increased Transportation Subsidy. Employer-provided benefits for transit and parking rose beginning in 2009.
- Homebuyer Credit. Homebuyers who purchased by April 30, 2010, and settled by Sept. 30, 2010, may be eligible for a credit of up to $8,000. Documentation requirements apply. See the first-time homebuyer page for more.
- COBRA. Workers who lost their jobs between Sept. 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, may qualify for reduced COBRA health insurance premiums for up to 15 months.
- Making Work Pay Tax Credit. This credit meant more take-home pay for many Americans in 2009 and 2010. Make sure enough tax is withheld from your pay with the help of the IRS withholding calculator. See Making Work Pay for more.
- $250 for Social Security Recipients, Veterans and Railroad Retirees. The Economic Recovery Payment was paid by the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Railroad Retirement Board in 2009 or, in some cases, 2010. To verify whether you received it, call 1-866-234-2942 and select Option 1 or visit Did I Receive a 2010 Economic Recovery Payment? (no longer available) on this website.
- Money Back for New Vehicles. Taxpayers who bought new cars and certain other new vehicles in 2009 can deduct the state and local sales taxes they paid as well as other taxes and fees they paid in states with no sales tax.
- Up to $2,400 in Unemployment Benefits Tax Free in 2009. Individuals should check their tax withholding.
- Health Coverage Tax Credit. This credit increased from 65 percent to 80 percent of qualified health insurance premiums, and more people are eligible.
Information for Businesses
The following Recovery Act provisions affect businesses:
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This expanded credit added returning veterans and "disconnected youth" to the list of new hires that businesses may claim. ATRA extends the credit for hiring certain workers through 2013.
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Incentives. See what businesses can do to reap tax rewards.
- Net Operating Loss Carryback. Small businesses can offset losses by getting refunds on taxes paid up to five years ago. Find information on carrybacks, an expanded section 179 deduction and other business-related provisions. The Worker, Homeownership And Business Assistance Act Of 2009 (WHBAA) expanded the five-year NOL carryback to most businesses.
- Municipal Bond Programs. New ways to finance school construction, energy and other public projects.
- Making Work Pay Tax Credit. The 2010 withholding rates, contained in Notice 1036, reflected reduced withholding. An optional withholding procedure was available for pension plan administrators.
- COBRA: Health Insurance Continuation Subsidy. The IRS has extensive guidance for employers, including an updated Form 941.
For information on the Administration's broader economic recovery program, visit