Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Reminds Taxpayers to Take Advantage of New Tax Credits

April 14, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today reminds all  Americans to take advantage of new tax rebates passed by the President and Congress in the past two years.

"President Obama and Congressional Democrats have supported a number of bills in the past two years that have provided significant tax relief for working Americans and small businesses," Congressman Garamendi said. "The average American family is able to claim 10 percent more this year than last on their income taxes, and this will have a ripple effect throughout our economy. More money in the hands of the people most likely to spend it means more debts will be repaid, more savings will be created, and more local businesses will see increased profits."

Video of Congressman Garamendi on the House floor talking about some tax benefits now available because of ARRA is here:

The America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has already provided $160 billion in tax relief to American families and businesses with nearly $100 billion going directly into the pockets of working families – an average tax refund of around $3,000.

"Faced with what many called the Great Recession, we pursued an economic agenda that is grounded in the history of past successful recoveries," Garamendi added. "Through the Recovery Act and other pro-growth bills, we employed targeted tax relief, sound investments in infrastructure and efficiency projects, and incentives to hire new workers – and most economists agree we’re much better off as a result. This tax day, 98 percent of all Americans will see some of the fruits of our labor policy."

Taxpayers interested in knowing what recent benefits they may be qualified for should visit the White House’s convenient tax savings tool, located at The simple eight question application will alert taxpayers to tax credits they may be unaware they qualify for.
Specific tax rebates available through ARRA include:

  • Making Work Pay Tax Cut: Provides 95 percent of working families immediate and sustained tax relief – $400 for an individual or $800 for married couples filing jointly.
  • Child Tax Credit: Cuts taxes for the families of more than 16 million children (for 6 million new and 10 million existing) by reducing the minimum amount of earned income used to calculate the tax credit to $3,000 from $12,550.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit by increasing the tax credit for families with three or more children, bringing the maximum amount to $5,657.
  • American Opportunity Tax Credit: Provides up to $2,500 in tax credits to help an additional 4 million students attend college.
  • Alternative Minimum Tax Relief: Protects 26 million middle-class families from being hit by the alternative minimum tax.
  • First-Time Homebuyers: Enhances the current first-time homebuyer tax credit by increasing it to $8,000 (up from $7,500) and removes the repayment requirement.
  • Incentives to Buy New Cars: Allows taxpayers to deduct the state and local sales taxes and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new vehicles purchased from Feb. 17, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2009.
  • Tax Free Unemployment Benefits: Made the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits (which are normally taxable) received in 2009 tax free.