It's Your Money: Stimulus & You - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

It's Your Money: Stimulus & You

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MADISON (WKOW)--The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009... the federal stimulus plan... $787 billion to bring the economy back to life.   So, how do you get your hands on your share?

"The biggest item for a lot of folks is the credit toward their payroll taxes. Our FICA amounts have been credited back to us and most of us are seeing a little boost in our monthly take-home right now," points out University of Wisconsin financial specialist Michael Collins.

Sorry, but your share of the stimulus pie isn't going to have the taste of cold, hard cash.

"The reality is that a good chunk, more than half of the stimulus package, is tax related.  So it's all stuff that's going to come through your filing of taxes or through corporate taxes."

But, Collins says there are ways you can cash-in on the stimulus plan

"People who haven't bought a home in the last three years, for whom this will be a first purchase, will be able to get an $8,000 tax credit which is a substantial tax credit; bigger than we've ever seen before."

So you already have a home?  You can get some stimulus help making it more energy efficient.

"It allows you to do things you probably want to do to your house anyway; improve windows, insulation, and be able to get 30% of that credited back to you."

And, there's also some stimulus payback if you're able to stimulate the economy by buying a new car.

"You can get part of the sales taxes on the purchase of a car credited back."

Of course, some people are trying to cash-in on the stimulus by cheating other people out of their money.  Collins stresses, there is not secret access to the money, no matter how official the letter or email looks.

"They're scams.  What you're really doing is giving over your personal informatoin, maybe a credit card number, maybe you're being charged for information that's freely available on the internet."

Click here for the official government stimulus website.

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