2011 Tax Law Highlights

New Forms
In most cases, you must report your capital gains and losses on the new Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets. Then, you report certain totals from that form on Schedule D (Form 1040). If you had foreign financial assets in 2011, you may have to file the new Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets, with your return.

Standard mileage rates
The 2011 rates for mileage are different for January 1 through June 30 than for July 1 through December 31. For business use of your car, you can deduct 51 cents a mile for miles driven the first half of the year and 55 ½ cents for the second half. Medical and moving mileage are both 19 cents per mile for the early half of the year and 23 ½ cents in the latter half.

Standard deduction and exemptions increased

  • The standard deduction increased for some taxpayers who do not itemize deductions on IRS Schedule A (Form 1040). The amount depends on your filing status.
  • The amount you can deduct for each exemption has increased $50 to $3,700 for 2011.

Self-employed health insurance deduction
This deduction is no longer allowed on Schedule SE (Form 1040), but you can still take it on Form 1040, line 29.

Alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount increased.

The Alternative Minimum Tax:
Exemption amount increased in 2011

  • $48,450 if single or head of Household
  • $74,450 if married filing jointly or a Surviving spouse
  • $37,225 if married filing separately Non-refundable personal credits allowed

Non-Business Energy Property Credit
Credit reduced to 10 percent of qualifying expenses Credit limited to $500 for all years after 2005 combined credit limit of $200 for windows for all ta