The theme of the most recent presidential election was change. That’s a constant when it comes to taxes. Every year, taxpayers must deal with different tax laws. I’m Haley Lyons with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute. 

If you didn’t qualify for an economic stimulus payment in 2008 or received less than the maximum, you get a second chance in 2009. The rebate is actually a credit against your 2008 taxes, which must be filed by April 15, 2009. In 2009, you’ll find the official Recovery Rebate Credit on whichever 1040 form you file.

You can get a head start on potentially rising pump prices by buying a hybrid or other alternative-fuel vehicle. Such an auto could provide a tax credit to boot. Auto manufacturers still offer a wide variety of fuel-efficient cars, trucks and SUVs that could increase your gas mileage and save you tax dollars. 

Since most tax rates will return to higher levels Jan. 1, 2011, look for Congress to start exploring ways to deal with the coming mass tax increases. Keep a closer-than-usual eye on Capitol Hill so that if changes are made, you’ll be prepared to take the appropriate steps to minimize any potential tax costs.

To find out more on wise tax moves for 2009 log on to Bankrate.com. I’m Haley Lyons.