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Archive for the 'Taxes' Category

Iona College offers tax return advice

March
5

Students from Iona College’s Hagan School of Business in New Rochelle are offering free tax help to the public on four Saturday mornings between now and April 15, starting this Saturday.
Volunteers will be available for consultations between 9:30 a.m. and noon on March 7, March 14, March 28 and April 4. The service will be at the lower level Computer Lab of Hagan Hall at the college campus at 715 North Ave. It’s first-come, first-served, and walk-in only.
Bring the following: last year’s tax returns; this year’s tax package and/or label; W-2 and 1099 forms; information on any other income; information on deductions or credits.
For more information, call (914) 633-2267.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
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Iona students to offer tax help

February
25

Students from Iona College’s Hagan School of Business are offering free tax help to the public on four Saturdays leading up to the tax filing deadline of April 15. Volunteers will be available for consultations from 9:30 a.m. to noon on March 7, March 14, March 28 and April 4.

The service will be offered at the lower level Computer Lab of Hagan Hall on Iona’s campus at 715 North Ave. in New Rochelle. Taxpayers using this service should bring last year’s tax returns, this year’s tax package, W-2 and 1099 forms, information on other income and information on deductions or credits. For more information, please call 914-633-2267.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
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Westchester County offering free tax assistance

January
30

Helping local taxpayers navigate a complex tax code and get their full refunds from Uncle Sam is the goal of a Westchester County government program that is entering its fifth year.

Under the program, which lasts until the tax filing deadline deadline on April 15, the county is offering free tax preparation assistance to low and moderate-income residents. One goal of the program is to help eligible taxpayers apply for tax credits that can significantly lower their federal tax bills.

Last year, the program helped 4,870 Westchester residents secure federal income tax refunds of more than $4 million.

“The IRS really wants to get this money out to people” County Executive Andrew Spano said today at a news conference. “We have been able to put a good group together to do this….This program helps the neediest people that we have.”

Helping taxpayers apply for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit is a major focus of the program. Taxpayers with incomes below $41,464 may be eligible to claim this credit, which can result in a refund of more than $4,800, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The amount of the credit varies based on the taxpayer’s filing status, incomes and children in the household.

“If you are earning $40,000 a year, $35,000 a year, $20,000 a year, and someone gives you $5,000 that you didn’t know that you were going to get, that’s a big deal,” Spano said.

Other tax credits also may be available to families, including the the Child Tax credit, Education Credits and Dependent Child Care Credits.

Numerous sites around the county are offering the free taxpayer assistance. People can call United Way’s 2-1-1 line to identify convenient locations and business hours. Appointments are recommended but walk-ins are accepted. The hours of operation vary by site, with evening and weekend hours at some locations. Taxpayers with household income below $42,000 are eligible for the service.

For additional information, go to westchestergov.com/eitc.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, January 30th, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
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AARP seeking tax volunteers

December
2

The AARP Tax-Aide program is seeking volunteers for the 2008 tax season to aid taxpayers with low and middle incomes. Counselors assist individuals with the preparation of their federal and state tax returns.

Last year, Westchester had 95 certified volunteers who helped nearly 8,300 taxpayers at 20 libraries and community centers.

Volunteers are particularly needed in Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Port Chester and Tarrytown, according to AARP. Experience with taxes is desirable but not required. Counselors will receive up-to-date tax training in January and will need to pass the IRS take-home exam. People interested in becoming a counselor can contact Fred Westendorf, Westchester district coordinator, at 914-762-4791 or fcw@alum.mit.edu.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
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Westchester seeks tax helpers

November
28

The Westchester County government is seeking 100 volunteers to offer a helping hand at tax time.

The volunteers will assist low- and moderate-income people in preparing tax returns or applying for federal and state earned income tax credits.

The credits, available for working people with low or moderate incomes, can add up to $6,512 to families earning less than $42,000. The size of the credit varies based on the income of the household and the number of children in the family.

“For tax season 2008, Westchester County helped 4,870 people obtain more than $4 million in tax refunds and credits, mainly through the effort of a group of volunteers who collectively put in hours as volunteers,” County Executive Andrew Spano said in a written statement. “For tax season 2009, we want to do even better.”

Training for volunteers starts in January. Under the program, volunteers donate time between Jan. 31 and April 15 at tax assistance sites in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Ossining, White Plains or Peekskill. Volunteers interested in the program can call 866-914-EITC to register. They can also register online at www.westchestergov.com/eitc.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
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Suozzi meets with Business Council

October
29

Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, who chairs the state Commission on Property Tax Relief, met yesterday with the 45-member board of directors of the Business Council of Westchester to discuss property tax cap legislation before the state Legislature. Afterward, directors of the Harrison-based business group said they would urge their membership to write and call legislators to support the cap, the key recommendation in the commission’s preliminary report in June. Council Executive Director Marsha Gordon said businesses need to lobby now for the cap as the Legislature prepares to hold a special session starting Nov. 18 to address the state budget crisis. Board Chairman Stephen J. Jones said that “this current fiscal crisis in Albany, I hope, is a unique opportunity to implement needed change.” The commission’s final report is due Dec. 1.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
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H&R Block settles ad charges

June
27

An investigation in the Lower Hudson Valley has resulted in a statewide settlement with H&R Block of charges of deceptive advertising practices, the New York Attorney General’s office said.
Under the agreement, the Kansas City, Mo.-based tax preparation company must pay $245,000 in penalties and costs in connection with two sweepstakes games it ran — “Double Your Refund Instant Win Game” from January through April 2006, and “Toss Out Your Bills Instant Win Game” from January through April 2007.
Consumers in both games were provided with scratch-off cards to play, provided they bought H&R Block tax preparation services, the state said. Under state law, companies that run sweepstakes must provide consumers with an opportunity to play without having to buy the company’s services. H&R Block failed to post rules and regulations of its promotions clearly at its offices, and it used false and deceptive advertising material to promote the games in radio and TV spots, the state said.
Investigators for the Attorney General’s office filed charged after visiting 10 H&R Block offices in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, the state said. H&R Block operates 400 retail offices in New York state.
Assistant Attorney General Doris K. Morin handled the case under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General In-Charge Judith C. McCarthy of the Attorney General’s Westchester Regional Office in White Plains.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
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Retirees, vets target of IRS rebate push

June
19

About a quarter of the nation’s disabled veterans or retirees have yet to claim rebates under President Bush’s $146 billion economic-stimulus plan, the Internal Revenue Service said today.

In New York state, fresh data show that just 67 percent of the 1.3 million potential retiree/disabled veteran filers are accounted for, leaving some 440,000 potential recipients remaining.

In response the Internal Revenue Service has begun a campaign to reach out to those who qualify for the economic stimulus payment but haven’t yet filed to claim it.

They include nearly 30,000 residents of the Lower Hudson Valley. Westchester County accounts for 20,861 of those eligible but who haven’t filed. In Rockland, 6,758 retirees or disabled veterans have yet to claim, while in Putnam, 1,704 are eligible.

Of the top 20 cities statewide, Yonkers at No. 4, Mount Vernon at No. 12, New Rochelle at No. 13 and White Plains at No. 16 account have more than 10,500 of the state’s retirees and disabled veterans who have yet to file to receive the payment.

The stimulus plan allows the 20 million Americans who receive Social Security or Veteran’s Affairs benefits but who don’t normally file income tax returns to receive the minimum payment of $300 ($600 for married couples), plus $300 for each qualifying child.

“Some retirees and others who normally do not file a tax return may be eligible and not know it,” IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a written statement.

The IRS could use the public’s help, Shulman said.

“If you know of a retiree or a disabled veteran who might qualify, please pass along the information to them,” he said.

To get the payment, retirees or disabled veterans must fill out a 1040A tax form with basic information, including: name; address; dependents, if any; amount of qualifying income (which must be $3,000 or more); direct deposit information and signatures.

The IRS can issue payments by check, but the agency encourages people to use direct deposit for speedier delivery.

Forms 1040A, along with instructions, are available at www.irs.gov and must be filed by Oct. 15.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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