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Landmarks in WNY, Ontario, Across State to ‘Light it Up for Lymphedema’

Landmarks in WNY, Ontario, Across State to ‘Light it Up for Lymphedema’

Attractions on the United States and Canadian sides of the border will "Light it Up for Lymphedema" between March 6 and 8 in order to shine the light on lymphedema, a chronic swelling that has no cure.

In order to mark March being designated World Lymphedema Month and March 6 being declared World Lymphedema Day, the New York State Chapter of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) has contacted the operators of attractions from Buffalo to Toronto to Albany to request the lighting of buildings, domes, bridges, and waterway in teal -- the color of lymphedema (LE) awareness -- in order to bring attention to the disease. This year, LE&RN also is celebrating its 20th year since its inception in 1998, when it was founded as the Lymphatic Research Foundation.

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Five Facts about Charitable Contributions

With the holidays around the corner, many people will be making donations to benefit charitable organizations. However, come tax time, the person who made the donation might also benefit. That’s because taxpayers who donate to a charity may be able to claim a deduction for the donation on their federal tax return.

Here are five facts about charitable donations:

Qualified Charities. A taxpayer must donate to a qualified charity to deduct their contributions. Gifts to individuals, political organizations, or candidates are not deductible. To check the status of a charity, taxpayers can use Exempt Organizations Select Check on IRS.gov.

Itemize Deductions. To deduct charitable contributions, taxpayers must file Form 1040 and itemize their deductions. To do this, taxpayers complete Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. They file this form with their tax return.

Taxpayers Should do an End-of-Year Withholding Check-up

As the end of the year approaches, the IRS encourages taxpayers to consider a tax withholding checkup. When taxpayers take a close look to make sure the right amount of tax is withheld now, they can avoid an unexpected tax bill next year.

Here are five examples of taxpayers who would benefit from a withholding check-up:

• Taxpayers who received large tax refunds in past years
When a taxpayer has too much tax withheld from their paycheck, they pay too much tax during the year. They can change their withholding to have money upfront rather than waiting for a bigger refund.

• Taxpayers who owed taxes in years past
Taxpayers with too little tax withheld might owe money. Under-withholding can lead to both a tax bill and an additional penalty.

IRS has Resources for Veterans, Current Members of the Military

As the nation prepares to celebrate Veterans Day, the IRS reminds them that they may be eligible for certain tax benefits. There are also tax benefits that can affect current members of the military.

The IRS has resources for both these groups. The following tools will help military members and veterans navigate tax issues:

Resources for veterans

  • Frequently asked questions about veteran employment and retirement plan benefits. These include information about the re-employment of veterans and the restoration of retirement plan benefits.
  • The Resources for Disabled Veterans page features links to resources geared to this audience: ◦Where to get free help in preparing income tax returns.
    • Access to IRS forms and publications in formats accessible for people with disabilities.

Resources for current members of the military

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Participating in the Sharing Economy Can Affect Taxes

In 2017, many taxpayers use their phones and computers to provide services and sell goods. This includes the use of sites and apps to rent a home to travelers, sell crafts, or to provide car rides. Taxpayers who do this may be involved in the sharing economy. Participating in the sharing economy may affect a person’s taxes. These taxpayers can visit the Sharing Economy Tax Center on the IRS website to find resources that can help them meet their tax obligations.

Here are six things taxpayers should know about how the sharing economy might affect their taxes:

Taxes. Sharing economy activity is generally taxable. This includes:

Five Things to Know about Estimated Taxes and Withholding

With 10 million taxpayers a year facing estimated tax penalties, the IRS offers some simple tips to help prevent a surprise at tax time.

People pay taxes on income through withholding on their paycheck or through estimated tax payments. Taxpayers who pay enough tax throughout the year can avoid a large tax bill and penalties when they file their return.

Taxpayers should make estimated tax payments if:

  • The tax withheld from their income does not cover their tax for the year.
  • They have income without withholdings. Some examples are interest, dividends, alimony, self-employment income, capital gains, prizes or awards.

Here are five actions taxpayers can take to avoid a large bill and estimated tax penalties when they file their return. They can:

How to Know if the Knock on Your Door is Actually Someone from the IRS

Every Halloween, children knock on doors pretending they are everything from superheroes to movie stars. Scammers, on the other hand, don’t leave their impersonations to one day. They can happen any time of the year.

 People can avoid taking the bait and falling victim to a scam by knowing how and when the IRS does contact a taxpayer in person. This can help someone determine whether an individual is truly an IRS employee.

 Here are eight things to know about in-person contacts from the IRS.