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Tips to Keep in Mind for Taxpayers Traveling for Charity

During the summer, some taxpayers may travel because of their involvement with a qualified charity. These traveling taxpayers may be able to lower their taxes.

Here are some tax tips for taxpayers to use when deducting charity-related travel expenses:

·         Qualified Charities.  For a taxpayer to deduct costs, they must volunteer for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. A taxpayer should ask the group about its status before they donate. Taxpayers can also use the Select Check tool on IRS.gov to check a group’s status.

How to Get Tax Transcripts and Copies of Tax Returns from the IRS

Taxpayers should keep copies of their tax returns for at least three years. Those who need a copy of their tax return should check with their software provider or tax preparer. Prior year tax returns are available from IRS for a fee.

For those that need tax transcripts, however, IRS can help. Transcripts are free.

Tax Transcripts

A transcript summarizes return information and includes Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). They are available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the return. People can also get them for the past three years.

When applying for home mortgages or college financial aid, transcripts are often necessary. Mortgage companies, however, normally arrange to get one for a homeowner or potential homeowner. For people applying for college financial aid, see IRS Offers Help to Students, Families to Get Tax Information for Student Financial Aid Applications on IRS.gov for the latest options.

Olear Team at MJ Peterson to Offer Seminar for Older Adults and Caregivers

Olear Team at MJ Peterson to Offer Seminar for Older Adults and Caregivers

Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker from the Olear Team at MJ Peterson Real Estate, will present an educational seminar at Sandra Lane Senior Apartments on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. The Sandra Lane Senior Apartments community is located at 705 Sandra Lane in North Tonawanda. 

The seminar is open to the community and will focus on real estate topics relevant to older adults and their loved ones and caregivers, including right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, preparing for a move, legal and regulatory issues to be aware of, and available resources and tools related to these matters.

To register for the event, please contact the Olear Team at (716) 880-4442.

Members of the Armed Forces Get Special Tax Benefits

Members of the military may qualify for tax breaks and benefits. Special rules could lower the tax they owe or give them more time to file and pay taxes. In addition, some types of military pay are tax-free.

Here are some tips to find out who qualifies:

1. Combat Pay Exclusion.  If someone serves in a combat zone, or provides direct support, part or even all of their combat pay is tax-free. However, there are limits for commissioned officers. See Earned Income Tax Credit below for important information.

2. Deadline Extensions.  Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone most tax deadlines. Those who qualify can get automatic extensions of time to file and pay their taxes.

3. Special Deductions:

Tips on How to Handle an IRS Letter or Notice

The IRS mails millions of letters every year to taxpayers for a variety of reasons. Keep the following suggestions in mind on how to best handle a letter or notice from the IRS:

Tips for Individuals Who Need to Reconstruct Records After a Disaster

Taxpayers who are victims of a disaster might need to reconstruct records to prove their loss. Doing this may be essential for tax purposes, getting federal assistance, or insurance reimbursement.

Here are 12 things taxpayers can do to help reconstruct their records after a disaster:

Jeff Schober’s ‘Chased By Thunder’ is Latest Release from NFB Publishing

Jeff Schober’s ‘Chased By Thunder’ is Latest Release from NFB Publishing

NFB Publishing has announced the release of its latest book, Chased By Thunder by local author Jeff Schober.

Schober has several books to his credit, including Undercurrent; Broken and Profane; Boneshaker; Faces and Fingertips; Growing Up Gronk​; Bike Path Rapist (with Detective Dennis Delano​); What a Country, This America (the biography of Hans Kullerkupp​); and Sabres — 26 Seasons in Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium (with Ross Brewitt).

​"We think our father murdered our mother,” a woman tells police in Chased By Thunder. Twenty-eight years earlier, young housewife Donna Burgard was stabbed to death. No killer was captured, although her husband was the prime suspect. Now, as the victim’s grown children request a fresh investigation, Detective Mark Bennett is plunged into murky shadows of the past. Can the truth still be uncovered?