Tax Help

first_imgThe April 15 tax deadline is nearing, and many people have already filed their returns for free with help from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. And they received some financial education during the process.Using a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, UGA Extension partnered with the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program this year. Tax returns have been filed in Athens (350), Dalton (125) and Moultrie (64), all free of charge. And the program is still offering its services.“The grant was to increase financial education,” said Lance Palmer, assistant professor of financial planning in the UGA Department of Housing and Consumer Economics. “Tax filing creates a teachable moment for people, and we are able to implement some basic financial training.” Two-thirds of low- to moderate-income households have their taxes prepared by someone else, Palmer said. “This program is a way for us to fill a need and provide them with an education on ways to increase their refund through saving and planning,” Palmer said. Students majoring in family financial planning at UGA help to prepare the returns, along with students from Dalton State College and Moultrie Technical College.Andrea Scarrow, a UGA Extension agent in Colquitt County, focuses on financial literacy in her county and wanted the program offered there. “I knew if we could do something practical to get some money in people’s pockets we could reach a big portion of our community,” Scarrow said. She saw a cycle of people depending on refund anticipation loans to get through November and December. These loans typically have high finance charges, leaving less refund for the taxpayer. “I wanted to help break that cycle of poverty and offer some tax assistance,” Scarrow said. “We focused on the earned income tax credit, which is a great credit, encouraging and rewarding work.” The earned income tax credit offers as much as $3,043 in credits to families with at least one child. It is just one of many such credits available, said Joan Koonce, a UGA Extension financial specialist. Other credits include the child tax credit, childcare tax credit and retirement savers’ credit. “There are lots of new credits, and we want to help people get all the deductions and credits they can,” Koonce said. “Everyone should get all of the deductions and credits they are legally allowed.” Koonce prepared taxes in Moultrie and helped get a grant to partly fund the effort there. For eight days in February, volunteers prepared tax returns at a Moultrie community center and YMCA. Local banks shared financial planning information with people at each site and Extension publications were available on investing, insurance and using credit wisely. “There was a man whose grandson wasn’t receiving much of a refund, but it was his,” Koonce said. “In years past, the refund had been given back to the tax preparer. Those are the stories you like to hear.” “We had people sitting across from us with tears in their eyes. They were so grateful to have this service and actually took home all of their refund,” Scarrow said. “We were so happy to be there and help those that need it most.” If you haven’t filed your 2009 return, yet, Koonce says to: Save money and do it yourself if you can.Read the forms and refer to the IRS Web site to take advantage of all deductions and credits available.Prepare for next year by putting money in a retirement account and be sure to keep financial files organized and accessible. “If you are unsure if you need a receipt, keep it just in case,” Koonce said. Some people look forward to a big tax refund and use the income to splurge on a vacation or home-improvement project. Koonce says it is better to breakeven or to get a small refund at the end of the year.“You are letting the government hold on to your money for months when you could be using it to invest or for necessary expenses throughout the year,” she said.last_img read more

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FA waits for more details on Anelka

first_imgThe Football Association will decide on Monday whether to appeal and try to have Nicolas Anelka’s five-match ban for his ‘quenelle’ gesture increased. Press Association Anelka performed the gesture as a goal celebration after scoring in his club’s match against West Ham on December 28. Anelka insisted the salute was in support of his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the person who first brought the quenelle to prominence. Dieudonne has been prosecuted for anti-Semitic offences and has been barred from entering the UK. FA general secretary Alex Horne said: “This was a gesture we haven’t seen before in English football. The reality is we haven’t got the written reasons yet, we will get those on Monday at which point it is open to appeal from either our side or Nicolas Anelka’s side so I can’t comment personally as to whether five matches are enough.” UEFA is holding a disciplinary hearing on Monday into the case of a Belgian futsal player Omar Rahou who also allegedly made a quenelle gesture during a match. UEFA’s new racism rules carry a minimum 10-match ban. New rules brought in this season mean any racial or discriminatory offence carries a minimum five-match ban, and Dyke said the governing body would look to see if these changes had been effective. Speaking after the International FA Board meeting in Zurich, he said: “We are all waiting until Monday to see what the judgement was. It is a strange situation where the decision is announced but we don’t know the reasons so we have to wait for those. “This is an evidence-based inquiry and what did Mr Anelka say and what was (the) basis for the decision – we will see that on Monday. “Any appeal will be decided by others on Monday, not by me. It is a possibility. “We will look at the whole thing again once this one has been done. This was not an easy case, because for most people in England that sign meant nothing. “It’s only what it meant in France that became important, so we will look at the judgement and will ask people do we think that’s fair or that we should change anything as a result of that.” Dyke said the judgement did however send out a strong message. He added: “It makes it clear that the FA is not prepared to tolerate things that could be of a racist nature but we have to see what the decision was.” FA chairman Greg Dyke said the governing body will receive the written reasons from the independent regulatory commission on Monday and will then make a decision. Anelka is also able to appeal against the punishment. The quenelle salute has anti-Semitic connotations in Anelka’s home country of France, but the commission accepted there was no intent by the West Brom striker to be anti-Semitic. Under strict liability rules, however, he was found guilty of an aggravated offence. last_img read more

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Blighty’s big chance to end a century-old drought at PGA

first_img Padraig Harrington won the PGA Championship in 2008 to become the first European-born winner since Tommy Armour of Scotland in 1930. As for England, that goes back more than a century, when Jim Barnes won the Wanamaker Trophy for the second straight time in 1919.Three Englishmen have a chance to end that drought.It starts with Paul Casey, at 43 with his best chance to win a major. He was four behind at the 2008 Masters until closing with a 79. Casey birdied the eighth and ninth holes, two of the toughest at Harding Park, and then closed with all pars on the back nine for a 68. He was two shots behind Dustin Johnson.“I feel really, really good about the golf game, so yeah, I’ve played really well and I think that reflects in the clean scorecards I’ve been keeping, and I feel really positive going into tomorrow,” Casey said. “I feel like I can continue that good play. We’ll see what it yields.”Another shot back were Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood, who each had to settle for a 70 but still were very much in the mix.Rose already has a U.S. Open title. His victory in 2013 at Merion was a first for England since Tony Jacklin in 1970. He is trying to climb out of a mini-slump, but this is the third straight major he has been teeing off late in the final round, including the final group with U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland last summer at Pebble Beach.“You have to keep knocking on the door. If you are knocking on the door, more often than not, you do find that round that you need on a Sunday,” Rose said. “That’s when the door opens. You never quite know when that’s going to happen.”Fleetwood was a runner-up at the British Open last summer, and he was runner-up to Brooks Koepka at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills by closing with a 63.CAL KIDThis fun fact stood out for Collin Morikawa coming into the PGA Championship: He has more wins (two) than missed cuts (one) in a little over a year as a professional.Another fun fact: He’s well within range of win No. 3, which would give him his first major title at age 23.Morikawa, who made his first 22 cuts as a pro, tied for Saturday’s best round, a 5-under 65, to finish in a three-way tie for fourth at 7-under, only two shots behind leader Dustin Johnson.Though this is only Morikawa’s second major — he finished 35th at last year’s U.S. Open — it would be hard to say he hasn’t been put to the test. He has been in two playoffs this year: He won the Workday Charity Open last month after beating Justin Thomas in three holes. That came a month after he finished second at the Charles Schwab Challenge when he barely missed the winning putt on 18, then lipped out a 3-footer in the first playoff hole against Daniel Berger.“I missed the putt and you go back to there, and it’s all a learning experience,” said Morikawa, who went to college at California, not far from this week’s tournament in San Francisco. “You have to close it. I had a putt on 18 to win. I got ahead of myself in the playoff.”All of which might come into play for him if he’s in the hunt late Sunday.“Over these two months, I’ve had some highs and I’ve had some lows,” he said. “I’ve looked back at everything and just kind of use that for tomorrow.”LOST OPPORTUNITYThis might be the worst Justin Thomas ever felt about a 68 in a major.The world’s No. 1 player made the cut on the number at the PGA Championship and still held out hope of making a run. He figured he would need to be 10 under on the weekend, and he started the third round with five birdies in seven holes.But he made two bogeys to close out the front nine — those are two of the hardest holes at Harding Park — and then dropped two more shots at the end of his round.Thomas says he was most disappointed with his wedge play.“I let a really good round go, and really had a great opportunity to put myself in a good position going into tomorrow,” he said. “I just didn’t capitalize on the back nine.”He wound up in a tie for 34th, eight shots out of the lead.NO ROARSGolf has gone two months since its return without spectators, and by now the players are used to it.Sunday figures to be a different test — the pressure of a major championship minus the cheers and the energy to boost the adrenaline, or give players an idea of what’s going on around them. Paul Casey is among those who isn’t sure what to expect.Asked if it felt like a major on Saturday, he replied: “It’s just strange. Honestly, no.”“It’s gone through my mind a few times, the gravity of the event we’re playing in,” he said. “But you can’t get over the fact … you’re missing the roars and the excitement and the screaming. There’s no question the golf course is producing that test for us. It’s just the other elements which are usually a big part of what we do.”Gone are the white leaderboards at the PGA Championship. Those are operated manually, and the PGA of America left them at home this year because it requires more people to run them. In the coronavirus era, the fewer the volunteers the better.In their place are 10 electronic boards that show only the scores.Brooks Koepka wasn’t worried about what others might be doing for another reason — no fans allows for a better view.“All you’ve got to do is look to your left or right and you’ll see something and figure it out,” he said.Image credits: AP Last Updated: 9th August, 2020 09:39 IST Blighty’s Big Chance To End A Century-old Drought At PGA Padraig Harrington won the PGA Championship in 2008 to become the first European-born winner since Tommy Armour of Scotland in 1930. As for England, that goes back more than a century, when Jim Barnes won the Wanamaker Trophy for the second straight time in 1919 SUBSCRIBE TO US Associated Press Television News Written By WATCH US LIVEcenter_img First Published: 9th August, 2020 09:39 IST LIVE TV FOLLOW US COMMENTlast_img read more

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