IRS Offers Year-End Tips For Tennesseans

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service will start accepting and processing 2013 tax returns Jan. 31, 2014. The delay is to allow time to update, program and properly test all systems after that process was interrupted by the government shutdown in 2013.

IRS spokesman Dan Boone said the agency expects Tennesseans to file about 3 million tax returns, with more than 2.5 million of those being filed electronically. He encouraged taxpayers to take advantage of IRS Free File, at IRS.gov, where all filers can prepare and file their returns free online beginning Jan. 31.

"E-filing speeds up refunds and eliminates most errors, plus you get confirmation that the IRS got your tax return," Mr. Boone said. But while the start of the filing season is delayed, he reminded filers that the clock is ticking when it comes to certain actions that must be taken by Dec. 31 to count for the 2013 tax year.

"Taxpayers need to act now when it comes to making donations to charities and contributions to workplace retirement plans," Mr. Boone said. He offered these specific reminders:

Gifts to Charities - Donations to qualified charities must be made by 12/31/13 in order to be deducted on your 2013 tax return. You must itemize deductions and you must have proper documentation for each donation, no matter how large or small it is, to take the charitable contributions deduction. A donation charged to a credit card by Dec. 31 is deductible for 2013 even if you don't pay the credit card bill until 2014.

Tax-Free IRA Distribution - Filers who are age 70 and a half or older can have up to $100,000 transferred directly to a qualified charity. This transfer can serve as the filer's required minimum yearly IRA distribution, is tax-free to the filer, and benefits the charity. But this tax benefit is set to expire after 12/31/13.

Saver's Credit - Low- and moderate-income workers can take steps now to save for retirement and earn a special tax credit in 2013. The saver’s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to IRAs and to 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. People have until April 15, 2014, to set up and contribute to a new IRA for 2013 or to add money to an existing IRA for 2013, but elective contributions to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program must be made by 12/31/13.
 

Alexander: Army Corps Of Engineers Is Federal Government’s Most Popular Agency

United States Senator Lamar Alexander Wednesday said in a hearing to review the President’s FY2018 budget request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that based on appropriations requests, “the Corps of Engineers is the federal government’s most popular agency.”  Senator Alexander, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Wednesday ... (click for more)

Donna Christian Lowe Chosen To Emcee And Facilitate Causeway Challenge Kickoff

Donna Christian Lowe, senior vice president and COO of MSi Workforce Solutions has been chosen to be the emcee and facilitator at the Causeway Challenge Kickoff “Reclaiming Civic Engagement”. This year the Causeway Challenge is about empowering individuals to solve problems in their own communities through creative ventures.   Ms. Lowe was selected to facilitate this event ... (click for more)

County Commission May Amend Resolution Dealing With 501(c)(3)s; Humane Society Says It Won't Comply

The County Commission may amend a resolution it passed that would put a member of the commission on the board of the 501(c)(3)s that receive over 25 percent of their funding from the county. It would also require the agencies to follow county purchasing, travel and expense policies. After the measure was passed 6-3, the county got a letter from the Humane Education Society ... (click for more)

Walker County Taking Out Another Loan To Deal With Debts Left By Bebe Heiskell Administration

Walker County officials said they are having to take out another loan to deal with debts left by the Bebe Heiskell administration. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has called a special meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the commissioner's office in Lafayette. The agenda includes a $4 million tax anticipation note from Lafayette Bank, which stepped in to help the new administration ... (click for more)

CPS Should Have A Manned 24/7 Presence In Every County

This week something became abundantly clear to me. The Department of Child Protective Services in the state of Tennessee, or at least in Hamilton County, are asleep at the wheel.   Early yesterday afternoon local news stations broke the news: "Animals Removed from Soddy Daisy Home."  What the news station either didn't know, or didn't report, was that the children of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Heroes Gather On July 14

Oliver North, whose journey as American patriot has not been an easy one, never lost hope. He once admitted he lied to Congress under oath, was found guilty of three felony counts after he followed the direct orders of his superiors, and then endured the wrath of the ignorant before the ACLU – of all sources – had the charges vacated. The former Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps ... (click for more)