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.
 

GeorgiaBEST Implemented At Georgia Northwestern

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced that Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) in Rome has become the first institution of higher learning in Georgia to offer GeorgiaBEST, the Georgia Department of Labor’s (GDOL) initiative that teaches workplace soft skills. “I commend President Pete McDonald for recognizing the need to incorporate soft skills training ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar Oct. 25 - Nov. 1

MO/27 Get a Job -- Tyner High School 10:17 a.m. to 3:55 p.m. Tyner High School: 6836 Tyner Rd. Get A Job instructs 10th graders on the finer points of interviewing skills, completing job applications, dressing for success and other topics of importance for the 21st century workforce.  Community volunteers are needed to assist with this event.  Please contact ... (click for more)

Man Shot At Apartments On Tunnel Boulevard Wednesday Afternoon, Then 2 Juveniles Shot At Rec Center On Oakwood Drive With Suspects In Custody

Chattanooga police officers responded to the apartment buildings at 404 Tunnel Blvd. Wednesday at 1:21 p.m., where residents say they heard multiple shots fired.  Witnesses said they saw multiple suspects fleeing the scene on foot behind the complex.  The male victim was taken to a local hospital for life threatening gunshot wounds.  Later Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Several Arrested Outside Erlanger Hospital When Crowd Gathers After Woodlawn Shooting

Several people were arrested Monday night outside Erlanger Hospital after a crowd gathered and clashed with police. The crowd included family and friends of 20-year-old Apprentice Berry, who was shot multiple times and killed earlier Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments on Wilson Street. Erlanger officials said the group gathered at the emergency room, but were later moved ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)