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IRS, States and Tax Industry Deploy New Safeguards for 2016

 

Because of improved protections in recent years, the Internal Revenue Service stops the vast majority of fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities. But identity thieves and criminal syndicates continue to persist and evolve.

As the threat has changed, so has the IRS. In a new era of cooperation, the IRS, the states and the entire tax industry came together to identify what additional steps could be taken to better fight identity theft and better protect the taxpayers.

Starting in January 2016, this renewed effort will make for a safer, more secure filing season for taxpayers.

Many changes will be invisible, but they are critical to making sure the IRS can verify the taxpayer and the legitimacy of the tax return before it ever enters into the tax processing system. More than 20 shared data elements will help the software industry and the IRS stop fraudulent returns at the door.

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Two Fun Events to Benefit Pet Connection Programs Inc.

Two Fun Events to Benefit Pet Connection Programs Inc.

Two upcoming fundraisers — a Chicken BBQ and Chinese Auction event and a large indoor yard sale — will both benefit the shelter animals at Pet Connection Programs Inc., a nonprofit maternity animal shelter located in Marilla.

Held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 2, the Chicken BBQ and Chinese Auction will take place at the Variety Club Banquet Hall located at 6114 Broadway in Lancaster. Dinner tickets are just $10 and include a half chicken by BW’s Smokin’ Barrels Barbecue, Pet Connection’s famous cream corn bake, mashed potatoes, noodle salad, roll and choice of dessert. The auction will feature more than 150 items plus fantastic door prizes! 

Explore Buffalo Lists Unique February Tours

Explore Buffalo Lists Unique February Tours

The interesting architecture of St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, adventures in Buffalo history and Buffalo’s breweries are the topics of tours being offered by Explore Buffalo during the month of February.

Inside St. Mary’s School for the Deaf
Feb. 3, 6 to 8 p.m.
2253 Main St., Buffalo

St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, established in Buffalo in 1853 as the first academic school for the deaf in the country, was relocated from Edward Street to its current location on Main Street in 1898. This two-hour walking tour highlights the beautiful architecture of this historic building and offers fascinating information about the history and culture of deaf people in the Buffalo area. The tour also offers a glimpse into the current world of educating deaf and hard of hearing students in the 21st century.

Who Can Represent You Before the IRS?

Many people use a tax professional to prepare their taxes. Tax professionals with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) can prepare a return for a fee. If you choose a tax pro, you should know who can represent you before the IRS. There are new rules this year, so the IRS wants you to know who can represent you and when they can represent you. Choose a tax return preparer wisely.

Representation rights, also known as practice rights, fall into two categories:

  • Unlimited Representation
  • Limited Representation

Unlimited representation rights allow a credentialed tax practitioner to represent you before the IRS on any tax matter. This is true no matter who prepared your return. Credentialed tax professionals who have unlimited representation rights include:

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Athlete Signing Times Announced for Huge Sports Collectors Expo in Batavia

Athlete Signing Times Announced for Huge Sports Collectors Expo in Batavia

Nearly 30 former football, baseball, basketball and hockey players and coaches — including members of the Buffalo Bills, Braves and Sabres — are scheduled to appear at the Sports Collectors Expo Feb. 20 and 21 in Batavia. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Batavia Downs Gaming Center, 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

Athlete signing times have recently been announced. Scheduled to appear on Saturday, Feb. 20, are:
11 a.m. to noon: Claude Humphrey, Joe Altobelli, Gilles Villemure, Don Luce
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Ray Bentley
12 to 1 p.m.: Sammy Stewart, Dave Ford, Tim Stoddard, Al Bumbry, Bill Swaggerty
1 to 2 p.m.: Adrian Dantley, Jim McMillian, Ernie DiGregorio, Jack Marin, Gar Heard
2 to 3 p.m.: Walt Patulski, Scott Norwood, Jim Lorentz, Ruben Brown, Gabe Northern

New Owner Brings Friendly, Professional Atmosphere to Sink or Swim Tattoo

New Owner Brings Friendly, Professional Atmosphere to Sink or Swim Tattoo

Sink or Swim Tattoo, located on the second floor of a commercial building at 1040 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda, is under new ownership, with a familiar face now running the operation.

Former Sink or Swim tattoo artist Keith Kuzara took ownership of the business on Oct. 1, 2015, after working at the shop for nearly four years. Kuzara is a self-taught and award-winning tattoo artist with six years of industry experience.

“I was planning on opening my own shop eventually, when this opportunity suddenly popped up,” said Kuzara. “With the previous owner moving out of state, the timing and situation was right to take over the business.”

Sink or Swim now employs five tattoo artists, including the multi-tattooed owner.

Special Guests Will Keep the Buffalo Auto Show Buzzing All Weekend Long

Special Guests Will Keep the Buffalo Auto Show Buzzing All Weekend Long

The Buffalo Auto Show, Western New York’s premier new vehicle automotive event, makes its annual return to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Feb. 11-14, and along with the latest and greatest new vehicles, visitors will also have a chance to see some very special guests!

Three members of the Buffalo Bandits — Ryan Benesch, David Brock and Dhane Smith — will appear at the Auto Show from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, to sign autographs and have photos taken with their fans. Several members of the Buffalo Bandettes, the professional dance team for the Buffalo Bandits, will also be on hand to greet fans!