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2015 Year-End Tax Planning Basics


As the end of the 2015 tax year approaches, set aside some time to evaluate your situation and consider potential opportunities. Effective year-end planning depends on a good understanding of both your current circumstances and how those circumstances might change next year.

Basic strategies

Consider whether there's an opportunity to defer income to 2016. For example, you might be able to defer a year-end bonus or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. When you defer income to 2016, you postpone payment of the tax on that income. And if there's a chance that you might be paying taxes at a lower rate next year (for example, if you know that you'll have less taxable income next year), deferring income might mean paying less tax on the deferred income.

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Hospital implosion set for Saturday

BUFFALO, NY - The 11-story tower of the former Millard Fillmore Hospital at Gates Gircle is scheduled to come down early Saturday morning.

The implosion is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m.

It will begin at the south-west corner of the building then will progress to the northeast. Windows have been removed from the old building and holes punched through the brick walls to prepare the site for demolition.

Officials say 300 pounds of explosives have been wired and should bring the entire building down in about 10 seconds.

There will be a public viewing area set up at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Delevan Avenue, right in front of Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Small fire breaks out in Sisters Hospital mailroom

BUFFALO, NY - A small fire broke out in the mailroom of Sisters Hospital Thursday afternoon. A spokesperson for the hospital tells 2 On Your Side the fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. and was quickly contained.

They say no patient areas were affected and no one was harmed.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation tonight.

Six Common 401(k) Plan Misconceptions

Do you really know as much as you think you do about your 401(k) plan? Let's find out.

1. If I leave my job, my entire 401(k) account is mine to keep.

This may or may not be true, depending on your plan's "vesting schedule." Your own contributions to the plan--that is, your pretax or Roth contributions--are always yours to keep. While some plans provide that employer contributions are also fully vested (i.e., owned by you) immediately, other plans may require that you have up to six years of service before you're entitled to all of your employer contributions (or you've reached your plan's normal retirement age). Your 401(k)'s summary plan description will have details about your plan's vesting schedule.

2. Borrowing from my 401(k) plan is a bad idea because I pay income tax twice on the amount I borrow.

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How can I protect my Social Security number from identity theft?

Your Social Security number is one of your most important personal identifiers. If identity thieves obtain your Social Security number, they can access your bank account, file false tax returns, and wreak havoc on your credit report. Here are some steps you can take to help safeguard your number.

Never carry your card with you. You should never carry your Social Security card with you unless it's absolutely necessary. The same goes for other forms of identification that may display your Social Security number (e.g., Medicare card)

Buffalo Police break up small Riverside meth lab

BUFFALO, NY – Narcotics squad detectives raided a home on Saratoga Street in Riverside Saturday at about 10 a.m. and found what they're calling a small meth lab operation.

They also recovered a quantity of crystal meth, some cocaine, marijuana and pills, and a shotgun.

Under arrest is Ryan Locke, 42, the resident of the home that was raided. He's charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Buffalo Hazmat, DEA officers and New York State Police troopers assisted in the investigation and raid.

I've recently changed my legal name. Do I need to change my name on my Social Security card?

Whenever an individual legally changes his or her name, it is important to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) as soon as possible. Failure to notify the SSA of a name change could prevent your wages from being posted correctly to your Social Security earnings record and might even result in a delay when you file your taxes.

To obtain a new card with your new name, you need to provide the SSA with a recently issued document that proves your identity and legal name change. Acceptable documents include:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Certificate of Naturalization showing new name
  • Court order for approving the name change

If the document you provide doesn't offer enough information for the SSA to identify you in their records, you must also provide an identity document in your old name (expired documents with your old name are allowed).