Our network

Tips to Keep in Mind for Taxpayers Traveling for Charity

During the summer, some taxpayers may travel because of their involvement with a qualified charity. These traveling taxpayers may be able to lower their taxes.

Here are some tax tips for taxpayers to use when deducting charity-related travel expenses:

·         Qualified Charities.  For a taxpayer to deduct costs, they must volunteer for a qualified charity. Most groups must apply to the IRS to become qualified. Churches and governments are generally qualified, and do not need to apply to the IRS. A taxpayer should ask the group about its status before they donate. Taxpayers can also use the Select Check tool on IRS.gov to check a group’s status.

Community Sponsors

Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?

How to Get Tax Transcripts and Copies of Tax Returns from the IRS

Taxpayers should keep copies of their tax returns for at least three years. Those who need a copy of their tax return should check with their software provider or tax preparer. Prior year tax returns are available from IRS for a fee.

For those that need tax transcripts, however, IRS can help. Transcripts are free.

Tax Transcripts

A transcript summarizes return information and includes Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). They are available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the return. People can also get them for the past three years.

When applying for home mortgages or college financial aid, transcripts are often necessary. Mortgage companies, however, normally arrange to get one for a homeowner or potential homeowner. For people applying for college financial aid, see IRS Offers Help to Students, Families to Get Tax Information for Student Financial Aid Applications on IRS.gov for the latest options.

Olear Team at MJ Peterson to Offer Seminar for Older Adults and Caregivers

Olear Team at MJ Peterson to Offer Seminar for Older Adults and Caregivers

Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker from the Olear Team at MJ Peterson Real Estate, will present an educational seminar at Sandra Lane Senior Apartments on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. The Sandra Lane Senior Apartments community is located at 705 Sandra Lane in North Tonawanda. 

The seminar is open to the community and will focus on real estate topics relevant to older adults and their loved ones and caregivers, including right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, preparing for a move, legal and regulatory issues to be aware of, and available resources and tools related to these matters.

To register for the event, please contact the Olear Team at (716) 880-4442.

Exit 2 Bar & Grille Plans Rock-tober Fest, Anniversary Party

Exit 2 Bar & Grille Plans Rock-tober Fest, Anniversary Party

A Rock-tober Fest featuring music by The Boys of Summer will take place from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Exit 2 Bar & Grille. The restaurant is located at 3191 Eggert Road in Tonawanda in the Colvin Eggert Plaza, just off Exit 2 of the I-290.

In addition to live music, other Rock-tober Fest highlights will include a beer tent, best costume contest and a silent auction featuring a guitar autographed by Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls! Tickets are just $5 and are available pre-sale at the restaurant or on the day of the event at the door. Guests must be 21 or older. Proceeds from the event will benefit Music Is Art.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, Exit 2 will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a party from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. featuring music by Busted Stuff. Drink and appetizer specials will be offered.

Community Sponsors

Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?

Members of the Armed Forces Get Special Tax Benefits

Members of the military may qualify for tax breaks and benefits. Special rules could lower the tax they owe or give them more time to file and pay taxes. In addition, some types of military pay are tax-free.

Here are some tips to find out who qualifies:

1. Combat Pay Exclusion.  If someone serves in a combat zone, or provides direct support, part or even all of their combat pay is tax-free. However, there are limits for commissioned officers. See Earned Income Tax Credit below for important information.

2. Deadline Extensions.  Some members of the military, such as those who serve in a combat zone, can postpone most tax deadlines. Those who qualify can get automatic extensions of time to file and pay their taxes.

3. Special Deductions:

‘The Last Descent’ Screening to Include Discussion With Lead Actor

‘The Last Descent’ Screening to Include Discussion With Lead Actor

AMHERST, N.Y. – “The Last Descent,” starring Daemen College alumnus Chadwick Hopson, ’10, will be screened at a campus premiere scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Research and Information Commons Room 120.

A question and answer session with Hopson will be held at 7 p.m. following the special film screening. Daniel Shanahan, assistant professor and coordinator of the entrepreneurism program, will serve as moderator.

The critically acclaimed “The Last Descent” is inspired by the 2009 rescue attempt of John Jones, a medical student who became trapped in Nutty Putty Cave in Utah. For his role, Hopson earned his first major award as best leading actor in a feature film at the 2017 Utah Film Awards.

Coping with Grief During the Holiday Season

Coping with Grief During the Holiday Season

We all cope with grief in different ways, but with the holiday season quickly approaching, it can set off emotions that can be extremely difficult to deal with alone.

“For many individuals, intense grieving is often centered around those times of year — birthdays, anniversaries, holidays — when we miss our loved ones even more,” said Monica Farrar, a licensed mental health counselor and private clinician in Williamsville. “When you lose someone close to you, it’s not uncommon to lose interest in celebrating holidays and special occasions because these events magnify your loss.

“While these times may be sad, it is OK to smile and have moments of peace and even laughter. It is OK to remember and honor your love and loss, accept the reality of the situation and allow yourself to feel all emotions, including both joy and sadness.”