Daily Archives: March 26, 2009

Need help filing your taxes? Try one of these sites

More than 610,000 Kansans had e-filed, 393,000 had used a tax preparer and 217,000 had filed from their home computer as of last week.

If you need help filing your taxes, here’s a list of free tax preparation sites in Sedgwick County:

Center of Hope, 400 N. Emporia, Wichita

CCCS of Kansas, 300 W Douglas Suite 900, Wichita

Best Coalition Mobile Site, 245 N Water, United Way of The Plains, Wichita

Linwood Senior Center, 1901 S Kansas St, Wichita

Wichita Family Services Inst., 1631 E 17th St, Wichita

Venture House, 1005 E. 2nd St N, Wichita

Northeast Senior Center, 2121 E 21st St N, Wichita

Atwater Neighborhood City Hall, 2755 E 19th St, Wichita

Inter-Faith Ministries, 829 N. Market, Wichita

Downtown Senior Center, 200 S Walnut St ,Wichita

Stanley Neighborhood City Hall , 1749 S Martinson St, Wichita

La Familia, 841 W 21st St N, Wichita

Dear Neighbor Ministries, 1329 S. Bluffview, Wichita

Osage, 2121 W 31st St S, Wichita

St. Anne Parish , 2801 S. Seneca, Wichita

Oaklawn Senior Center, 2937 Oaklawn Dr, Wichita

Colvin City Hall, 2820 S Roosevelt St, Wichita

Park City Senior Center, 6100 N Hydraulic St, Park City

Evergreen City Hall, 2700 N Woodland St, Wichita

Orchard Park Senior Center , 4808 W 9th St N, Wichita

Sedgwick County Ext. Service, 7001 W 21st St North, Wichita

Haysville Senior Center , 711 E Grand Ave, Haysville

Derby Sr Center , 611 Mulberry Rd, Derby

Unemployed? IRS wants to help

The IRS’ spokesman for Kansas, Michael Devine,  sent this out today:

WASHINGTON — All or part of unemployment benefits received in 2009 will be tax free for many unemployed workers, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

“This morning we learned that a record 5.6 million people were receiving unemployment benefits in the middle of March. This underscores the need for the relief provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes making the first $2,400 of unemployment insurance exempt from tax,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “I urge all unemployed workers to take this special tax break into account as they plan their tax withholding and quarterly estimated tax payments for the year. This change offers a helping hand to millions of Americans who are out of work and struggling to make ends meet.”

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted last month, every person who receives unemployment benefits during 2009 is eligible to exclude the first $2,400 of these benefits when they file their tax return next year. For a married couple, the exclusion applies to each spouse, separately. If both spouses receive unemployment benefits during 2009, each may exclude from income the first $2,400 of benefits they receive.

The new law doesn’t affect the return taxpayers are filling out now. Unemployment benefits received in 2008 and prior years remain fully taxable.

Unemployed workers can choose to have income tax withheld from their unemployment benefit payments. Withholding on these payments is voluntary. However, choosing this option may help avoid a surprise year-end tax bill or a possible penalty for having paid too little tax during the year. Those who choose this option will have a flat 10 percent tax withheld from their benefits.

Unemployed workers who expect to receive more than $2,400 in benefits this year should consider having tax withheld from their benefit payments in excess of that amount. Those unemployed workers who have already chosen to have tax taken out of their benefits, should consider the $2,400 exclusion in determining whether to continue to have tax withheld.

Use Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request, or the equivalent form provided by the payer to request withholding to begin or end. Form W-4V is also available on IRS.gov or by calling the IRS toll-free at 1-800-TAX-FORM (829-3676).

Sedgwick County’s finance staff wins awards

Not everyone has a master’s degree in accounting, Sedgwick County’s chief financial officer pointed out this week when lauding his staff for developing an easy-to-understand finance report for public consumption that has landed an award.

Sedgwick County is the only government in Kansas to win the Government Finance Officers Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting. About 160 governments nationwide and in Kansas won the award in 2006.

The county’s 2007 report was the first time the county prepared a public-focused financial scorecard. Chief financial officer Chris Chronis praised county employees Sara Jantz, Brandi Bailey and Pam Kelly for their work.

The county’s regular, more detail-oriented financial report also won an award from the group, the 27th consecutive time. Chronis commended county employees Troy Bruun and Anne Smarsh for their report.