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Eight Tips to Protect Taxpayers from Identity Theft

Identity theft happens when someone steals personal information for financial gain. Tax-related identity theft happens when someone uses another person’s stolen Social Security number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN) to file a tax return to obtain a fraudulent refund.

Many people first find out they are victims of identity theft when they submit their tax returns. That’s because the IRS lets them know someone else already used their SSN to file.

The IRS continues to work hard to stop identity theft with a strategy of prevention, detection and victim assistance. So far, the agency has stopped millions of dollars from getting into the hands of thieves.

Check out these eight tips on how to protect against identity theft:

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Suneel’s Light Foundation’s Night to Shine Charity Event to Help Discover a Cure for Duchenne

Suneel’s Light Foundation’s Night to Shine Charity Event to Help Discover a  Cure for Duchenne

Charity event set to shine brightly on Park Country Club November 4th with Congressman Collins and his wife as honorary chairs 

Suneel’s Light Foundation has announced that the Night to Shine charity event, the research foundation’s 2017 fundraiser, will “shine brightly” upon Park Country Club, 4949 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville on Saturday, November 4 from 6 pm – 9:30 pm in the club’s storied ballroom. The local non-profit foundation has the sole mission of raising funds for genetic research that will lead to a cure of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and to increase public awareness of the genetic disorder.

Sports Collectors Expo Coming to Batavia in November

Sports Collectors Expo Coming to Batavia in November

Batavia Downs Gaming Center, 8315 Park Road, Batavia, will host an impressive lineup of professional athletes at the Sports Collectors Expo the weekend of Nov. 18-19.

Scheduled to appear on Saturday, Nov. 18, are:
NBA/Syracuse University: John Wallace, Billy Owens, Lawrence Moten, Roosevelt Bouie, Dale Shackleford and Rafael Addison.
NHL: Jacques Cloutier, Gary Bromley, Mike Palmateer, Doug Favell and Hall of Fame member Marcel Dionne,
MLB: Frank Viola, Bill Lee, Floyd Rayford, Glenn Gulliver, Ross Grimsley and Sammy Stewart.
NFL: Hall of Fame member Leroy Kelly.

Scheduled to appear on Sunday, Nov. 19, are NFL stars Eric Moulds, Greg Bell, Billy Shaw, Butch Byrd, Jerry Butler, Darryl Talley, Cornelius Bennett, Russell Copeland, Ron McDole, Paul Guidry and Mike Stratton. Also scheduled to appear is Notre Dame football legend Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.

Pet Connection to Hold Annual Chicken Barbecue and Basket Auction

Pet Connection to Hold Annual Chicken Barbecue and Basket Auction

Pet Connection Programs Inc., a maternity and special care shelter for dogs and cats located in Marilla, will hold a chicken barbecue and basket auction from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the Variety Club Banquet Hall, 6114 Broadway, Lancaster.

Dinners are take-out only and will include a half chicken from BW’s Barbecue plus a cream corn bake, mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade noodle salad, roll and dessert. The cost for the chicken dinner is just $11 per person. Vegetarian and vegan dinner options will also be available for just $7.

The basket auction will feature more than 200 items, and all proceeds will benefit the homeless shelter animals at Pet Connection Programs Inc., located at 12935 Williston Road, Marilla. Prizes are valued from $25 to $1,300, with drawings beginning at 6 p.m. You do not have to be present to win.

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Helpful Tips to Know About Gambling Winnings and Losses

Taxpayers must report all gambling winnings as income. They must be able to itemize deductions to claim any gambling losses on their tax return.

Taxpayers who gamble may find these tax tips helpful:

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.

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.