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January 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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January 13, 2010
 

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i ¸ ;i i 4B Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Internal Revenue Service offers tips for year-end donations Individuals and businesses making contributions to charity should keep in mind several important tax law provisions that have taken effect in recent years. Some of these changes in- elude the following: Special charitable contributions for certain IRA owners This provision, currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2009, offers older own- ers of individual retirement accounts a different way to give to charity. An IRA own- er, age 70-1/2 or over, can di- rectly transfer tax-free up to $100,000 per year to an eligi- ble charity. This option, created in 2006, is available for distribu- tions from IRAs, regardless of whether the owners item- ize their deductions. Distrib- utions from employer-spon- sored retirement plans, in- cluding SIMPLE IRAs and simplified employee pension plans, are not eligible. To qualify, the funds must be contributed directly by the IRA trustee to the eligible charity. Am0unts transferred are not taxable and no deduction is available for the transfer. Not all charities are eligi- ble. For example, donor-ad- vised funds and supporting organizations are not eligible recipients. Amounts transferred to a charity from an IRA are counted in determining whether the owner has met the IRA's required minimum distribution. Where individuals have made nondeductible contri- butions to their traditional IRAs, a special rule treats transferred amounts as com- ing first from taxable funds, instead of proportionately from taxable and nontaxable funds, as would be the case with regular distributions. See Publication 590, Individ- ual Retirement Arrange- ments (IRAs), for more infor- mation on qualified charita- ble distributions. Rules for clothing and household items To be deductible, clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or bet- ter. A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return. Household items include furniture, furnishings, elec- tronics, appliances and linens. Guidelines for monetary donations To deduct any charitable donation of money, regard- less of amount, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written-communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribu- tion. Bank records include can- celed checks, bank or credit union statements and credit card statements. Bank or credit union statements should show the name of the charity, the date and the amount paid. Credit card statements should show the name of the charity, the date and the transaction posting date. Donations of money in- clude those made in cash or by check; electronic funds transfer, credit card and pay- roll deduction. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage state- meat or other document fur- nished by the employer show- ing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity. These requirements for the deduction of monetary donations do not change the long-standing require- ment that a taxpayer obtain an acknowledgment from a charity fo each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 .or more. However, one statement con- taining all of the required in- formation may meet both re- quirements, Reminders To help taxpayers plan their year-end giving, the IRS offers the following addition: al reminders: • Contributions are de- ductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2009, count for 2009. This is true even if the credit card bill isn't paid until 2010. Also, checks count for 2009 as long as they are mailed in 2009 and clear shortly thereafter. • Check that the organiza- tion is qualified. Only dona- tions to qualified organiza- tions are tax-deductible. IRS Publication 78, available on- line and at many public li- braries, lists most organiza- tions that are qualified to re- ceive deductible contribu- tions. The searchable online version can be found at IRS.gov under Search for Charities. In addition, churches, synagogues, tem- ples, mosques and govern- ment agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations, even if they are not listed in Publication 78. • For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deduc- tions for charitable contribu- tions. This deduction is not avail- able to individuals who choose the standard deduc- tion, including anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charita- ble contributions, state and local axes, etc,) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2009 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction. • For all donations of prop- erty, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribu- tion and a reasonably de- tailed description of the do- nated property. If a donation is left at a charity's unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes -this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the do- nation and the method used to determine that value. Ad- ditional rules apply for a con- tribution of $250 or more. • The deduction for a motor vehicle, boat or airplane do- nated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule ap- plies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C, or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and at- tached to the donor's tax re- turn. • If the amount of a taxpay- er's deduction for all non- cash contributions is more than $500, a properly complet- ed Form 8283 must be submit- ted with the tax return. It's not really a surprise to find out he's a villain Barbara France Staff Writer bfrance@lassennews.com Gadzooks, Ben "Coach" Wade is on CBS-TV "Survivor: Heroes versus Villains" Season 20, 10th an- niversary, which premieres Thursday, Feb. 11. He and nine other former Sur- vivor players return for re- venge or redemption against 10 others from former seasons. It was a year ago when the Lassen County Times began its weekly column of prattle on local symphony conduc- tor Ben Wade's exploits on "Survivor-Tocatins/'.Foot- ball season was over and the office talk over the Bears, the Cowboys, the Chargers had settled down and the highlight of "water-cooler" talk was if Coach would make us proud or not. Now Coach has bought a home in Susanville, teaches classes at Lassen Communi- ty College, joined a bowling league and devotes most of his time to the Susanville "I slay everjJone and I trust no one." Ben Wade Symphony. This year we know Wade is the villain. We also know that his closest ally, Tyson Apostol, will join him. Wade, with his chiseled look and long hair pulled in- to an old Steven Segal pony- tail, was seen in a pan of the camera during the People's Choice awards, which aired Wednesday, Jan. 6. Also during the live awards show, host Jeff Prob- st:introduced a clip of the new season showing a close- p of Wade's new tattoo of a dragon. In the clip Wade com- ments, "I slay everyone and I trust no one." In Season 18 "Survivor-Tocatins," Wade tried to play the game as a noble warrior who trusted" his teammates and chose to tell the truth. The first time around, Wade promised his friends in Susanville he would make them proud of him. It's de- batable if that feat was ac- complished, but his friends are loyal. He returned in time for the Susanville Symphony Society's sixth-season Christmas concert 45 pounds thinner. It was a welcome relief to the artistic director and con- ductor's fans to learn he was on the TV show and not dy- ing of some unknoWndis- ease when the show pre- miered in February 2009. As Season 18 progressed it was obvious the producers decided Wade was definitely an interesting character and focused on some strange things he did and said. He came across as a less-than- honorable man with cun- ning ideas. Wade didn't win the mil- lion dollars, but he made a name for himself -show fans loved him or hated him, thought he was clever with his stories of adventure on the Amazor or was a man who should be put in a traight jacket and locked up for psychiatric evalua- tion. During the show's finale, Wade gave the show's host, Jeff Probst, the results of a lie detector test Ben passed, proving his past ex- ploits were true. Also true is his colorful, delightful personality. Wade's friends have said over the past year the reality TV star is in true life a friendly, compassionate , and determined man. The winner of the Season 18 was J.T. Thomas, one of the few winners over the years to never receive a vote in tribal council. Thomas was not only a favorite of all teammates on "Survivor-To- catins," including Wade, but of TV watchers. He returns to Season 20 as a hero. Others returning heroes are: Rupert Boneham, James My husband is forgetting a lot these days, and it is getting to the point that I need to take g over our affairs, but hegets so angry at me when I ask for the monthly bills, or have our neighbor fix small things around the house. I feel so alone and a little insecure and sad, too. Call the Plumas/gierra Crisis Line at 1-877-332-2754 and for referrals and resources including a caregivers support group. This is a difficult transition for the both of you. Crisis Line  Resource 283-4333 _ Center • or I 1-877-332-2754 283-5515 A program of Plumis Crisis Intervention & Resource Center WANTED OLD COIN COLLECTIONS... I Pre-1965 Silver Coins, Proof Sets, Old Currency, Pre-1936 Silver Dollars, 10k-24k Gold, All Gold Coins Paying $12 & up for pre-1921 silver dollars graded extra fine or better FREE APPRAISALS  "  "Wecometoyou t  [:  • Over 20 years / [:  in coin business   ." 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