By Miriam Raftery
March 20, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--The U.S. Treasury Inspector General has issued a warning to taxpayers to beware of phone calls from people claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) but in reality these are scamsters seeking to defraud taxpayers.
“This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. He said the agency has received reports of over 20,000 contacts and has become aware of thousands of victims who have collectively paid over $1 million as a result of the scam.
State Board of Equalization Now Accepts Online Requests for Payment Plans
Sacramento – The California State Board of Equalization’s (BOE) newest convenient website service allows qualifying tax or fee payers to request a payment plan online. Payment plans allow tax or fee payers to pay down a past due balance over time, helping them avoid additional penalties and interest.
“Your guide to financial planning & socially responsible investing”
By Judith L. Seid, CFP ®, President, Blue Summit Wealth Management
April 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) --The “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012” has created a number of changes that may impact your taxes in 2013. Below are a few investment ideas that may help mitigate your tax liability and/or increase your net income for 2013.
Keep in mind that you should always consult with your tax professional for specific questions regarding your particular tax circumstances.
March 14, 2013--(San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
- Forest Service may let more fires burn (Sacramento Bee)
- California pushes - some say too hard - to recover money for fighting wildfires (Sacramento Bee)
- Editorial: Public’s right to know is too basic to risk (Sacramento Bee)
- Lawsuit balks at PUC 'stakeholder' meeting (UT San Diego)
- Capitol Alert: Lawmakers scold California PUC for erroneous budget forecasts (Sacramento Bee)
- New Study Shows California's Local Road System In Crisis (KPBS)
- ER wait times at Sharp Grossmont three times longer than national average (La Mesa Patch)
- Filner, Supervisors Announce New Solar Initiative (KPBS)
- Sex Offender Email Alert System Launching In San Diego County (KPBS)
- Uh, We Don't Have to Vote on Taxes Anymore (Voice of San Diego)
- Feds release confidential report on San Onofre nuclear plant (KPBS)
- Lakeside’s Mile of Trees hopes to create urban forest (EC Californian)
- Sprinter to shut down for up to 4 months (U-T San Diego)
- Say Shalom to La Mesa's Newest Holy Man: Rabbi Rafi Andrusier (La Mesa Patch)
- California Coastal Commission rejects Navy explosives training plan (10 News)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Erika Lawrence
Social Security District Manager, El Cajon
February 19, 2013 (El Cajon)--Do you know where your Social Security card is located? Hopefully, it’s in a safe place, tucked away securely with your other important papers. It certainly should not be in your purse or wallet and should not be carried with you every day since it can be more valuable than cash to an identity thief.
$10 Million Returned to San Diegans in 2012
January 25, 2012 (San Diego)--County officials and community partners kick off the 2013 campaign to help low-income families and individuals boost their federal tax refunds by taking advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and applying for CalFresh (food stamps).
From Jan. 30 through April 15, hundreds of volunteers and college students will file income taxes for free at nearly 100 sites across the County. They will also screen families to determine if they qualify for CalFresh benefits. Residents can call 2-1-1 for more information.
By Mark Gabrish Conlan
The views expressed in this column reflect the views of the columnist and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.
January 10, 2013 (San Diego) -- The first part of the “fiscal cliff” debate is over — and the Republicans won. That’s not the impression you’ll get from the corporate media, either the “objective” mainstream or the Right-wing media party of talk radio and Fox News. The mainstream media are reporting the swift passage of a bill through both houses of Congress continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans making $400,000 per year ($450,000 per couple) as a triumph for President Obama and at least a partial fulfillment of his pledge in both Presidential campaigns for a (slight) tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. (Ironically, the $400,000 at which the restored tax rates kick in also happens to be the salary of the President.) But the bill is actually a slap-dash scheme thrown together at the last minute to keep taxes from returning to Clinton-era levels for all Americans — and it leaves the Republicans with yet another opportunity to hold the American economy hostage and demand draconian cuts to what’s left of the social safety net when Congress next has to raise the U.S. debt ceiling in two months.
November 8, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Obama makes history, again (CNN)
- After election, overtures from Republicans on debt (Washington Post)
- House Speaker says he’ll consider tax increase (SF Gate)
- Big gains for women in 2012 (CNN)
- Obama to weigh energy boom, climate change in second term (Reuters)
- After Romney losses, GOP soul searching begins (CBS)
- Hope and change part II (NY Times opinion)
- Marijuana legalization victories could be short-lived
- New York City crime down by a third in wake of superstorm (Reuters)
- Study: Stem cells from strangers can repair hearts (Sacramento Bee)
- Russia set to redefine treason, sparking fears (NPR)
- Insight: Putin's Russia - more fragile than it looks (Reuters)
- Day of the Dead takes on new meaning for families of Mexico's disappeared (Christian Science Monitor)
- Islamists protest in Cairo, call for Sharia law (Jerusalem Post)
By Mayan Avitable
November 8, 2012 (San Diego) -- The most watched proposition by many who are involved in education was California's Proposition 30. This proposition was highly promoted by Governor Jerry Brown as a solution to school funding in the time of budget cutting. During the evening, the proposition changed from passing to not passing as the vote counts came in. Ultimately, the measure passed 53.9% to 46.1%, increasing taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. In addition, it guarantees public safety realignment funding. School districts had prepared for spending reductions in case the proposition didn't pass.
Upate: Patch.com has coverage of a Lemon Grove Council candidate debate: http://patch.com/A-zfM4
Six candidates vie for seats
By Mark Gabrish Conlan
October 14, 2012 (Lemon Grove)--When the Republican Party swept the 2010 elections nationwide, their triumph stretched as far down as the small city of Lemon Grove in east San Diego County. The Lemon Grove City Council switched from a Democratic to a Republican majority, and in looking for items to cut from their budget they zeroed in on the city’s recreation department.
The vote wasn’t totally party-line. Democratic Mayor Mary Sessom joined Republican Councilmembers Mary England and Howard Cook in eliminating the recreation department and its annual budget of up to $260,000 per year, while Republican Councilmember Jerry Jones joined Democrat George Gastil in voting to keep it.
But the debate over community services versus fiscal responsibility, and the lingering bitterness of some Lemon Grove residents and civic activists over the Council targeting recreation to balance the city’s budget, has become the main theme of the 2012 Lemon Grove City Council race.
October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – There are numerous important initiatives on the November 6 ballot. Topics include education funding, clean energy, criminal penalties, taxes and labeling what’s in your food. For our nonpartisan analysis and arguments on both sides of each proposition, click the links below.
By Nadin Abbott
September 23, 2012 (Del Mar)-- Democrats gathered on the off ramp of Ted Williams Parkway at Carmel Country Road, waving protest signs as Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s motorcade passed by yesterday.
Among the crowd of about 50 people were veterans, senior citizens and workers, a cross-section of the “47 percent” slammed by Romney in remarks caught on video released last week. In the video, recorded secretly at a fundraiser with wealthy donors, Romney denigrated the 47 percent of Americans who receive some form of government assistance (including Social Security retirees, the military, disabled and poor Americans) as well as those who pay no taxes.
September 20, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
- County invokes state suspension of meeting laws (UT San Diego)
- SDG&E to pay federal government $643 million for fire damage (North County Times)
- Cal-Trans wins fatal crash suit, asks family to pay (UT San Diego)
- 2 former Navy Seals from San Diego killed in embassy attack (10 News)
- Scientists weigh effects of climate change: Scripps conference seeks solution to sea level rise (North County Times)
- Sycamore landfill approved after years of litigation (Santee Patch)
- Lawsuit aims to reveal misuse of baseball funds at Grossmont High (La Mesa Patch)
- Cal State system to hike tuition 5% if Prop 30 fails (Los Angeles Times)
- Jerry Brown and Molly Munger both want to raise taxes to help schools, but differ on approach (Sacramento Bee)
- Brown signs overhaul of California’s worker compensation (Sacramento Bee)
- 700 bills on Brown’s desk (Sacramento Bee)
- State restricts military funeral protests (UT San Diego)
- California Legislature approves public pension changes (Sacramento Bee)
- The Salton Sea: Death and Politics in the Great American Water War (Wired)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
By Assemblyman Brian Jones
August 10, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Have you ever sat down with friends to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, only to be handed the bill before you have even taken your first bite? Maybe the server mentioned you could pay at your convenience, but still signaled that it was “time to go?”
In other words: “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”
- Sikh temple shooting to be probed as domestic terror (CNN)
- Sikh temple shooter tied to hate groups (Washington Post)
- Despite Supreme Court ruling, many minors may stay in prison for life (Pro Publica)
- CDC warns about reemergence of swine flu (NPR)
- Firefighters battling wildfires in Sequoia national forest (Los Angeles Times)
- At least 18 blazes scorch Oklahoma; one nears record size (Los Angeles Times)
- Santorum, Jeb, Ron Paul get convention speaking spots (Politico)
- ‘Romneyhood’: Obama derides Mitt’s tax plan (RawStory)
- Romney campaign on fundraising winning streak (USA Today)
- Reid puts Romney in a bind over taxes (CNN)
- The massive policy gap between Obama and Romney (Washington Post)
- Syria’s prime minister leaves regime (CNN)
- Floods paralyze Philipine capitol, Manila (BBC)
- Suicide bombers attack as Somali delegates approve new constitution (ABC)
- Islamists kill 15 Egyptians, Israel strikes attackers (Reuters)
- Chemo may make cancer stronger (iScienceTimes and BBC)
READER'S EDITORIAL: JOIN PETITION DRIVE FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE BUILT THROUGH UNIFICATION OF AUSD
MEDIA WATCHDOG GROUP WARNS OF “SMALL BUSINESS BALONEY”, SAYS MEDIA FAILED TO FACT-CHECK GOP TAX CLAIMS
- Senate Dems plan tax offensive (The Hill)
- U.S. beefs up Gulf naval force amid tensions with Iran (Reuters)
- NOAA: Last 12 months hottest ever (The Hill)
- U.S. delivers ‘powerful commitment’ to Afghanistan (UT San Diego)
- Has ‘organics’ been oversized? (New York Times)
- The tax man cometh to police you on healthcare (UT San Diego)
- Iran says it has plan to close Strait of Hormuz (UT San Diego)
- What does London’s LIBOR mean to the US? (NPR)
- Polonium found on Arafat’s clothes was planted (Jerusalem Post)
- New projects help 3D printing materialize (NPR)
March 21, 2011 (San Diego) - With about four weeks left until the tax filing deadline, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is reminding families and individuals that free tax assistance is available to help them claim their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Low-income families and individuals can have their taxes prepared, at no cost, at more than 70 locations throughout the region. The tax assistance will be provided countywide until mid-April. People should call 2-1-1 to make an appointment.
March 20, 2011 (San Diego)--The San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers about a new identity theft scam involving phony e-mails supposedly from the federal government’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The phishing e-mails are requesting personal information from a W-2 form that are prepared by employers.
Update January 22, 2012: Here is a link to locations that are providing free tax services this year for seniors, low income individuals and others in need, from the American Association of Retired Persons: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/8479.
March 14, 2011 (San Diego's East County) -- Does Grandma need help with her taxes? Now there's help!
Under a State of California program, low-income individuals and people over age 60 are eligible for free help to complete simple federal and state income tax returns. Assistance is available through April 15, and is limited to full-year residents.
To find the nearest assistance center in San Diego County, visit www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/vita/sites.asp or contact the California Franchise Tax Board at (800) 540-3453.