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CASTELLI EXPLAINS CHANGES FOR 2012 TAX RETURNS
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) announced
to his constituents today new procedures at the New York State Department of
Taxation and Finance to streamline our state's tax-reporting system and
lower costs for taxpayers.
"By working with Governor Cuomo, my colleagues and I have
enacted new policies that modernize and streamline the state's tax system,
in order to make filing New York state tax returns and receiving refunds
easier and less costly for taxpayers," Castelli said. "Updating the state's
tax-reporting system and making it more user-friendly helps taxpayers
receive their state rebates faster, while greatly cutting down on paper
waste and the associated environmental and financial costs."
Several of the changes that came about as a result of last
year's budget, which will affect this year's state tax filings include:
* New York State paper tax forms will no longer be mailed
automatically. Tax forms are available at www.tax.ny.gov
<http://www.tax.ny.gov/> , at local libraries, or by calling Assemblyman
Castelli's office (914) 686 - 7335.
* Software companies can no longer charge a separate fee for the
electronic filing of tax returns.
* In addition to either direct deposit or paper check, taxpayers may
now request to receive their tax refunds on a debit card.
* Taxpayers with incomes below $57,000 may be eligible to prepare and
file their federal and state income taxes for free.
* An Enhanced Online Service account will give taxpayers the ability
to view their prior tax-filing history, respond online to department notices
and to sign up for email alerts.
In addition to these enhancements to the state's tax-filing
procedures, Assemblyman Castelli authored and passed legislation along with
Assemblyman George Latimer and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to modernize
county clerk offices throughout New York by allowing real-property
transactions to be filed electronically. The bill was signed into law by
Governor Cuomo as Chapter 549 of the laws of 2011, last September.
"Preparing and paying one's taxes is never an enjoyable
experience," Castelli said. "It is my duty as your assemblyman to enact
policies that will help hard-working Westchester County families expedite this process, in order to make it less painful, while lowering the costs associated with filing and preparing tax returns."
Castelli says that this increased government efficiency goes
hand-in-hand with his mantra of lower taxes, and "spending smarter and not harder." In December, he voted to enact the lowest marginal tax rate for the middle class in over fifty years as part of the Governor's fair tax reform
bill, as well as to repeal the MTA payroll tax on many small businesses in Westchester.
HOW TO REPLACE DOCUMENTS LOST IN A DISASTER
ALBANY, N.Y. - One of the dire consequences of any disaster for many people is the loss of important documents. Often, such documents are needed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state emergency services in order to process assistance applications for those who suffered losses or damage to their homes and belongings."One thing we always stress in our encouragement of disaster preparation is for people to put critical documents in a safe place," said FEMA's Federal Coordinating Officer Philip E. Parr. "This means placing them in a sealable plastic bag or other watertight container and securing that container where it is best protected and can easily be located."Unfortunately, sometimes even these steps will not keep documents from being lost or destroyed, especially in the event of tornados, hurricanes or wildfires. If papers are lost - like birth certificates, Social Security cards, drivers' licenses, tax records and so on - New York state and FEMA are advising residents on how to recover them:· Birth certificates: If you were born within the confines of the five boroughs of New York City, visit or write to the Office of Vital Records, 125 Worth Street, Room 133, New York, N.Y. 10013. (A photo ID is required both by mail and in person.) The office advises the fastest way to get records is online at www.nyc.gov/vitalrecords. The phone number is (212) 788-4520. · To download and print an application, log onto http://home2.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/vr/birth1.pdf ; to apply online, log onto www.nyc.gov/vitalrecords. · If you were born in New York state outside of New York City, log onto Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.. This will connect you to a company called VitalChek, which is contracted with the state to handle credit-card orders. There are modest fees involved. · Drivers' licenses: Visit any New York Department of Motor Vehicles office. To find an office nearby, log onto www.nydmv.state.ny.us/offices.htm.
· · Social Security cards: Call the U.S. Social Security office at 800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. For TTY users the number is 800-325-0778, or log onto www.ssa.gov/ssnumber for more information.· Federal tax records: Call 800-829-1040, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, or log onto www.irs.gov. · New York state tax records and New York City tax records: Log onto http://www.tax.ny.gov or phone 518-457-5181For copies of your utility bills, bank records, insurance policies, mortgage payments and the like, call the appropriate firm and speak to a customer-service representative. It is also a good idea to make copies of all your vital and important documents and mail them to a friend or relative you can trust to keep them safe and retrievable in case disaster strikes.
PROJECT LIFESAVER TO OFFER ‘OPEN ENROLLMENT’ IN JULY
‘Lifesaver’ program helps find seniors with Alzheimer’s who wander
Project Lifesaver, a program that uses radio-frequency technology to find seniors with Alzheimer’s disease who wander from their homes, will have an “open enrollment day” on July 16 in Yonkers.
The event will be held at Our Place ElderServe, 347 Saw Mill River Road from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Through Project Lifesaver, eligible seniors are fitted with bracelets with special batteries. Should they wander from their homes, specifically trained and equipped county police can locate them by tracking a radio signal the bracelets transmit.
The program’s goal is to find the seniors quickly and safely return them to their families. It also aims to try to ease some of the enormous anxiety families feel when a loved one wanders away and they think they may be harmed or they will never see them again. As of mid-June, 42 seniors were wearing the bracelets.
Since the program began in August 2008, the police have located two missing seniors through PLS and were activated to look for two others who were found before the police began their search.
Project Lifesaver sponsors are Westchester County’s Department of Senior Programs and Services and the Department of Public Safety in partnership with the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale and International Project Lifesaver.
The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information or to RSVP contact Melody Keel at the ElderServe Safe Center at (914) 368-5506 or email email@example.com.
Westchester residents who want more information but are unable to attend one of the open houses should also contact Keel.
WESTCHESTER PARENTS PROVIDED RESOURCES TO HELP
THEIR TEENS CELEBRATE PROM AND GRADUATION SEASON
Alliance on Alcohol Announces Online Chat to
Answer Parents’ Questions Before
They Start Conversations With Their Teens
Plains, N.Y. – With
the high school prom and graduation season about
to enter full swing the Health Alliance on Alcohol
(HAA) today issued a call-to-action to Westchester
County parents to take advantage of resources
designed to help them talk to their teens about
the dangers of underage drinking prior to these
the endorsement of Westchester District Attorney
Janet DiFiore, White Plains Hospital
Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s
Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System
and Heineken USA, the Health Alliance on Alcohol
will offer support to parents as they talk to
their teens about important safety issues during
this high risk season.
Karen Soren, director of adolescent healthcare
at the NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s
Hospital, will host a live chat later in the
month to provide parents direct access to and
feedback from doctors and law enforcement regarding
issues and questions on underage drinking. The
organization will also post 10 tips for parent-teen
conversations at HealthAllianceonAlcohol.com
and encourage parents to share their creative
ideas for alternative post-prom events, conversations
or safety tips.
“The upcoming prom and graduation season
represents a significant milestone in thelives
of our community’s teens,” said Jon
Schandler, president and chief executive officer,
White Plains Hospital Center. “While we
hope that students enjoy the occasion and the
related celebrations, we are calling on all parents
take an active role before the party begins to
discuss the issues around underage drinking and
the impact on their kids’ health and well-being.”
Provided to Community – Live
Chat on May 21
At a press conference this morning, health professional
and community and business leaders provided prom
and graduation tips for Westchester County parents,
while introducing a number of resources available
to help start the conversation.
In addition to the tips, the Health Alliance
on Alcohol shared plans for an online chaton
May 21 to answer specific questions from Westchester
County parents regarding items to watch out for
and preventative measures to take to help prevent
underage consumption of alcohol beverages. To
ask questions and obtain additional details regarding
the online chat, please visit www.healthallianceonalcohol.com.
“Our goal is to make this prom and graduation
season safe and virtually incident-free for all
students, parents, and visitors to Westchester
County,” said Janet DiFiore, Westchester
County district attorney. “Parents have
a significant impact on the choices children
make while celebrating. This effort by the Health
Alliance on Alcohol will put critical information
in the hands of parents, care givers, and students,
enabling them to celebrate prom and graduation
season safely and legally.”Identifying
the Threats and Parents’ Roles
Underage drinking is a serious problem in communities
in and around Westchester County and across
the country. Parents play a crucial role in
shaping their children’s perception on
alcohol, beginning with access to it before
reaching the legal drinking age.
When parents initiate the sometimes difficult
conversation about alcohol and underage drinking
with their children, a positive impact can be
delivered. The Journal of Adolescent Health reported
in its July 2005 issue that teens are less likely
to get into trouble when they know that their
parents expect that they will not drink alcohol
or use drugs.“At Heineken USA, we have always taken
seriously our responsibility to market and sell
our products in a responsible manner and to educate
consumers about the importance of responsible
alcohol consumption,” said Dan Tearno,
chief corporate relations officer, Heineken USA. “Today’s
activities are consistent with that commitment
and encourage parents to use these resources
to talk to their teens. This investment in our
corporate hometown is a larger investment in
the collective health and growth of the community.”
Download the article: 10 Tips for Parents During
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