Enable, Nebraska’s ABLE Program, to Be Operational By Summer 2016

enable nebraska logoThere’s big progress underway for certain eligible Nebraska residents: Enable, Nebraska’s ABLE program, is expected to be operational by the summer of 2016.

The Federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law in 2014. Its goal is simple: to allow states to establish their own programs for individuals to create tax-free savings accounts for qualified, disability-related expenses. Nebraska passed the Nebraska ABLE enabling act in May of 2015, and just recently signed a contract with First National Bank to be the Program Manager for Enable.

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How to Make the Most of Your Non-Cash Contributions

goodwill storeCome January, many people are ready for a fresh start. Especially after the holiday season, this often means clearing out the clutter to make room for the new: in other words, finally hauling those bags of old clothes sitting in the basement to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or another charitable organization.

Once you’ve gathered up items you’d like to donate, Charity Navigator’s guide to donating Non-cash Items recommends finding a local charity in order to reduce transportation costs that could ultimately lower the value of your donation: “Look first in your local community to find a charity to support with your non-cash contribution. Call around and ask charities if the accept the kind of items you are looking to donate, and if they don’t, find out if they have any suggestions for a charity that does.”

It’s a good idea to itemize any deductions, both cash and non-cash. However, non-cash contributions require some additional steps in order to calculate the value of goods you’ve donated throughout the year. If the total value of the items you’ve donated is under $500, you simply enter that value on line 17 of the Schedule A form. If you donated more than $500 worth of items, however, you need to fill out the charitable contributions federal deduction tax form, the 8283 form with the title “Noncash Charitable Contributions.”

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Dealing With Identity Theft

16794969011_2f725f6553_hHOW TO DEAL WITH IDENTITY THEFT

Quite often, the first indication you are a victim of identity theft is when you file a tax return only to find out a return has already filed under your name. Another common scenario is when you hear of a business (or the government) being hacked. Of course, you were a customer of the business, and the company’s records held your personal information.

At this point, you are faced with the question: What should I do? This is where I found myself last spring, as a former federal employee, after the federal government was hacked.

Unfortunately, once a thief has your information, you have to assume that the risk of it being used will never go away. When you find yourself in this situation, you have several options:

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Changes to Filing Dates

As part of the Highway funding bill that passed earlier this year, there will be a change in the due dates of tax returns for tax years beginning after December, 2015.

For calendar year 2016 tax returns, partnership will now be due on March 15, 2017 which is a month earlier.  Previously partnership returns were not due until April 15.

C corporation returns will now be due April 15, 2016 which is a month later.  Previously these were due on March 15.

If you have any questions about these changes or how they may affect your filing, please contact our office.

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FAFSA Changes Make 2015 Very Important Tax Year

If you have a college student or high-school senior, you need to be aware of some big changes to the rules for filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your 2015 income will have double the impact on college aid packages since President Obama signed an Executive Order on September 14, 2015, effectively changing the method of using prior year income to a new prior-prior year method.

This new method will make it easier for most families to fill out the FAFSA and get the appropriate information to their choice colleges so that financial aid packages can be determined.

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Hancock & Dana, PC
Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants
12829 West Dodge Road, Suite 100
Omaha, NE 68154

Phone: 402.391.1065
Fax: 402.334.9498

Email: info@hancockdana.com