Salem Community Patriot February 25, 2011 - 9
Piece of the Pie Maintaining Your
Itemized Deductions W.F.Bo
utin EA - Total Tax Solutions LLC
Taxpayers itemize their deductions in the hope of exceeding the standard deduction allowed by the tax code for their particular filing status. For every dollar that exceeds the standard deduction, the savings realized is proportionate to the tax bracket they are in for their filing status. Categories found on the SCH A, itemized deductions include: medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of the AGI; certain taxes paid, such as state or local income taxes, foreign income taxes, general sales tax (only if not claiming state and local taxes); real estate tax and personal property tax which must be based upon the value of property and charged on a yearly basis; qualified home mortgage interest including certain points paid, investment interest (limited to investment income) and qualified mortgage insurance premiums; charitable contributions by cash or check and contributions other than cash or check. (NOTE: The deduction of cash must have a bank record or written commu- nication from the charity. Contributions of property such as clothing and household items must be in good used condition or better.); non-business casualty and theft losses (subject to a $100 deductible and 10% of the AGI); various miscellaneous deductions which fall into two categories: those that are subject to 2% of the AGI before the first dollar is realized such as employee/employment business expenses, tax preparation fees, investment expenses, safe deposit boxes etc., and deductions not subject to the 2% cap such as gambling losses (up to the amount of winnings), impairment related work expenses and unrecovered investments in an annuity, to name a few. Most individuals do not succeed in itemizing unless they have the cost of home mortgage interest and real estate taxes. Unless a taxpayer does not have medical insurance, or has a medical catastrophe, most out of pocket expenses do not exceed the 7.5% of AGI. (Pre-tax health insurance purchased through your employer is not deductible since no taxes were paid on these premiums. We will discuss this further when we talk about employer provided fringe benefit plans.) The most understated deduction for taxpayers who do itemize is for the donation of personal property such as clothing and home furnishings. Most taxpayers fill up trash bags of clothing and drop them off at the nearest collection box when they go food shopping or visit their town recycle center. We recom- mend that you prepare a detailed description of the goods being donated. Then, drop these bags off at the local thrift store; there you can receive a signed receipt for the donation. When you return home, you can calculate the value of what was donated. Many of these organizations have a donation valuation guide attached to your signed receipt, listing the high and low end value that they receive for this merchandise. (We have links at our website that list various donation value guides) Example: Children’s jeans have a value of $4.20 to $14.40
each. If you included 3 pairs of jeans in your donation, which were in very good condition, the deduction value is $27.90, $9.30 a pair which is the average of the high to low end for that item. We provide each of our clients who itemize a donation value guide each tax season. A couple of bags donated throughout the year can add up to $600 in additional deductions. Next week: The Value of Fringe Benefits!
Have a tax question? E-mail email@example.com
About Total Tax Solutions: W.F. Boutin EA registered Total Tax Solutions in the State of NH as a LLC in the summer of 2006 after 10 years experience working for a major tax preparation company and 8 years of teaching various tax courses. The company mission is to deliver an excellent customer service experience year around, to offer knowledgeable advice so that clients can make informed decisions regarding their financial future, and to provide this service with integrity, confidence and professionalism.
Thumbs Up? Thumbs Down?
Comments expressed in this column are the sole views of those callers and do not reflect the views of the Area News Group or its advertisers. Town and school officials encourage readers to seek out assistance directly to resolve any problems or issues. The Area News editorial staff holds the right to refuse any comment deemed inappropriate.
“Thumbs up. John Manning would be a great choice for selectman in Salem N.H he has served as state rep. for four years he has great ideas to move Salem forward the present board of selectman have done nothing to drop the tax rate are taxes keep going up enough is enough its time for a new change John Manning will bring no new taxes reduce the impact fees reduce the tax rate for new business and save jobs and create jobs Salem needs leadership and a new change my choice is John Manning for selectman.”
“Thumbs down to the person in last
week’s paper giving a ‘thumbs up’ to Pelham Police and a ‘thumbs down’ to Salem Police. In no way does this take away from the job Pelham PD did, but they were certainly two very different situations. Maybe you should have read
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the AG’s report (which anyone can access publicly) of how Salem PD handled this situation before writing in. The officers tried desperately to talk to him, offering to get him help if only he would put the weapon down. They tried to taser him, which with his movement, did not work. Only when Larry charged screaming at the officers with the sword raised above his head, did they raise their guns and again ordered him to stop and drop his weapon, they didn’t open fire. Larry did not obey the command and kept running at them. He had a death wish that day and he did not care who he took with him. They did not fire at him until he was 10ft away, that’s about 10 seconds from being stabbed with a 12” blade. Salem PD’s handling of this situation deserves praise. Don’t worry guys some of us in this town still have your backs and respect the job you do every day. Thank you for your service.”
Week 6 2-25-11
“Thumbs down to the GOP leadership for not having the courage to repeal the marriage neutering law that was passed in 2009. A fair compromise was made in 2007 with the creation of civil unions. The voters fired most of the radicals in Concord who reneged on their side of the
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parent that having a ‘program’ does not mean sticking kids in a room that is segregated from the rest of the student population? Having a program means providing support to parents and teachers. It means integrated classrooms where students have access to adapted materials and alternative curriculum – such as electronic text books, books on tape and grade level text books written at a remedial level. ‘Programs’ can also mean providing enrichment to gifted students – such as interactive virtual classrooms. Nothing in this world is perfect and while some may think Salem School district is doing a good job, there is always room for improvement. If parents and taxpayers stop demanding more from their children’s education, their children will end up getting less!”
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“Thumbs down to Stephen Campbell according to your good friend Pat Hargreaves, you are gainfully employed making $100,000 dollars a year. With that being said, don’t you consider yourself being hypocritical by saying that no one is sure of the economy and also making decisions to eliminate someone’s job? Also by telling Salem to dig deeper for the high school. Someone who is making $100,000
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bullet is 18 feet up, the guy next door had his best shot and with 3 guys shooting into one harmless sick man. I think it’s time for McBride to go he’s a flip flop and Lyons is a flip flop. I think it’s time to get rid of these 2 guys, all they do is spend, spend, spend. ‘Thumbs down for McBride and Lyons and the Salem Police Department.”
“Thumbs up to the Salem Police Department. Did you not read the General Attorneys findings. The police were dealing with a very unstable individual and gave him every opportunity to surrender. Read the facts before you start mouthing off!”
“Thumbs down to Salem High School
Hockey--- the program has been losing ground steadily over the past 8 years. The coaching staff has become stagnant and is only there to pick up a pay check. These players deserve a better program. It’s time for some new blood!”
Elect Everett P. McBride Jr. SELECTMAN on MARCH 8, 2011 Plumbing and Heating
dollars if that is true, should be helping out with those causes instead of finding reasons not to pull money out of his pocket.”
Continues to be opposed to any tolls on Rt93 “Thumbs up to Susan Covey, Mike Lyons
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“Thumbs up and a loud cheer to Salem fire dept and DPW for the excellent job they have done this winter especially at the Salem senior services senior center. We thank them greatly for all of their help with ice removal and large snowbanking to make this a safer and happier place, thank you.”
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Renovations- continued from front page
Barron School: • Exterior steel studs and sheet rock have been placed on the second floor of the new buildings.
• Second-floor slabs are in place. • Masonry work is beginning. Lancaster School: • Exterior steel studs and sheet rock have been placed on the second floor of the new buildings. • Second-floor slabs are in place.
• Underground utility conduits into the building have been placed. • Masonry work is beginning. North Salem School: • Foundations in the new classroom wing are being finished. • Structural steel placement in the gymnasium is in process. • The fire cistern water tank for the new sprinkler system has been installed.
According to the Salem School District’s Website, which now features a site devoted entirely to the renovation project, the hectic winter weather experienced here in the Northeast required the construction teams to devote the beginning of many shifts to snow removal before they could start their work for the day. Good weather will work in their favor once this brutal winter season passes us by. Barron School has now seen the installation of exterior wall sheathing, which is now complete, as is the wood blocking for the windows. Temporary lighting has been installed at the gymnasium and classroom additions. The framing for masonry work will be completed and interior framing for the second floor will be done; from there, the masonry will begin on the gym addition. Roof wood blocking has been completed in preparation for the roof top units, and Gilbane has started installing the roofing membrane at the classroom addition.
compromise after only 2 years. There is no reason for the government to encourage the intentional creation of families where kids won’t have a father AND a mother. Opposing this isn’t bigotry, its basic common sense. If it is bigotry, then ALL 44 US Presidents were bigots. Yes people want you to focus on the economy, but quickly repealing this law is simple, and will allow you to focus on the more complicated and less emotionally fraught issue of cutting government spending in a fair and practical way.”
“Thumbs up to the parent who thinks her son in first grade is ahead of the game because twice a week – every week – he gets to use a laptop that will be obsolete before he graduates high school, if it isn’t obsolete already! Has it occurred to this
“Thumbs down for the people on Haigh Ave who leave their cars out on the street over night, you know who you
are, or your leave 2 cars on one side and a truck on the other. Think about the people who live on your street for a change. Be considerate do not park on the street in the winter time when the roads are narrow it impedes traffic, and if there were ever a fire there would be a problem because people cannot get by.”
“Thumbs down. I think it is terrible that the Salem Police Dept, no matter what they do are found not guilty, not guilty, now this poor Manasian guy, one
At the Lancaster School, construction workers installed underground electrical conduit from the proposed utility pole on Millville Street to the transformer pad. The work that is underway at Lancaster is very similar to the work at Barron. Workers have completed exterior wall sheathing on the classroom addition, wood blocking for windows is underway, and light gauge metal framing on the first and second floors of the classroom side addition has been completed. Within the next two weeks, workers will begin wall framing on the second floor of the classroom addition and begin masonry work on the exterior of the gymnasium. Workers will begin roughing in the electrical work at walls, ceilings, and below grade. This will be very noticeable to the students once they return from their February vacation. At North Salem School, workers have almost completed the foundation and footings. Steel columns are up on the gymnasium addition and steel roof decking has been completed. In the next two
and Everett McBride for their dedication to the Board of Selectmen. I am so glad that you are all willing to continue the work you are doing. It’s not easy putting up with the uninformed and the mislead, but you all do a great job making sure that the interests of Salem’s residents are best served. You have my vote on March 8th!”
“Thumbs down to the person who continually writes in to this column and says that the reason why the Patriot has skewed reporting on Police issues is because the Patriot’s reporter is related to Ganley. For the last time, there is NO relation between William Ganley and Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz.“
Tank you for your submissions. All comments, thumbs up or down, are anonymous and not written by the Area News staff. Tumbs comments can be sent via telephone, 880-1516 or emailed to us at email@example.com
. When submitting a Tumbs comment, please specify that you would like it printed in the Salem Edition. No names are necessary. Please keep negative comments to the issue. Comments should be kept to 100 words or less.
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weeks, back filling around the foundation will be completed and workers will erect steel columns and beams on the classroom wing. Masonry will begin on the gymnasium wing and steel studs will begin on the classroom side. The students will certainly find it interesting to observe the
infrastructure above the ceiling, seeing the results of the removal of ceiling tiles and the accompanying grid work, and observe the changes as the work continues on.
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tirelessly with local and state officials
to successfully defeat the TOLLS on RT93 at Exit 1
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