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Issue Home December 15, 2010 Site Home

Donation Supports Meals On Wheels
Early Filing May Not Be Your Best Deal

Give The Gift Of Golf

SCDA Announces Basket Winner
Local United Way Raises $252,000

Donation Supports Meals On Wheels

TOWANDA, PA - The Area Agency on Aging of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga Counties announces that Pencor Services, Inc., the parent company for Blue Ridge Communications, and its employees made a donation to the Agency’s Meals on Wheels Program.

The Pencor Services, Inc. employees raised the money through their company-wide dress down days held once a week.

The Meals on Wheels program, which relies heavily on volunteers, serves approximately 800 meals a day each year throughout Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga Counties.

For more information on the Area Agency on Aging and the range of services they offer, or for more information on becoming a volunteer, please call 1-800-982-4346 or visit the Agency’s website at

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Early Filing May Not Be Your Best Deal

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The early bird doesn't always get the worm. Moreover, said a consumer-finance expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, being in a hurry to file your federal income tax forms in pursuit of a quick refund isn't always the best idea.

Tax-filers eager to receive their federal income tax refund can use the services of commercial, for-profit tax preparers as early as December and thus get a jump on receiving their refunds. Robin Kuleck, consumer-finance educator and director of Penn State Cooperative Extension in Elk County, points out that using this method can have some drawbacks.

"Commercial preparers can complete your income tax return early because they use the data recorded on your last paystub of the year," Kuleck said. "However, this data may be incomplete because your paycheck doesn't show your family's entire financial picture.

In fact, companies that issue certain 1099-MISC forms - as well as brokers, brokerage firms, and mutual fund companies that issue Forms 1099-B - have until February 15 to issue these forms, which are required to accurately complete your various tax returns, Kuleck noted.

"As you rush to be the early bird, what may happen is that you'll pay for return preparation and you also may decide to accept a refund anticipation loan, which carries an additional fee," she said. "By late February you then may receive additional information necessary for an accurate tax return. You will be required to file an amended return that includes this new information, and - you guessed it - pay yet another fee."

So, how do you go about filing an accurate return while avoiding or minimizing preparation fees? Kuleck said it starts with developing a good recordkeeping system, and knowing what is important to keep. IRS Publication #552, "Recordkeeping for Individuals" answers many common questions.

Families earning less than $49,000 per year are eligible for free income tax assistance through such IRS-sponsored programs as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (or VITA) program and the AARP Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. You can locate local VITA sites by visiting the IRS website at (key word "VITA") or by calling (800) 906-9887. Computer-savvy taxpayers can complete their own taxes using free online software.

"Pennsylvania has arranged with some software companies to provide free or low-cost state and federal income tax return preparation to individuals who meet certain requirements," Kuleck said. "There's more information about e-filing at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue web site (; click on the "individual" link. Always save a paper copy of your tax returns and supporting documents in your permanent home files - an important element of your home record keeping system."

More tips and strategies for making the most of your federal and state tax returns are available at the Penn State Cooperative Extension "Your Money Your Taxes" web site,

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Give The Gift Of Golf

It can be hard to find a gift for the person who has everything, or for clients and employees. The American Cancer Society 2011 Golf Pass is the solution. The Pass is the perfect gift for amateur, recreational and avid golfers alike. A $30 donation provides a free round of golf or golf discount at 119 participating golf courses in Pennsylvania.

The funds raised from the 2011 Golf Pass help the American Cancer Society support its mission by helping individuals stay well, helping individuals get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.

The fair market value of the 2011 Golf Pass is well over $3,000. Some restrictions apply. The 2011 Golf Pass can be ordered through your local office of the American Cancer Society, or by calling 1-888-227-5445.

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SCDA Announces Basket Winner

The Susquehanna Community Development Association is proud to announce that Margaret Gralewski is the winner of the SCDA holiday “Wrap It Up” Basket. This basket included ribbon, paper, bows and everything necessary to make holiday wrapping a snap. The basket raffle was hosted in the lobby of PennStar bank and proceeds benefit the Susquehanna Community Development Association. The SCDA promotes economic growth, a positive quality of life and a healthy environment in which to live, work, learn, worship and play. Pictured (l-r) above, Margaret Gralewski and Lori Canfield

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Local United Way Raises $252,000

The United Way of Susquehanna County has raised $252,000 this year, about 84 percent of its goal. Chair Tammy Bonnice said the campaign is not over. "There is still a lot of work to do." The goal of $300,000 is reachable - the community is caring and very giving. A lot of citizens that live in Susquehanna County work in other counties, but they are able to give where they live. United Way has nineteen different non-profit organizations that they help. Sometimes it easier for people to just donate to The United Way and specify where they want their donations to go.

Donations this year are down about $48,000 from last year, when the United Way raised $300,000 by this time. Ruth Donnelly, the Executive Director of the United Way, is still hoping to reach the goal of $300,000. It has been an unusual year, she said - so many businesses have yet to finalize donations. And several, typically large, donations are still outstanding. "We are into extra innings," she said. "The many organizations who depend on United Way funds are counting on our efforts, so we can't let them down."

If you are able to help meet the needs here in Susquehanna County, or you are looking to offset income with a tax deductible donation, you can log onto or call 570 465-3868.

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