In an effort to provide a coordinated philanthropic response to the current COVID-19 health and economic crisis, the United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties and the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley have launched the Kankakee & Iroquois Counties COVID-19 Community Respon…

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Question: If you want the restroom stall that has had the fewest visitors before you, you should choose which one, according to an Illinois Department of Health study? (1) a middle stall; (2) the end stall; (3) the first stall.

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On this episode of the "Capitol Cast" podcast: The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Illinois economy, forcing Gov. JB Pritzker and state lawmakers to completely rethink the budget plan for the next fiscal year. Sens. Andy Manar (D) and Dan McConchie (R), the chair and minority spokesman of a Senate budget committee, share their views.

  • Updated

On this episode of the "Capitol Cast" podcast: The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Illinois economy, forcing Gov. JB Pritzker and state lawmakers to completely rethink the budget plan for the next fiscal year. Sens. Andy Manar (D) and Dan McConchie (R), the chair and minority spokesman of a Senate budget committee, share their views.

  • Updated

On this episode of the "Capitol Cast" podcast: The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Illinois economy, forcing Gov. JB Pritzker and state lawmakers to completely rethink the budget plan for the next fiscal year. Sens. Andy Manar (D) and Dan McConchie (R), the chair and minority spokesman of a Senate budget committee, share their views.

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MoneyTips

Caring for an elderly relative can be rewarding, but incredibly difficult – as well as expensive. However, it may be possible to recoup some of the costs through income tax savings.

There are two general approaches to tax savings on elder care costs – taking medical deductions that can be itemized and claiming a dependent care credit that can be subtracted directly from the taxes you owe.

First, you must determine if your elderly relative qualifies as a dependent. Full details are listed in IRS Publication 501, "Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information," but the primary criteria are that they must be a relative, you must be providing over half of their support, and their gross 2019 income must be less than $4,200.

The definition of relatives includes stepparents and in-laws. They do not...

Tax Benefits Of Having Dependents

Top 7 Tax Deductions And Credits That People Forget

Top 7 Tax Benefits Of Parenthood

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MoneyTips

When you use your car for both personal and business reasons and you are not fully reimbursed through your employer for the business expenses, you can deduct those costs from your taxes. How do you go about claiming these deductions? Assuming that you itemize, you have two general paths:

  • Standard Mileage Method – The IRS prints flat rates of reimbursement per mile driven for each calendar year. For business use of your vehicle in tax year 2019, the standard mileage rate is 58 cents per mile, up from the 2018 value of 54.5 cents per mile.
  • Actual Expense Method – Rather than calculate an average based on miles, you can calculate the actual expenses related to the non-personal use including gas, oil, maintenance costs, depreciation, tolls, parking fees, insurance, and other applicable expen...

Retirees Not Maximizing Tax Refunds

Giving to Charitable Foundations

Men Benefit More from Mortgage Interest Tax Deductions

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MoneyTips

A stable income is critical to a comfortable retirement – as is limiting the amount of that income that you give to Uncle Sam. Maximizing retirement income and minimizing taxes requires advance planning – as illustrated in these seven tips.

1. Use a Roth IRA

Because Roth IRAs are funded with post-tax dollars, they are flexible retirement income sources and excellent for plugging retirement income gaps. You may draw contributions out at any time and earnings may be withdrawn tax-free if you are at least age 59½ and have had the account for at least five years.

Roth IRA contributions are less attractive when you are in higher-earning years where a high tax bracket applies. Contribute to a Roth IRA when tax conditions are favorable or convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in a year where your adjusted gross income (AGI) is low, taking the tax hit while you'r...

7 Taxes Retirees Must Consider

3 Top Retiree Tax-Planning Mistakes

Giving to Charitable Foundations

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MoneyTips

In general, deducting pet expenses on your tax return can get you into hot water with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Usually pet expenses will not hold up should the IRS audit you. However, specific cases exist that allow you to take legitimate tax deductions for spending on your pet.

Regardless of how you justify your pet deductions, make sure that you have receipts and documentation for all expenses you claim on your tax return or they will be disallowed.

Guard Pets

Guard animals could pass muster for a deduction for your business. If you consider deducting your pet as a guard animal, make sure that they actually perform guard duties. Your pet's breed should be one that is often considered that of a typical guard animal. For instance, a pit bull could be considered a guard dog while a Chihuahua probably would not.

It would be beneficial if you could pr...

Top 7 Tax Benefits Of Parenthood

Giving to Charitable Foundations

Tax Benefits Of Having Dependents

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MoneyTips

What two words cause the most panic to Americans? There are probably a hundred funny responses running through your mind right now, but we were thinking of a less humorous response: "IRS audit."

Your odds of avoiding an audit are usually pretty good. The IRS reviewed almost 1 million tax returns in fiscal year (FY) 2018, resulting in a low audit rate of 0.5%. Raising red flags in your return are likely to increase your odds of being audited. Some of these cannot be avoided, but others are essentially errors in judgment.

  • You Are Wealthy – The IRS disproportionately audits wealthier Americans. Why? As the famous bank robber Willie Sutton allegedly said, "Because that's where the money is." Think of it as a return on investment of IRS time. As Betterment Head of Tax Eric Bronnenkant puts it, "The IRS audits wealthy people because they're the ones who are the most likely to get an adjustment out of it."

    While there may be an element...

Top 7 Tax Deductions And Credits That People Forget

Top 7 Tax Benefits Of Parenthood

How Long Should Tax Returns Be Saved?

Small business owners, sole proprietors, independent contractors and the self-employed are eligible for financial assistance through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which will extend as much as $349 billion in forgivable loans to enable some businesses to pay employees during the coronavirus crisis.

Gyms and fitness centers across the U.S. are closed amidst the coronavirus outbreak, but there are many exercises that can be done at home to help people who are sheltering and maintain their fitness goals. Some gyms are even offering free live-streaming classes.

Staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak can help you avoid contracting the potentially deadly pathogen. Arming your immune system and creating a natural shield by eating foods rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help you fight off an infection, whether it is COVID-19 or other viruses and bacterium.

The societal response to the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States has led to most people practicing social distancing, and large segments of some states’ populations essentially in social isolation. Spending more time than usual indoors and away from social situations, and the lack of facetime with friends is something many people are struggling with. Time alone without that social outlet is for some people new, uncomfortable and even scary.

With the current coronavirus outbreak going on around the world, many employees are being forced to work from home to support “social distancing.” While this may come easy for some companies or employees, others might not be used to this new work environment.

National Videos

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President Donald Trump says his administration is “doing our best” for New York, and the state should have ordered more ventilators years ago on a day when Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to seize unused ventilators in the state to fight the coronavirus pandemic. (April 3)

SAN DIEGO - In Principal Andy Trakas' office at Albert Einstein Academies, two pictures hang on a back wall. One is a shot from the 1964 classic "Zorba the Greek." The other, an intoxicating seascape of the country's island gem Santorini. As a kid, Trakas washed pots and pans at Troy's Greek Restaurant - his family's business tucked along Mission Gorge. The son of Greek immigrants now oversees ...

Any questions you had about how important football is to funding college athletics were answered this week by a number of athletic directors. It came in different ways, but athletic directors across the country sent a loud and clear message this week - "We need football and stadiums full of fans, or we will have big problems financially." They didn't say it in that many words, but it's very ...

As he drove to Fox Sports' Charlotte studios Sunday morning, Jeff Gordon felt that familiar buzz of race day. "I got excited when I woke up," the retired NASCAR legend and current television analyst said. "Knowing that I was going to get to go see a race, I was going to get to broadcast a race, be a part of it." Not a real race, of course. Not now, anyway. Like the rest of the sports world, ...

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently estimated that the U.S. unemployment rate might exceed 30% in the next few months. If this happens, it won't be the inevitable consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated public health response. It will be the fault of elected officials for failing to pursue a solution that's right in front of them. I call it the paid staycation. In ...

Local Watseka Country Financial Representatives Joe Lyznicki and Bob Burd help Martha Howe and Chuck Peabody unload some much needed food for the Watseka Area Food Pantry. According to information provided, Lyznicki and Burd also donated a $500 Berkot’s gift card to be used to purchase more …