Family & Consumer Sciences
Family & Consumer Science Staff
Christa Anderson Campbell
Family and Consumer Sciences
County Extension Agent
Free Virtual Tax Preparation
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a nationwide program conducted in partnership with the IRS to increase the financial stability of working individuals and families. VITA is designed to promote and support free tax preparation service. VITA is an effort to provide both a valuable community service and a powerful learning experience for participants. UGA Elbert County Extension office is offering free tax preparation services via video chat and voice calls from computers with tax professionals. An intake appointment is required with Family and Consumer Sciences Agent-Christa Campbell to begin the filing process.
Any person who has not received your first or second stimulus payments, the amount not received will be entered into the tax return as the stimulus or recovery rebate credit and received back in your tax refund. If you have $0 income, filing a tax return is the best way to ensure you receive the recovery rebate refund.
As you are preparing for the tax season the standard deduction, remains $12,400 (single) and $24,800 (married filing jointly). However, this filing year on top of the standard deduction you can still deduct up to $300 for charitable contributions.
Don’t miss this opportunity. Call Family & Consumer Sciences Agent Christa Campbell at 706-283-2037 to schedule an appointment at the Elbert County Extension Office to get your taxes completed free and save a little money for a rainy day. Appointments are available now, but limited. Services are rendered by appointment only. Call 706-283-2037 to schedule.
HOW MUCH IS MY STIMULUS CHECK?
I’m passing along this very useful web page developed by Brian Page, Personal Finance, Economics, and Business Teacher and Financial Literacy Consultant, Reading, Ohio
In it, you will find a useful graphic of stimulus payments at different income levels.
There are also many helpful FAQs.
On This Page:
- News and Events
- Most Popular Resources
- Most Requested Newsletters
- Monthly Articles by FACS Agent, Christa Campbell
Stay Smart When Ordering Takeout and Delivery
With social distancing guidelines extended at least through the end of April, shoppers are relying heavily on food delivery and takeout businesses. While current evidence suggests you cannot get coronavirus from food, you may wonder how to keep your household safe. Click on the link below to find tips to stay healthy.
What’s in your fridge? Making food last
Stretching how long your food lasts and preventing food waste is important. It can also help prevent the money you spent on the food from going to waste. Here are a few ways you can help your food stay fresh. Follow the link below to read the full article.
COVID-19 AND FOOD SAFETY FAQ SHOPPING AND HANDLING GROCERIES
Current evidence shows the biggest risk of transmission of COVID-19 is being around individuals who havesymptoms (and to a lesser extent, infected but not showing symptoms.) Grocery stores should be followingemployee health policies and health department recommendations to keep these individuals home.
Child Care Online Learning
UGA has a new way to complete needed hours for Child Care Centers and workers! We are quite pleased to announce that courses are now available online. This new service will allow care givers to complete courses at a convenient time for the individual. We truly believe that this will be a beneficial resource for all care givers in our community. The website is very easy to use, go to bit.ly/HealthyEnvtsChildCareGA . Create an account and get started.
The new online program for classes will be a great way to earn your needed hours. If you have any questions please contact Trisha Willis or Christa Campbell at the Elbert County Extension office at 706-283-2037. We would be glad to help.
Walk Georgia is a web-based fitness program designed to encourage activity and exercise! Participate individually or within a group.
Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. It occurs naturally and is released into the soil, easily entering buildings through the foundation. The only way to know if you have radon is to test.
Tips on how to make environmentally-conscious decisions and live green!
Make healthy food and lifestyle choices on a budget. This series of eight, interactive lessons includes activities and recipe demonstrations.
UGA Extension provides entity-approved training to help child care providers meet state licensing requirements. Check the calendar for training events near you.
Establishing, maintaining, and protecting Your Good Credit can save you thousands of dollars over time. This series will teach you the basics of credit reports and scores.
- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
- Monitor Monthly Credit Card Statement
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
Items You Need to Bring with You If You Make an Appointment with a VITA/TCE Site for Tax Assistance
· Proof of identification – Picture ID
·Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for you, your spouse and dependents
· Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN
· Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
· Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers
· Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
· A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available
· Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check
· Total paid to your daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate
Note: You will have two appointments to get your taxes done.
· The first appointment will be to complete the necessary paperwork and drop off all needed tax documents
· The second appointment will be to review your completed taxes.
To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms.
Available 2020 dates and times to make an appointment to drop off tax materials for preparation are below:
March 13 9:00am to 3:00pm
March 19 9:00am to 5:00pm
March 25 9:00am to 4:00pm
March 31 9:00am to 3:00pm
Monitor Monthly Credit Card Statement By Christa Campbell
Do you review monthly credit card statements? You should. Checking for billing errors or fraudulent transactions only takes a few minutes, and may save you money and hours and hours of trouble later.
If you discover billing errors or fraudulent transactions, time is NOT on your side. Either of these situations can result in higher interest rates on new and existing accounts. Fast action reduces the likelihood of these consequences and makes it easier to resolve any issues.
Credit card companies do make mistakes. Businesses that accept credit cards sometimes make mistakes too. They may transpose numbers, post to the wrong account, or post the same transaction twice. Contact the business that posted the error first.
For example, your credit card statement shows two charges for the same meal eaten out. Contact the restaurant and, in most cases, the manager will issue a credit for the duplicate transaction. Add the name of the person you talked with and the date to the records you keep to document the issue. If the credit does not appear on your next statement, contact the restaurant again.
If the restaurant does not see a problem or refuses to work with you, dispute the charge with your credit card company.
To dispute a charge appearing on your credit card statement:
1) Withhold payment for any charges that do not belong to you or are the result of an error. If possible, pay the rest of the bill in full to isolate the disputed item.
2) Send a written notice of the error to the credit card issuer within 60 days of the date when the first bill containing the error was mailed to you. Follow up any calls in writing -- written notice is required to qualify for the protections provided under the Fair Credit Billing Act. Send the written notice to the address specified on the statement for inquiries or disputed charges. Notices sent to payment centers do not go to the billing office and will not be forwarded to them.
The lender has 30 days to acknowledge your notification and 90 days to either correct the error, return any overpayment (if requested), or explain why the bill is correct. If the lender finds no error, they must send you documentation saying why you are liable for the charge. Failure to follow these procedures correctly means the lender cannot collect the first $50 of the questioned amount, even if the bill is correct.
3) When sending documentation, do not send original documents. Send photocopies by mail or email PDFs. Fully explain why you feel there has been an error.
4) A couple of months after the dispute has been settled, review your credit report to be sure that no information about your refusal to repay the disputed amount was included. Federal law entitles you to one free credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) each year. Georgia residents may obtain two additional copies for free from each credit reporting agency.
During the time of the dispute, creditors cannot assess interest on or apply penalties for non-payment of the disputed amount. They also cannot send dunning letters (insistent demands for repayment) or send negative information about your account to a credit bureau without stating that some items are in dispute. If the disputed item is legitimately owed, you will owe any back interest and penalties on the item.
Get in the habit of verifying the information on your credit card statements. It only takes a few minutes, time that might save you money and hours of frustration.
For more information about how to manage your finances, contact Christa Campbell, your local county extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent.