News You Can Use
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Defense Students Invited to Work With 'Best Minds' in Science
WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2009 – The search is on for three Department of Defense Education Activity students to represent the department’s schools at the 2009 Research Science Institute. More here…
Soldiers, civilians get pay increase in new year
Active-duty personnel will draw an across-the-board 3.9 percent pay raise beginning Jan. 1. A sergeant with five years of service, for instance, will see an increase in monthly base salary of about $88 dollars. A captain with nine years of service would see nearly $200 per month extra. Find out more...
Economic Stimulus Payment Still Available in 2009 for those Who Missed Filing Deadline
If you missed the Oct. 15 deadline for filing an income tax return for a economic stimulus payment, don't worry. You can receive a payment in 2009 by filing an income tax return when the filing season opens in January. The IRS will have more information shortly.
Also, if you filed a tax return for an economic stimulus payment in 2008 and have not yet received a payment, check out Where's My Stimulus Payment?
For more information about stimulus payments, visit the IRS at this link. This section is for military personnel who are serving in combat zones.
Forget Credit Card - Think Tax Credits!
Tax credits can help pay the cost of raising a family, going to college, saving for retirement or getting daycare for dependents. But each year, many taxpayers overlook these credits, even though they often qualify for one or more.
While tax deductions and tax credits can both save money, they are fundamentally different. A deduction lowers the income on which the tax is figured, while a credit lowers the tax itself.
The popular credits listed below can help either lower a taxpayer’s bill or increase a refund. Read More…
IRS Reveals Heart before Valentine’s Day: Lends Hand to Financially Distressed Taxpayers
The Internal Revenue Service today kicked off the 2009 tax filing season by announcing a number of new steps to help financially distressed taxpayers maximize their refunds and speed payments while providing additional help to people struggling to meet their tax obligations. Read More…
Tapping Your 401(k): Hardship Distributions
A 401(k) plan may allow employees to receive a hardship distribution because of an immediate and heavy financial need. Hardship distributions from a 401(k) plan are limited to the amount of the employee’s elective deferrals and generally do not include any income earned on the deferred amounts. If the plan permits, certain employer matching contributions and employer discretionary contributions may also be included in hardship distributions. Read More…
Knee Deep In Debt?
Having trouble paying your bills? Getting dunning notices from creditors? Are your accounts being turned over to debt collectors? Are you worried about losing your home or your car?
You’re not alone. Many people face a financial crisis some time in their lives. Whether the crisis is caused by personal or family illness, the loss of a job, or overspending, it can seem overwhelming. But often, it can be overcome. Your financial situation doesn’t have to go from bad to worse. Read More…
Foreclosure Pitfalls – Watch Out for these Scams
The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. The reality that scam artists are preying on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners is equally frightening…If you think you may be facing foreclosure, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know how to recognize a foreclosure rescue scam. And even if the foreclosure process has already begun, the FTC and its law enforcement partners want you to know that legitimate options are available to help you save your home. Read More…
Mortgage Payments Sending You Reeling? Here’s What to Do
The possibility of losing your home because you can’t make the mortgage payments can be terrifying. Perhaps you’re having trouble making ends meet because you or a family member lost a job, or you’re having other financial problems. Or maybe you’re one of the many consumers who took out a mortgage that had a fixed rate for the first two or three years and then had an adjustable rate – and you want to know what your payments will be and whether you’ll be able to make them. Regardless of the reason for your mortgage anxiety, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know how to help save your home. Read More…
New U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
The new U.S. Capitol Visitor Center welcomed its first public guests last month. This 580,000-square-foot facility offers new amenities and services as visitors learn about America’s legislative process and about the art and architecture of the U.S. Capitol Building. In addition to a restaurant and two gift shops, visitors can enjoy lectures, special events, and changing exhibits.
Need some help keeping those New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s a smattering of government resources to help you keep some of the more popular ones.
The Last Reminder. We Promise! DTV Transition Update
For the many people who are still unclear about what they need to do to prepare for the Digital TV conversion, which occurs on Feb. 17, here’s a simple explanation:
1. Do you have a digital TV?
Yes: Do nothing. You’re all set.
No: Go to #2.
2. Do you have cable or satellite TV service?
Yes: You most likely need to do nothing, but check with your service provider to be sure.
No: Go to #3.
3. Do you use rabbit ears or an outside antenna for your TV reception?
Yes: You need to get a converter box now! Boxes are available in retail stores for about $40 to $70. You can put your name on a waiting list for a converter box coupon for $40 off up to 2 converter boxes per household. However, you may not receive your coupon in time for the transition.
No: See #1 and #2.
That’s it in a nutshell, but if you want to read more, check out these sites:
Kids’ Vaccine Schedules Updated
- Have your kids had all their vaccines for their age? It’s hard to keep track of them, especially when the recommendations change. The Centers for Disease Control, which just released its 2009 Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedules , provides several tools to help you understand and track your kids’ vaccines.
Instant Childhood Immunization Scheduler lets you enter the birth date of a child 6 years old or younger to get a chart listing all vaccines your child should have received. The
Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations introduces parents to the 14 childhood diseases and the 10 vaccines aimed at keeping them at bay.
Vaccine Safety addresses concerns about the safety of childhood immunizations.
Association of the US Army Family Programs Newsletter Great Opportunity to Stay Abreast of News that Matters to YOU!
This newsletter is published bi-monthly by the AUSA Family Programs Directorate, Sylvia Kidd. Here’s a peak at a few of this month’s highlights:
- TRICARE Cost Increases Proposed
- DoL Final Rule on Training and Employment
- Kansas Vets Hunt and Fish for Free
- Troops in Germany Face Tougher Traffic Laws
If you would like to receive the Family Programs Update by e-mail, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and type “subscribe” in the subject line.