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Moxie Fitness and Health

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If you are looking for a fitness center where you will get personal attention? If so, you might want to check out Moxie Fitness and Health, 4625 14 Mile Road, behind Cedar Rock Café. Owner Michelle-Pozan Currie offers a range of group fitness classes, small group personal training, nutrition coaching and massage therapy. This group fitness classes-based center is set up to promote a full range of fitness—cardiovascular, strength and flexibility. Classes include circuit style bootcamps, Zumba, kickboxing/step/strength, muscle madness—full body strength training, and strength and stretch—a yoga/pilates/barre style fusion.

Michelle has been leading group classes for over 25 years, and has certifications for personal training and group fitness certification. She is a holistic nutrition coach, which gives clients the option of nutrition coaching to help them reach their goals. Michelle has worked in senior fitness (55+) for the last eight years and is offering classes for the mature exerciser in the morning schedule. Classes are purchased by punch card, and Michelle says they are very affordable.

“My focus is to create an environment where exercisers, from newbies to more the experienced exerciser will come in and get the workout that will push them to their limits at their level of fitness,” explained Michelle. “I want to inspire men, women, seniors, and families to move more and have fun doing it because you need to enjoy your workout to keep going and enjoy the results of a consistent program.”

For more info, visit the Moxie website at moxiefitnessandhealth.com or call Michelle at 248-701-0863.

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New Deputy Health Officer Named in Kent County

 

From the Kent County Health Department

After nearly two decades of working in health, Teresa Branson has helped thousands of people through a variety of programs. The Kent County Health Department is pleased to announce she has been named Deputy Administrative Health Officer, effective Monday, February 24, 2014.

“Teresa is an excellent ambassador for health in Kent County,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of Kent County. “Her ability to create collaborations and partnerships with other organizations is phenomenal. I am confident that she will do an extraordinary job for Kent County in her new role.”

Branson has led the Health Education and Promotion section of the Health Department since 2007, andboasts a track record of achieving successful outcomes. Accomplishments under her leadership include:

Increased Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program client caseload from 1,158 to 2,662 since 2007.

Increased access to dental care for 115+ uninsured women through the Brush Up For Baby Program.

Increased access to case management/support services for 400 high-risk Inter conception Care (IC) Program clients.

Demonstrated improved birth outcomes for 58 IC clients evidenced by reduced pre-term births/low birth-weight infants, increased gestational age and reduced NICU admissions.

In the past two years, Ms. Branson has co-facilitated fifteen Health Equity and Social Justice Dialogue Workshops, reaching over 400 KCHD employees and community partners. She and her team developed Community Health Equity Guidelines, a Kent County Community Plan of Action for Achieving Health

Equity, Framing the Relationship between Race and Health toolkit, and a video entitled: Framing Social Determinants of Health in Kent County.

“I look forward to new challenges as Deputy Health Officer,” said

Branson. “We have a very committed staff who serve, protect and promote a healthy community every day.”

Ms. Branson also launched two multi-media campaigns in the past two years: RethinkDrinks – An effort to reduce adult heavy drinking in Kent County, and a marketing campaign for the Women’s Health Network – Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program.

“Teresa is an outstanding supervisor, whose visionary leadership has led staff at the Kent County Health Department to better understand health disparities, and work to achieve social justice,” said London. “We are fortunate to have her in such a prominent leadership role.”

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TAX TIPS

 

From the IRS

 

Eight Tax Savers for Parents

 

Your children may help you qualify for valuable tax benefits. Here are eight tax benefits parents should look out for when filing their federal tax returns this year.

1. Dependents.  In most cases, you can claim your child as a dependent. This applies even if your child was born anytime in 2013. For more details, see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.

2. Child Tax Credit.  You may be able to claim the Child Tax Credit for each of your qualifying children under the age of 17 at the end of 2013. The maximum credit is $1,000 per child. If you get less than the full amount of the credit, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. For more about both credits, see the instructions for Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, and Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.

3. Child and Dependent Care Credit.  You may be able to claim this credit if you paid someone to care for one or more qualifying persons. Your dependent child or children under age 13 are among those who are qualified. You must have paid for care so you could work or look for work. For more, see Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.

4. Earned Income Tax Credit.  If you worked but earned less than $51,567 last year, you may qualify for EITC. If you have three qualifying children, you may get up to $6,044 as EITC when you file and claim it on your tax return. Use the EITC Assistant tool at IRS.gov to find out if you qualify or see Publication 596, Earned Income Tax Credit.

5. Adoption Credit.  You may be able to claim a tax credit for certain expenses you paid to adopt a child. For details, see the instructions for Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.

6. Higher education credits.  If you paid for higher education for yourself or an immediate family member, you may qualify for either of two education tax credits. Both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may reduce the amount of tax you owe. If the American Opportunity Credit is more than the tax you owe, you could be eligible for a refund of up to $1,000. See Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

7. Student loan interest.  You may be able to deduct interest you paid on a qualified student loan, even if you don’t itemize deductions on your tax return. For more information, see Publication 970.

8. Self-employed health insurance deduction.  If you were self-employed and paid for health insurance, you may be able to deduct premiums you paid to cover your child under the Affordable Care Act. It applies to children under age 27 at the end of the year, even if not your dependent. See Notice 2010-38 for information.

Forms and publications on these topics are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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Earned income tax credit gives workers a boost

For nearly 40 years, the Earned Income Tax Credit has been helping low- to moderate-income workers by giving them a boost to their income. Four out of five eligible workers claim EITC, but the IRS wants every eligible worker to claim and get this credit.

Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about this important credit:

Review your eligibility. If you worked and earned under $51,567, you may be eligible for EITC. If your financial or family situation has changed, you should review the EITC eligibility rules. You might qualify for EITC this year even if you didn’t in the past. Workers who qualify for EITC must file a federal income tax return and specifically claim the credit to get it, even if they do not have a requirement to file a return.

Know the rules. Before claiming EITC, you need to understand the rules to be sure you qualify. It’s important to get it and get it right. There are several factors to consider:

Your filing status can’t be Married Filing Separately.

You must have a valid Social Security number for yourself, your spouse if married, and any qualifying child listed on your tax return.

You must have earned income. Earned income includes earnings such as wages, self-employment and farm income.

You may be married or single, with or without children to qualify. If you don’t have children, you must also meet age, residency and dependency rules.

If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces serving in a combat zone, special rules apply.

Lower your tax or get a refund. The EITC reduces your federal tax and could result in a refund. If you qualify, the credit could be worth up to $6,044. The average credit was $2,355 last year.

Use free services. Don’t guess about your EITC eligibility. Use the EITC Assistant tool on IRS.gov. The tool helps you find out if you qualify and will estimate the amount of your EITC. The best way to file your return to claim EITC is to use IRS Free File.  Free brand-name software will figure your taxes and EITC for you. Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to get your refund. Free File is available exclusively on IRS.gov/freefile. Free help preparing and e-filing your return to claim your EITC is also available at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites around the country.

If you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces serving in a combat zone, special rules apply.  For more information, see IRS Publication 596, Earned Income Credit. It’s available in English and Spanish on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Additional IRS Resources: Schedule EIC

 

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Who Should File a 2013 Tax Return?

 

Do you need to file a federal tax return this year? Perhaps. The amount of your income, filing status, age and other factors determine if you must file.

Even if you don’t have to file a tax return, there are times when you should. Here are five good reasons why you should file a return, even if you’re not required to do so:

1. Tax Withheld or Paid.  Did your employer withhold federal income tax from your pay? Did you make estimated tax payments? Did you overpay last year and have it applied to this year’s tax? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you could be due a refund. But you have to file a tax return to get it.

2. Earned Income Tax Credit.  Did you work and earn less than $51,567 last year? You could receive EITC as a tax refund if you qualify. Families with qualifying children may be eligible for up to $6,044. Use the EITC Assistant tool on IRS.gov to find out if you qualify. If you do, file a tax return and claim it.

3. Additional Child Tax Credit.  Do you have at least one child that qualifies for the Child Tax Credit? If you don’t get the full credit amount, you may qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit. To claim it, you need to file Schedule 8812, Child Tax Credit, with your tax return.

4. American Opportunity Credit.  Are you a student or do you support a student? If so, you may be eligible for this credit. Students in their first four years of higher education may qualify for as much as $2,500. Even those who owe no tax may get up to $1,000 of the credit refunded per eligible student. You must file Form 8863, Education Credits, with your tax return to claim this credit.

5. Health Coverage Tax Credit.  Did you receive Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation? If so, you may qualify for the Health Coverage Tax Credit. The HCTC helps make health insurance more affordable for you and your family. This credit pays 72.5 percent of qualified health insurance premiums. Visit IRS.gov for more on this credit.

To sum it all up, check to see if you would benefit from filing a federal tax return. You may qualify for a tax refund even if you don’t have to file. And remember, if you do qualify for a refund, you must file a return to claim it.

The instructions for Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ list income tax filing requirements. You can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to see if you need to file. The tool is available 24/7 to answer many tax questions.

Additional IRS Resources:

Publication 596, Earned Income Credit

Publication 972, Child Tax Credit

Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education

Health Coverage Tax Credit

 

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Check your tax forms for errors and avoid fines for 2013

TAX-Check-tax-forms(BPT) – Tax season will be here before you know it and businesses everywhere want to handle their reporting quickly, efficiently and on time in order to avoid the penalties and fines associated with missed deadlines. In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased its penalties for misfiled or late tax forms. As a result, it’s more important than ever for leaders of small to mid-sized businesses to stay on top of changes and be doubly vigilant in assembling and reviewing their reporting documents.

As simple as it may seem, one of the most important but least utilized steps to this review is simply double-checking all reporting documents and deadlines. It is vital to double check the information on tax forms for accuracy and be aware of year-end deadlines to prevent errors resulting in fines or other penalties. If filing is not done by the deadline, taxpayers will face failure-to-file penalties.

“Tax season doesn’t have to be a stressful time of the year that starts ulcers for small business leaders,” says Janice Krueger, a tax and reporting expert at Greatland, one of the country’s leading providers of W-2 and 1099 products for business. “A recent study revealed that 39 percent of filers are never certain that they are meeting all the rules and requirements when reporting annually. We want to help alleviate those concerns by informing taxpayers about filing requirements and deadlines, along with the ramifications of errors and/or late filings.”

Many 1099 and W-2 reporting penalties have doubled or even tripled over the past few years and it is increasingly essential that businesses file and complete all wage and income filings on time. Here is a list of filing penalties for W-2 and 1099 forms Greatland believes taxpayers should be aware of this season:

* The penalty for failing to file accurate information on returns is $100 per return.

* The maximum failure-to-file penalty is $1.5 million.

* If returns are filed within 30 days after the due date, the penalty is $30 per return.

* The maximum penalty for organizations that issue returns within 30 days is $250,000.

* The penalty for filing returns more than 30 days after the due date, but before Aug. 1, is $60 per return.

* The maximum penalty for organizations that issue returns more than 30 days past the due date, but before Aug. 1, is $500,000.

For small businesses, defined as organizations with annual gross receipts of $5 million or less for the three most recent tax years:

* The maximum failure-to-file penalty is $500,000.

* The maximum penalty for organizations that issue returns within 30 days after the due date is $75,000.

* The maximum penalty for organizations that issue returns more than 30 days past the due date, but before Aug. 1, is $200,000.

To make sure your business has all of the accurate information needed, you can find a full list of federal and state filing regulations to remember on Greatland’s W-2 and 1099 fact center website.

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2014 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

56 cents per mile for business miles driven

23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes

14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The business, medical, and moving expense rates decrease one-half cent from the 2013 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical, or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51. Notice 2013-80 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

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Supplemental insurance plans can help protect your family and your wallet

BUS-Supplemental insurance PHOTO(BPT) – No one wakes up thinking that their day will include a heart attack or a cancer diagnosis.

But unexpected medical emergencies can happen to anyone at any time, and few people are prepared for the expenses that accompany them. Financial experts often recommend building an emergency fund consisting of six months of salary, but few people can achieve that in these difficult economic times.

“One way to prepare for a significant health event is to consider supplemental insurance, a policy that can be bought in addition to your major medical plan,” says Scott Krienke of Assurant Health, a Milwaukee-based insurer. “These plans can be used to pay out-of-pocket costs not covered by major medical, as well as non-medical costs related to an injury or illness.”

Supplemental plans generally pay cash directly to the consumer. The money can be used however the customer chooses, whether it’s for day-to-day costs like child care or lost wages, or medical expenses not covered by a major medical policy such as deductibles, co-insurance or experimental/alternative treatments.

While most people may not want to believe they’ll ever experience a critical illness, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer, followed by cancer. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, followed by accidents.

Supplemental insurance plans are available for specific critical illnesses, such as heart, stroke and cancer, and offer a range of benefit levels to fit different needs and budgets. Critical illness supplemental plans pay upon life-threatening diagnosis to help offset expenses.

Supplemental plans for accidents also can be a helpful add-on to a major medical plan. The cost of medical care and productivity losses associated with motor vehicle crash injuries was over $99 billion in the U.S. in 2010, according to the CDC.

There are two types of accident plans: accident fixed-benefit and accident medical expense. Accident fixed-benefit plans pay a set amount for treatment of covered injuries due to an accident. They pay in addition to any other plan benefits in place, and the cash can be used for whatever the policyholder wants—to replace lost income, pay medical bills or take care of household expenses. Accident medical expense plans help pay out-of-pocket medical costs that are not covered by other plans.

There also are supplemental plans available for dental care.

Taking the time to research plans is important in order to select the right supplemental insurance to protect yourself and your family in the face of a medical emergency.

Choose options that fit your unique needs and your budget, and you’ll be better equipped to weather a sudden illness or accident. No matter how the health care market might change, people will continue to have out-of-pocket costs for items not covered by major medical insurance, and supplemental plans are one way to cover those unexpected expenses.

 

 

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First Baby of 2014 at Spectrum Health United Hospital

BUS-First-baby-PHOTO-2014-at-UnitedSeth James Nicholson was the first baby born in 2014 at Spectrum Health United Hospital, in Greenville.

He was born at 9:39 pm on January 2, 2014 in United Hospital’s obstetrics unit. His parents, Annette and Tim Nicholson, live in Stanton.

Seth weighed 4 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 17 inches long. He was delivered by Dr. Andrea Sterling.

 

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Five key deadlines to help small businesses avoid IRS headaches

*TAX-Five key deadlines

BPT) – The adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure still rings true – especially for businesses preparing for tax season. If you oversee your company’s filing requirements, knowing what is due and when can save you and your employee’s penalties, time and stress.

Every year, January’s arrival means two important tasks if you are in charge of filing and reporting for your company or employer: issuing W-2s and 1099 forms to employees. Small-to-medium-sized businesses should plan accordingly to stay ahead of key dates crucial to making the 2013 filing season your “gold-star” year.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), businesses must send their employees W-2s by Jan. 31 and provide all W-2s and the transmittal form W-3 to the IRS by the last day of February.

If an employee does not receive a W-2 from their employer, they can contact the IRS for assistance. The IRS requests employees to wait until at least Feb. 14, allowing for slow mail delivery. After Feb. 14, the IRS will contact the employer and request the employee receive a duplicate W-2. The employer will be notified of the penalties if it fails to comply with government regulations, which can include fines, penalties and even imprisonment.

The same applies to issuing 1099s, used primarily for reporting company payments to freelance and contract workers, or other non-employees. In general, businesses need to furnish employees with a copy of their 1099 form by Jan. 31, 2014.

According to the experts at Greatland Corporation, a company that provides W-2 and 1099 forms and e-filing services to small businesses, for the past three years, the IRS has been cracking down on contractors who aren’t always attentive when it comes to paying taxes. In fact, the government has collected $9.5 million in back wages from employers who misclassified workers as independent contractors since 2011.

“We have many customers that used to feel overwhelmed by adopting a clear process for managing the timeline for ordering and submitting their forms,” says Janice Krueger, a spokesperson for Greatland, one of the country’s leading providers of W-2 and 1099 products for business. “Feedback from a recent survey we conducted showed that 43 percent of small business filers are terrified of being fined by the IRS for not complying with a new rule or regulation for W-2 and 1099 reporting. Adopting an early game-plan is always recommended to allow enough time for the complicated filings.”

Estimates are that 20 percent of businesses misclassify workers; so make sure your business knows how to correctly report your contractors when issuing a W-2 and 1099 forms.

According to Greatland, these key dates will allow company W-2 and 1099 filers to stay on track this filing season:

* Jan. 31, 2014 – Due date to mail employee copies for W-2

* Jan. 31, 2014 – Due date to mail recipient copies for 1099

* Feb. 18, 2014 – Due date for 1099-MISC if reporting payments in boxes 8 or 14

* Feb. 28, 2014 – Due date to send Copy A to federal agency on paper (W-2 to SSA, 1099 to IRS)

* March 31, 2014 – Due date to send Copy A to Federal agency electronically (W-2 to SSA, 1099 to IRS)

To make sure your business doesn’t miss a deadline, you can find a full list of federal state and filing dates to remember on Greatland’s W-2 and 1099 fact center website.

 

 

 

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