About: Steve Swartz

Recent Posts by Steve Swartz

Personal Highs and Lows of 2013

Highs and Lows of 2013 2013 was generally a year of negatives  for our family though we did have a few bright spots. Our transition to USO-Andrews from USO-BWI was disappointing since the government shutdown caused a drop in flights at the military base.  We helped a few families including a mother and her two young children trying to get a flight to Germany (SPACE A) who wanted to join her husband at Christmas. But mostly we looked at an empty terminal, especially during the last six months of the year. In addition, one of our friends who volunteered at Andrews had a major stroke in late 2013 and will not return.   And sadly, even the USO-Metro has stopped asking us to take photos of events. Our wonderful neighborhood friend Bruce Woods, who saved our bacon many a time with his snow blower, died suddenly from a heart attack earlier this year. He was our age.  Many of our friends too, have moved on...

PTINS need to be renewed

Tax Preparers Must Renew Their PTINs for 2014 IR-2013-101, Dec. 23, 2013 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded professional tax return preparers to renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) if they plan to prepare returns in 2014. Current PTINs expire Dec. 31, 2013. Anyone who prepares or helps prepare all or substantially all of a federal tax return, claim for refund or other federal forms for compensation must have a valid PTIN. All enrolled agents also must have a PTIN. Tax professionals can obtain or renew their PTINs at www.irs.gov/ptin. Those renewing their PTINs can complete the process in about 15 minutes. The renewal fee is $63. Tools are available to assist any preparers who have forgotten their user name, password or email address. New tax return preparers who are obtaining a first-time PTIN must create an online PTIN account as a first step and then follow directions to obtain a PTIN. Their fee is $64.25. The annual PTIN requirement is part of...

2014 Tax Season to Open Jan. 31; e-file and Free File Can Speed Refunds

IR-2013-100, Dec. 18, 2013 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31 and encouraged taxpayers to use e-file or Free File as the fastest way to receive refunds. The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure. “Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.” The government closure meant the IRS...

[caption id="attachment_787" align="alignnone" width="300"]Midge dances at USO holiday party Midge dances at USO holiday party[/caption] Barbara and I traveled to Glen Burnie on December 13 to photograph the annual USO-Metro holiday party for BWI and Fort Meade volunteers.  It was a great party with lots of good food, dancing, games and good company.  For the 40 or so volunteers who attended, they were treated to great music by Captain Richard Barnes, US Army Retired and a ugly sweater contest. See the photoshow by going to my site's  photography tab and clicking on "all photoshows."...

Burial at Arlington National Cemetery

I was asked by our World War II veteran friend Albert Baxter to photograph the burial of his wife of 62 years, Lisa Baxter on November 25 at Arlington National Cemetery.  I drove to the Demaine Funeral home at 11am and a small group of us headed to the Memorial Chapel at Fort Myer.  After meeting with the base Air Force chaplain in the library, we had a service and some touching words about his German wife Lisa by Albert.  Air Force members took the casket from the hearse and army servicemen took the casket into the chapel. After the recessional we drove to funeral site in the cemetery where the chaplain completed the ceremony and participants laid a rose on the casekt.  Many of Albert's family were in California and could not make it to the funeral, so he wanted to share the photographs with them. We ended the day with some tasty food at the Spates Community Center...

Beware Typhoon Charity Scams

SharePrint

IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Relief of Typhoon Victims

IR-2013-90, Nov. 15, 2013 WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued a consumer alert about possible scams taking place in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. On Nov. 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan – known as Yolanda in the Philippines – made landfall in the central Philippines, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that have resulted in flooding, landslides, and widespread damage. Following major disasters, it is common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intentioned taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, email or in-person solicitations. The IRS cautions people wishing to make disaster-related charitable donations to avoid scam artists by following these tips:
  • To help disaster victims, donate to recognized charities.
  • Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use...

Recent Comments by Steve Swartz

    No comments by Steve Swartz yet.