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TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

Consumer Archive

Consumer

Get organized now to reduce tax-season stress

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MADISON, Wis. (1/30/08)--April 15 will be here before you know it. If you haven’t already, pull your tax records together and prepare to file (CUNA Center for Personal Finance). Set up a tax file to reduce stress. If you’re a small-business owner, keep personal and business documentation separate. One way to pull records together: Organize by category (About.com):
* Donations. Include receipts for both cash and noncash deductions. For charitable monetary donations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires proof from your financial institution or written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Clothing and household items must be in good used condition or better. For deductions greater than $500, include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return. * Child care. Include receipts for payments as well as special activities or field trips. * Income. Include your W-2 and 1099s, as well as interest and dividend statements from your financial institution. * Medical. Include receipts for medical out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance. * Real estate. Include your mortgage interest statement and tax assessments. * Miscellaneous receipts. Include receipts for deductions that don’t fit in the other categories.
For more help this tax season, watch the video, “Getting Tax Records Organized,” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Troops across globe hear CUNA radio show

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WASHINGTON (1/30/08)--The American Forces Network (AFN) is now airing the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) weekly personal finance radio show, Home & Family Finance--giving military personnel around the globe access to informative programming on money matters “presented by America’s credit unions.” Home & Family Finance airs twice on Saturdays at 7 a.m. PT and again at 4 p.m. PT and available to AFN affiliates around the world. AFN falls under the American Forces Radio and Television Service, a part of the U.S. Department of Defense headquartered in Alexandria, Va. It provides stateside radio and TV programming, “a touch of home,” to U.S. service men and women, Department of Defense civilians, and their families serving outside the continental United States, including bases in Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific. “The radio show is top notch, and our goal since first launching it has been to expand its reach to a larger audience,” said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. “Given the high priority CUNA and America’s credit unions place on financial education, we are extremely proud the show is going out to so many of our military personnel overseas through the American Forces Network," he said. "We think our men and women in uniform will find great benefit in the wide range of timely and informative personal finance topics the show covers week to week.” Home & Family Finance radio is “presented by America’s credit unions” but is not a promotional program about credit unions. The show offers consumer finance information and advice to a general audience through interviews with an array of financial services experts on such topics as mortgages, savings options, retirement plans, car buying, debt management and more. Last week, for example, the program featured a project director with Consumers Union in New York offering guidance for parents and students on applying for federal student aid, an expert from AARP on the timing of retirement, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman on choosing your tax preparer and Volunteer Income Assistance (VITA) program, the U.S. Deputy Comptroller on payroll cards, and answers to listener emails. CUNA launched the initiative in September 2006 on the Radio America network to further credit unions’ mission of providing financial education and to reinforce the credit union brand as a trusted source for consumer information. Radio America continues to air the one-hour show in 36 U.S. markets, including Washington, DC, Albany, Boston, Memphis and St. Louis. This fall CUNA and Radio America began podcasting the Home & Family Finance show through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo and other popular podcast library sites as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s own web sites. Radio America began dropping one-minute money tips from the show into its most popular weekday programming that reaches a U.S. audience of more than 4 million. The program is hosted by Paul Berry, a broadcast journalist with more than 30 years of experience. The expansion of the program onto the American Forces Network brings Berry full circle; he first received broadcast training with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service while stationed in Vietnam. Home & Family Finance radio is produced by CUNA with the support of presenting sponsor CO-OP Financial Services and national sponsors VISA, Wescorp, and Cabot Creamery Cooperative.