MTFD receives grant
The Milton Township Fire Department has received a $500 grant from the Elk Rapids Lions Club for needed equipment. With the grant funds, the MTFD has purchased 20 new and improved high visibility vests for all our department members and trucks. The Lions Club has been a constant supporter of the MTFD for many years and it is greatly appreciated.
Free Fishing Expo
For the past six years, Don Reynolds has been hosting a free fishing seminar/now expo at Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion. The first event started out with a panel of six local “experts” along with a DNR rep, offering a few tips on how to make fishing more enjoyable. The event has grown each year to more than 150 in attendance to date. Although the show was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, it is back on schedule this year with many new exhibits and free items ranging from rod making to lures/bait that catch record fish. In addition, the DNR research vessel Steelhead will be in port for free tours, 3:30-5:00 p.m. Free Fishing Expo, Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in the Elk Rapids Harbor from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Students paddle to help preserve the Great Lakes
On May 1, 8th grade students Owen Werner, Max Ward and Jamie Peters from Cherryland Middle School plan to stand-up paddleboard the treacherous St. Mary’s River, starting at the Soo Locks and ending on Drummond Island. Along the way, the students will encounter large ships called freighters, which create dangerously large wakes. The water will also be bone-chilling cold and there may be ice floating down the river. They plan on paddling this 50-mile expanse with Kwin Morris, their science teacher and co-founder of Stand Up for Great Lakes. The students will wear dry suits and PFDs and will be accompanied by a safety boat and EMTs. They’re paddling to raise awareness for increasing levels of plastic pollution. All funds will be donated to Stand Up For Great Lakes, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes.
Jamie Peters, one of the students, says, “I fish these waters with my buddies, swim, boat, ski in them and much more. They are a big part of my life and the lives of thousands and thousands of more.” Jamie’s goal is to show others around the Great Lakes why they need to stand up for them. The Great Lakes are crucial to the lives of every living thing in and around them. The lakes, which are used as important source of drinking water, have been found to contain plastic pollutants. Over 20 million pounds of plastic ends up in the lakes each year, and those numbers will only continue to grow.
About Stand Up For Great Lakes
It began with a love of water. The group, Stand Up For Great Lakes, has crossed four of the five Great Lakes by stand-up paddleboard to raise funds to help preserve the Great Lakes. The lakes are under threat by oil pipelines of questionable integrity, invasive species, sewage leakage, pharmaceutical pollution, agricultural runoff, and others who choose to throw beer cans and cigarette butts wherever they please. The list of threats to these majestic and vital bodies of water is endless. We’re asking others to Stand Up for Great Lakes and provide encouragement to us on our arduous journey.
EXCLUSION OF 2020 UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FROM TAXATION
Normally, receipt of unemployment compensation benefits is taxable. However, Congress recently passed, and the President signed, legislation that allows some taxpayers to exclude 2020 unemployment compensation benefits from taxation. IRS will automatically refund money to eligible taxpayers who have already filed their income tax return reporting unemployment compensation as taxable before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan. These refunds are expected to begin in May and continue into the summer.
Under the new law, taxpayers who earned less than $150,000 in modified adjusted gross income can exclude some unemployment compensation from their taxable income. This means they do not have to pay tax on a portion of it. Taxpayers who are married filing jointly can exclude up to $20,400 ($10,200 maximum per spouse) of unemployment benefits received. All other eligible taxpayers can exclude up to $10,200 from their taxable income.
This new law change occurred after some taxpayers had already filed their 2020 income tax return. For taxpayers who already calculated and filed their 2020 federal income tax based on taxation of 100% of the amount of unemployment benefits received, IRS will determine the correct amount of taxable unemployment compensation, recalculate the 2020 federal income tax and either refund the overpaid income tax or apply the overpayment to other taxes owed.
IRS will perform the recalculations in two phases, starting with the less complex calculations:
1. First, taxpayers who are eligible to exclude up to $10,200 each will be determined and their 2020 federal income tax return will be recalculated.
2. Second, those married filing jointly who are eligible to exclude up to $20,400 and other taxpayers with more complex tax returns will be identified and recalculations performed.
Taxpayers only need to file an amended income tax return if the recalculations make them newly eligible for additional federal tax credits or deductions not already included on their original tax return, due to a lower adjusted gross income. For example, IRS can adjust returns for taxpayers who claimed the earned income tax credit and, because the unemployment exclusion changed their taxable income, taxpayers may now be eligible for an increase in the earned income tax credit amount. However, taxpayers would have to file an amended income tax return if they did not originally claim the earned income tax credit or other credits, but are now eligible to claim them. Taxpayers affected by this new law may also want to review their applicable state income tax returns if they have already been filed.
Taxpayers can use the EITC Assistant to see if they qualify for the earned income tax credit based upon their new adjusted gross income. If they now qualify, they should consider filing an amended income tax return to claim this refund. If you have not yet filed your income tax returns, most if not all tax preparation software has been updated to reflect these changes. If a taxpayer chooses to file the income tax returns electronically, they simply need to respond to the related questions when preparing their income tax returns. These taxpayers should read New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation for information and examples. For those who choose to file a paper return, instructions and an updated worksheet about the exclusion are available at WWW.IRS.GOV.
For more information, go to WWW.IRS.GOV and in the search box type UNEMPLOYMENT 2020 CHANGES, then click on IRS Will Recalculate Taxes on 2020 Unemployment Benefits and Start Issuing Refunds in May, then scroll down and click on either Instructions and an Updated Worksheet or New Exclusion of up to $10,200 of Unemployment Compensation. Submitted by Char Kirchner, CPA, MSA and Rex Rudolph, CPA
Green Elk Rapids Earth Day Celebration
VILLAGE OF ELK RAPIDS