IRS offers online help for EITC claims

Monday, February 14, 2011

More than 6,000 Cape Girardeau County taxpayers received more than $12.7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) last year, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

"The EITC can put an extra $457 to $5,666 into the pockets of low-income working individuals and families," said IRS spokesman Michael Devine.

The EITC was created in 1975 in part to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to serve as a work incentive. More than 522,000 Missouri individuals and families claimed and received more than $1.1 billion.

The IRS estimates four out of five eligible taxpayers claim this tax credit, but some do not because they are unaware of the EITC or they don't know how to claim it.

The IRS has an online tool to help determine who qualifies for this credit. The EITC Assistant found on the irs.gov website helps answer questions about eligibility, filing status, qualifying children and credit amount.

* Farm women education program offered: The Cape Girardeau County MU Extension Office is offering a program titled Annie's Project, designed to empower farm women to be better business partners. Topics will include human resource issues, business plans, financial documentation, property titles, cash and crop share leases, marketing plans, retirement and estate planning, and types of insurance. The program also provides opportunities to network with other farm women in the area. Nearly 7,000 women from 24 states have graduated from the Annie's Project program. Registration is $50 and includes a black zip notebook, calculator, thumb drive and record-keeping software. Classes will be on Tuesday evenings from Feb. 22 to March 29 at the extension office. For more information, visit the Annie's Project website at www.extension.iastate.edu/Annie/ or call 243-3581.

* Printing business expands: The Printing Co. has purchased Blake Graphics in Farmington, Mo. The acquisition is as part of the business' expansion into new markets said Jason Coalter, vice president. The Printing Co. will continue to employ all the associates working for the former Blake Graphics and the business will remain at 227 E. Columbia St. in Farmington. The Printing Co., formerly known as Cape Girardeau Printing, also has locations in Cape Girardeau and Perryville, Mo., offering full service printing, design, production, apparel and promotional products.

* Broadway business closing: Wiesner PowerSports, 2215 Broadway, will close at the end of February, according to owner Jerry Wieser. He said it was a difficult decision to make, but the power sports industry has suffered in the current economic downturn. ATVs, motorcycles and scooters are a luxury purchases people just can't afford right now, Wieser said. The store has been open for about two years. Current inventory is being liquidated with a going-out-of-business sale, Wieser said.

* New fish restaurant to open: Fisherman's Bay will open at 1015 N. Kingshighway in the coming weeks. Owner Lorenzo Martin said he is making plans to open, hopefully, by March 1. Martin previously operated EJ Roni's in West Park Mall. The menu at Fisherman's Bay will feature fish, chicken, coleslaw, hush puppies and fries, Martin said. Several other restaurants previously operated in this location including Branding Iron Barbecue and Bob's Fish House.

* New owner at Bloom Studio: Michaelyn B. Ross of Cape Girardeau has purchased Bloom Studio and Gifts, previously owned by Carrie Tracy. According to a business license filed with the city, the store will continue to operate at 2121 Broadway. Ross has been the store's manager for the past three years.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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