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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
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March 24, 2009     The Ortonville Independent
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March 24, 2009
 

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ICE CHUNKS BUILT UP ALONG THE DAMOF THE MINNESOTA RIVER last week as warm tempera- tures caused the Whetstone River to break loose. The Whetstone River did return to its normal height but not until after it rose and caused minor flooding near the bridge between Ortonville and Big Stone City, SD. Diane Radermacher of the Upper Minnesota Watershed D|strict stated that this usually occurs when the temperatures warm up quickly. million . The IRS today announced that it has unclaimed,refunds totaling $17,085,000 for approximately 19,700 Minnesota residents who did not file a federal income tax return for 2005. Nationally there are approxi- mately $1.3 billion awaiting more than a million people. However, to collect the money, a return for 2005 must be filed with the IRS no later than Tuesday, April 15, 2009. "We understand many people are experiencing financial distress these days which is all the more reason they should not lose out on this money," said IRS Spokesperson Carrie Resch. "If you had taxes withheld from your paycheck but were not required to file a tax return you may be missing out on money. This refund, combined with other overlooked tax credits from that year, could add up very nicely for anyone, but especially for taxpayers who are having a hard time making ends meet." The IRS estimates that half of the Minnesotans who could claim refunds for tax year 2005 would receive more than $531. Some individuals may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return. The amount of income a taxpayer can have before being required to file a return varies by filing status and age. Generally for 2005, single taxpayers with income below $9,450, heads of household with income below $11,750 and married couples with income below $18,400 may not have been required to file. These people should, however, review their 2005 earnings statements or W-2s to see if tax was withheld but went unclaimed because they didn't file a tax return for the refund. In cases where a return was not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportu- nity for claiming a refund. If no reiurn is filed to claim the refund within three years, the money becomes prop- erty of the U.S. Treasury. For 2005 returns, the window closes on April 15, 2009. The law requires that the return be properly addressed, post- marked and mailed by that date. There is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund. The IRS reminds taxpayers seek- ing a 2005 refund that their checks will be held if they have not filed tax returns for 2006 or 2007. In addition, the refund will be applied to any amounts still owed to the IRS and may be used to satisfy unpaid child support or past due federal debts such as student loans. By failing to file a return, individu- urn als stand to lose more than refunds of taxes withheld or paid during 2005. Many low-income workers may not have claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Generally, unmarried individuals qualified for the EITC if in 2005 they earned less than $35,263 and had more than one qualifying child living with them. Limits are slightly higher for married individuals filing jointly. The $17 million in unclaimed refunds from Minnesota does not include the EITC. In 2005, about 255,700 Minnesotans claimed $433 million through the EITC, but typically, about 20 to 25 percent of people who qualify for EITC fail to claim it each year. The average Earned Income credit ihat year for those who did claim it in Minnesota was $1,654. Current and prior year tax forms and instructions are available on the Forms and Publications Web page of IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX- FORM (1-800-829-3676). Information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and how to claim it is also available on IRS.gov. Taxpayers Who need help also can call the toll-free IRS help line at 1-800- 829-1040. If you are a primary caregiver for a loved one, you are well aware of the daily stress and emotional and physi- cal impact it can have on your health. In order to sustain your caregiving momentum, a little respite is essential. Be on the lookout for caregiver burnout. It can creep up on you with- out your noticing it. Caregiver burnout symptoms can include: depression anxiety, irritability, or anger feelings of exhaustion self-criticism withdrawal from usual activities trouble with handling caregiving responsibilities substance abuse If you have caregiver burnout, check out Adult Day Care Services. Adult Day Care Services respite is two-fold. It gives the caregivers much needed time to themselves and gives their loved ones social and inter- active therapy with their peers. Many adult day care services offer such things as: Social activities; music, movies, crafts, excursions Meals Fellowship support Assistance with daily living Nursing care Help with activities of daily liv- ing Medications Physical therapy Transportation Finding an Adult Day Care Services provider takes a little investi- gating on your part. It is important to know what you are getting and that your loved one is comfortable with his or her new surroundings. First: Ask for recommendations. Check with your local Senior Center, Area Agency on Aging Services, Mental Health Centers, Doctor, Clinic, Family, Friends and neighbors. The best recommendation is by some- one who has used the adult day care services or is familiar with those who run it. Second: Call and ask the facility to send you information. Ask specifically to be sent the appli- cation, eligibility requirements and payment information. Ask to see the calendar of activities, menus, hours and days of operation are needed to be sure to fit your schedule. Ask about availability of transportation to and from the location and what its cost. Ask who runs the facility. Is it pri- vate, non-profit or a franchise or part of an assisted living facility or a nurs- ing home? Third: Visit the Adult Day Care Services facility and the provider along with the person you are caring for. See if the staff is friendly. Check that the facility is clean and odor free. Ask about the experience of the staff.' Request a list of references. Fourth: Find out the cost and pay- ment requirements. Fees for Adult Day Care Services providers range from $25 per day to $70 p~r day, with the average around $50 per!day. Many facilities provide services with a slid- ing fee scale. One last word of advice: Don't feel guilty about taking your loved one to adult day care. Caregiving is a stress- ful, challenging job and you want to make sure that as a caregiver you have the necessary respite to allow you to do a good job of providing care for your loved one. . If you would like more information on "Caregiver Burnout - Check Out Adult Day Care Services" feel free to contact Gail Gilman-Waldner, Program Development and Coordination - Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging,Inc. and Professor Emeritus - University of Minnesota at 507-389-8869 or 1-800-. 450-5643 ext. 869 or e-mail Gail at ggwaldner@rndc.org. Additional resources are available by contacting the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 or yisiting the MinnesotaHelp.InfoTM website at www.MinnesotaHelp.Info: Be sure to watch for more Family Living Focus information in next week's paper. /'L~+: , - - .N -&-idg, R<. i,t N thsi