The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) of 2009 goes into effect on Monday, February 22, 2010. Know what this means for your credit card contracts, protection, and practices from the White House Press Office. The SunTimes also published an article today which outlines some of those changes.
News from the Reference Desk
The nonbusiness energy property credit has been reinstated for qualified property placed in service after 2008. The credit is limited to a total of $1,500 for tax years 2009 and 2010. The credit has also been expanded to include certain biomass fuel stoves and asphalt roofs.
Please take a look at Form 5695 to see if you qualify for this credit.
Many of the most commonly used tax forms and publications for 2009 are now available at the Library. If you are not able to find the form or publication you need, you may either access them from the IRS at www.irs.gov or visit the Reference Desk and we may download a form or short publication for you. We also have compiled a Tax Information Guide for 2009, which includes information regarding local tax preparation assistance. We also have multiple copies of 2009 tax guides available for 7-day checkouts. Please contact the Reference desk if you have additional questions.
Reference Services recently offered a session which focused on evaluating quality purchases, comparing product features, and gauging professional/editor and peer/user reviews. For patrons who were not able to attend our presentation, we've attached it in its original PowerPoint format. Please let our Reference Department know if we can assist you further in any specific product or service search. Download Consumer Information Session 111209
The application period for low-income individuals of family in Illinois to apply winter home heating assistance has opened. The state received $174.6 million in federal funds this year to assist low-income families with energy bills. One person is eligible with a monthly income of up to $1,354 in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A family of four can earn up to $2,756 per month. Thirty-five local agencies administer grants. Officials expect to help 300,000 households this winter. Please visit liheapillinois.com for information. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families also has contact and application information.
Illinois driver's license and identification holders can now add emergency contact information to a database that emergency personnel can access if an individual is unable to communicate after an accident. Go to: Emergency Contact Database to find more information and to participate.
Two federal government agencies and a U.N. agency have posted useful information regarding the current swine flu outbreak.
National Library of Medicine (NLM), Medline: Swine Flu
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Swine Influenza
World Heath Organization (WHO), Swine Influenza
It is critical that homebuyers and homeowners are aware of the legitimate assistance available to them, as well protecting themselves from financing and refinancing scams.
Homeowners looking for help should visit a new website called MakingHomeAffordable.gov, which has information on the administration's $75 billion effort to help homeowners out of mortgage trouble. It includes a listing of HUD-approved mortgage counselors. People can also call 1-888-995-HOPE. Homeowners are encouraged to call if they suspect a company is perpetrating a scam.
Expanded Tax Break Available for 2009 First-Time Homebuyers
First-Time Home Buyer's Assistance Program in Mount Prospect
HUD in Illinois (includes steps to avoid foreclosure, search for affordable rentals, and homebuying programs)
The transition from analog to all digital television broadcast has been postponed for some regions and will take place sometime between March 14 and June 12, 2009. The Digital TV Transition website has updated information as well as a list of stations that have transitioned as of February 17. To date, the Chicago broadcast market has not been affected and continues analog broadcast.