A number of Wilkes County residents have tried to file their tax returns just to be told that a return had already been filed using their Social Security number. So, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers who receive requests from the IRS to verify their identities that the Identity Verification Service website, idverify.irs.gov, offers the fastest, easiest way to complete the task. Taxpayers may receive a letter when the IRS stops suspicious tax returns that have indications of being identity theft but contains a real taxpayer’s name and/or Social Security number. Only those taxpayers receiving Letter 5071C should access idverify.irs.gov. The website will ask a series of questions that only the real taxpayer can answer. Once the identity is verified, the taxpayers can confirm whether or not they filed the return in question. If they did not file the return, the IRS can take steps at that time to assist them. If they did file the return, it will take approximately six weeks to process it and issue a refund.
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A local town along Hwy 268 has received a couple of awards. The NC Commerce Department highlighted award winning downtown revitalization efforts at the N.C. Main Street Awards Conference in Morganton over the weekend. They presented 23 awards to participants in the N.C. Main Street and Small Town Main Street programs including a neighboring town. Award winners are recognized for excellence in downtown revitalization efforts in categories that include promotion, organization, design and economic restructuring. The Town of Elkin received two awards: The Best Adaptive Reuse Project Award of Merit for The Liberty Theatre Renovation Project and Best Outdoor Space Improvement Award of Merit for the Main Street Mural Grant Project. The North Carolina Small Town Main Street program is designed to provide downtown revitalization assistance to small towns with a population of less than 7,500. Admittance into the Small Town Main Street program is through a competitive application process.
Wilkes Community College hosted the high school Region 7 SkillsUSA Conference and Career Showcase on March 16, 2015. The event, originally scheduled for February 27, had to be postponed due to inclement weather. This annual educational and professional development activity is open to all SkillsUSA members and advisors, Career and Technical Education (CTE) students, business and industry partners and educational partners. “This year’s event was the largest in our history of hosting the regional gathering,” says Hardin Kennedy, SkillsUSA college advisor. 400 high school student competitors and 300 career showcase participants from the high schools located in the 21 counties that took part in the event. There were over 75 business and industry representatives on site to participate in or view the contests. Also, elected officials from the local, regional and state level were at the event. In addition to the competition, students also explored career opportunities with the Career Showcase segment of the event. This aspect is designed to increase student awareness of the programs offered at Wilkes Community College and to encourage students to take advantage of Career and College Promise high school course offerings. For more information about the SkillsUSA program, contact WCC at 336-838-6219
Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) unveiled his new Senate website, redesigned and updated to better serve North Carolinians. The new website renovation includes information about Senator Burr’s legislative accomplishments, pending legislation, and issue areas critical to the Senator in a modern, easier to use format. It also includes information for constituents on how to receive help from Senator Burr’s office -- whether it is with a federal agency, receiving a tour while visiting DC, or with federal grants. The new website is fully integrated with social media, features online form submission and an efficient platform to engage with his offices both in Washington and across North Carolina. Senator Burr invites all North Carolinians to visit his new website: www.burr.senate.gov.
Governor Pat McCrory and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz recently continued their tour throughout North Carolina to highlight the successful efforts to revitalize urban downtowns, main streets and rural communities through the historic tax credit program. As the tour continues across the state, support for restoring this important preservation initiative is gaining momentum. The governor and Secretary Kluttz have visited a combined total of nearly 30 communities and will continue this tour in the coming weeks.
Last week, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx Voted to Stop NLRB from Using Federal Regulatory Process to Tip Scales toward Union Organizers. “Yet again the National Labor Relations Board is using the federal regulatory process to tip the scales toward union organizers,”said Foxx. NLRB released the so-called “ambush election” rule in December 2014 and it is scheduled to take effect on April 14. The rule would require employers to provide union organizers with employees' names, phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses without any mechanism for workers to opt-out, which Foxx believes is a clear violation of their privacy. The Congressional Review Act of 1996 established a process through which Congress can overturn regulations issued by federal agencies by enacting a joint resolution of disapproval. The Senate passed the disapproval resolution on March 4 by a vote of 53-46. A disapproval resolution must be signed by the president before it could go into effect.
We are less than a month away from the April 15th tax filing deadline, and some residents in Wilkes are having problems filing due to ID Theft. The reports are continuing to come in at the Wilkes Sheriff's Office. In another report this week, a victim who lives on the Mt Sinai Road tried to eFile her taxes and was unable to do so, as someone had already filed a return using her social security number. The victim contacted H & R Block who advised her to contact the IRS. The IRS also told her to file a report with local law enforcement. According to IRS.gov, tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Generally, an identity thief will use your SSN to file a false return early in the year. You may be unaware you are a victim until you try to file your taxes and learn one already has been filed using your SSN. If you become a victim, the IRS recommends that you file a report with law enforcement, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338, and Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records. You can find more information on ID Theft and Tax Fraud on the website: www.IRS.gov.
Wilkesboro Police are looking for a blue PT Cruiser following the report of a theft from a house off Hamby Mtn Road. The victim told Wilkesboro Police that she was not at home when a DeWalt compound miter saw valued at 350 dollars was stolen from her carport. However, a couple of neighbors did see what happened. They reported seeing a blue PT Cruiser driven by a white female. The vehicle pulled up in front of the victim's house. A white male got out of the car and ran up to the carport. He grabbed the miter saw and then the couple left. Again, the thieves have not yet been identified and the investigation is continuing.
He was a fugitive from Louisiana and living in Wilkes. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office received information on a fugitive warrant on a man living in the area. Sheriff's Deputies responded to a house on Edwards Keys Road and found the offender, Randall Ray Barker. He was arrested on the fugitive warrant of assault and battery from Louisiana. Barker also had several other outstanding warrants. He is being held in the Wilkes County Jail until he is possibly expedited back to Louisiana.
According to the SAFE Kids of Wilkes website: Nearly half of the 1.34 million calls to poison centers for children each year or 1100 calls per day are related to medicine. Also, Safe Kids Worldwide reveals that teens are at risk for unintentional medicine poisoning. There are about 10,000 emergency department visits a year for medicine overdose by adolescents self-administering over-the-counter medicine. When it comes to toddlers, SAFE Kids reminds parents to put all medicine up, away, and out of sight of children. As for teens, parents are advised to talk with their teenage children about medicine, reading labels, and following directions. March is Poison Prevention month. For more information, visit the www.safekids.org website.