Treasurer Ron Estes, Representative Erin Davis Introduce Bill to Create Kansas Disability Savings Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes and Representative Erin Davis (R-Olathe) introduced a bill today that would provide families with disabled children a new way to save for their children’s future.

The Kansas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Program would allow families to cover their child’s future education, health and wellness costs, housing, transportation and related expenses in a tax-free savings account under a plan similar to the Kansas Learning Quest 529 Program that allows families to save for higher education.

Assets in ABLE accounts will be partially sheltered from asset tests for Medicaid and Social Security Disability benefits within limits established by federal legislation.

“This legislation would ease the financial burden parents face when trying to provide critical services needed to support their children living with disabilities,” said Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes.

“The Kansas ABLE Savings Program would allow parents to save tax-free for current and future disability-related expenses, which in return will help secure their child’s future without jeopardizing the child’s eligibility for important benefits,” Estes explained.

Under the Kansas ABLE Savings Program, children and adults whose disability occurred before age 26 and who meet Social Security disability standards or have a disability certification would be eligible to have an ABLE account.  Friends and relatives will be able to contribute up to $14,000 per beneficiary each year.

“Disabled advocacy groups and families have worked hard for many years to get federal legislation passed authorizing states to set up these accounts,” said State Representative Erin Davis. “I’m thankful for Treasurer Estes’ leadership in helping to move this legislation forward for the benefit of fellow Kansans.”

Ron Estes is the 39th state treasurer for the state of Kansas and is the first state-wide elected official from the city of Wichita in 20 years. He was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Vice President for the National Association of State Treasurers 2012-2013, and now serves on the College Savings Plans Network Executive Board. Ron has also served as Sedgwick County Treasurer and as the treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. He was born in Topeka and is a fifth-generation Kansan. His family continues to run a farm in Osage County. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.

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Treasurer Estes Addresses Concern with President’s Tax Proposal for 529 Plans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. State Treasurer Ron Estes today addressed concern with President Barack Obama’s proposal to apply income tax on withdrawals from 529 College Savings Plans used to pay for higher education expenses.

Under current law, earnings from 529 plans are tax-free if withdrawals are used to pay for qualified expenses including tuition, and room and board. During President Obama’s State of the Union address, Jan. 20, he announced a proposal to end tax-free withdrawal of earnings for future contributions made to 529 accounts.

This would allow earnings on new contributions to grow tax-deferred, but treat them as ordinary income when withdrawn for expenses.

“Although the president did recognize that the ever rising cost of higher education has imposed a huge financial burden for our youth and families, I’m disappointed that his proposal increases federal funding for the cost of higher education at the expense of those who’ve worked hard to save,” said Treasurer Ron Estes. “I’d prefer tax policies that empower and reward tax payers for preparing for the future rather than encouraging more reliance on the federal government.”

Ron Estes is the 39th state treasurer for the state of Kansas and is the first state-wide elected official from the city of Wichita in 20 years. He was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Vice President for the National Association of State Treasurers 2012-2013, and now serves on the College Savings Plans Network Executive Board. Ron has also served as Sedgwick County Treasurer and as the treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. He was born in Topeka and is a fifth-generation Kansan. His family continues to run a farm in Osage County. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.

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Treasurer’s Top 10: Rawlins County

This week, we highlight Rawlins County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?Rawlin County Courthouse

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com  and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

  1. Nelly Matisek
  2. Dallas James Fields & Rebecca J. Fields
  3. L. Claude Bell & Marie R. Bell
  4. Mary L. Decker
  5. Maxine Jackson
  6. Gertrude Micek
  7. Nelma V. Lavell
  8. Flora Robinson
  9. Roland Lorimer & Gladys Lorimer
  10. Cheryl L. Bell

Treasurer’s Top 10: Norton County

This week, we highlight Norton County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?

Norton County Courthouse

Norton County Courthouse

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com  and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

  1. Fannie E. Heitz
  2. Linda L. Hazelett
  3. Charles A. Murray
  4. Carol Hudson
  5. Blanche L. Griffani
  6. Leigh L. Blouch
  7. Maxine Severns
  8. Dean W. Jamison
  9. Alfred J. Wing
  10. Lila Lanphear

Money Matters: Tax Deductions for Moving Expenses

Don’t Ignore Tax Deduction for Moving Expenses
By Jason Alderman, Practical Money SkillsMoving Boxes

Whether you’re relocating across town or across the country, moving is expensive. By the time you’ve paid to have your household goods packed and moved, cancelled and reconnected utilities and racked up storage fees, you could easily be out thousands of dollars.

Most people don’t realize that if they’re moving to start a new job, transferring with a current employer or even returning to the U.S. to retire after working abroad, their moving expenses may be tax deductible. Plus, moving expenses are an “above-the-line” deduction, which means they reduce your adjusted gross income and can be claimed even if you don’t itemize deductions.

Two tests generally must be satisfied to claim a moving-expense deduction:

Distance test. The distance between your new job and your former home must be at least 50 miles farther than your previous workplace is from that home. For example, if you used to work 10 miles from home, your new workplace must be at least 60 miles from your old home. If this is your first job or you were unemployed, the job must be at least 50 miles from your old home.

Time Test. Regular employees must work full-time at least 39 weeks during the 12 months after moving, although the weeks needn’t be consecutive or for the same employer. (For self-employed people, it’s 78 weeks during the first 24 months.)

If you moved this year, you can claim the deduction on your 2014 taxes even if you haven’t yet met the time test, provided you expect to during the coming year. If you later fail to meet the time test, you must reverse the deduction, either by including the amount as “other income” on your 2015 tax return, or by filing an amended 2014 return.

Qualified moving expenses include:

  • Costs for packing and transporting household goods, personal effects, pets and vehicles.
  • Fees to disconnect and/or connect utilities.
  • Travel costs for you and household members to the new home. (Meals cannot be charged).
  • Use of your car during the move.
  • Storing and insuring your possessions for up to 30 days.
  • Note: Family members needn’t move at the same time nor by the same means of transportation.

Expenses that do not qualify include:

  • Expenses of buying or selling a home, including closing costs, mortgage fees, house-hunting expenses, home improvements or new furnishings.
  • Loss on the sale of your old home.
  • Charges for signing or breaking a lease.
  • Fees for new car tags or driver’s license in your new locale.
  • Expenses incurred on side trips en route to your new home (e.g., sightseeing).
  • Security deposits (including any given up due to the move).
  • Also, you cannot take a moving expense deduction and a business expense deduction for the same expenses.

See IRS Publication 521 for all eligible and ineligible expenses and other details about the moving expense deduction. To file for the deduction, complete IRS Form 3903 and attach it to a Form 1040 Income Tax Return. You don’t need to complete a Schedule A unless you are otherwise itemizing deductions. (You cannot claim moving expenses on a 1040EZ Form.)

Also note: If your employer reimburses you for any deductible expenses, you must reduce your moving deduction by that amount; and, employer reimbursement for non-deductible expenses will likely be treated as wages on your W-2 Form.

Take a few minutes to calculate whether you qualify for the moving expense deduction – you could save a bundle on your taxes.

Treasurer’s Top 10: Stanton County

This week, we highlight Stanton County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com  and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

  1. White Ranch
  2. Myrtle Herrick
  3. James Malone
  4. Lewis Toole
  5. Ruby Tuggle
  6. Naomi Haines
  7. Benjamin Flores
  8. John Cruse
  9. Joe N. Sanchez
  10. Harold Nickell

Treasurer’s Top 10: Meade County

This week, we highlight Meade County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?Meade County Courthouse

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com  and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

  1. Victor Escamilla
  2. Denton R. Fisher
  3. Leta Keeling
  4. Lubbock Swine Breeders Inc
  5. Leonard Watson
  6. Elizabeth Komarek
  7. Margaret Wasson
  8. H. G. Adams
  9. H. G. & Wynona Adams Family Trust
  10. Madison J. Hush Trust, Gary S. Hush TTEE