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2010 End of the Year Tax Tips that can save you big money in the 2011 tax season.

  • Homeowners can make their January mortgage payment in December giving them one more month of interest to deduct.

 

  • Donations made to qualified charities before year’s end can result in some serious tax savings. Be sure to use a credit card because if you write a check it may not clear until next year and then you would have to wait until next year to take the deduction.

 

  • Holiday business gift deductions: If you have sent out holiday cards, business pens, calendars or other gift items to clients or potential clients. You can deduct those expenses up to $25.00 as long as the items are for a business purpose.

 

  • Contribute to a college savings plan. Save for your kids and save on your taxes. You can contribute up to $13,000 in 2010.

 

I-95 RAMP TO FAIRFAX COUNTY PARKWAY OPENS WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29

On Wednesday, Dec. 29, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will open Fairfax County Parkway Exit 166B from I-95 south to Fairfax County Parkway north, making it easier and faster for motorists heading to the Fort Belvoir North Area and other destinations in Fairfax County.

At 9 a.m. Dec, 29, crews will close the right lane on I-95 between the Springfield-Franconia Parkway (Route 7900) and the Fairfax County Parkway (Route 7100) overpass. At noon, crews will begin removing traffic control devices, and by 1:30 p.m., the exit ramp will be open to traffic.

The ramp will offer motorists two options: Fairfax County Parkway on the left, or the newly opened Heller Road on the right, which goes into the Fort Belvoir North Area. This is where the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) is located. On Tuesday, Jan. 18, the NGA will begin admitting new employees.

Holidays 2010 – ‘Tis the Season to Grow

Holidays 2010 – ‘Tis the Season to Grow

Year-end holiday stress on top of double-digit unemployment and an economy that threatens to relapse into recession has left many Americans feeling utterly helpless and hopeless.  This makes winter 2010 a perfect season for personal growth. 

We all experience key moments in both our personal and professional lives.  I define a ‘key moment’ as a triggering event or situation which presents a challenge and elicits (or demands) a response.  The important thing is not so much the moment itself, but how we respond to it.  

Because when a key moment occurs, we make an important choice to make.  Consciously or unconsciously, we will choose how we will respond.  In large measure, the quality of our lives, our happiness, and our personal effectiveness are determined by that response and how we handle the challenge of a key moment.  

Wiki Leaks and Whistleblowers: Why Private Information Goes Public

Ask an average person to name a whistleblower and they’re likely to think of ‘private citizens’ like Erin Brokovich, Karen Silkwood, and Jeffrey Wigand or journalists like Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward.  These red, white and blue American whistleblowers have been portrayed in Academy Award-winning movies as admirable people who had the courage to reveal wrongdoing in workplaces and government agencies in a spirit of justice.  

But are there other motivations that drive people to release sensitive documents and information that bring down companies and governments?  I believe the answer is yes.  Fame is certainly a motivator...and so is vengeance.  Employers in the private and public sectors that stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the link between employee engagement and corporate security are likely to find themselves the victims of leaks. 

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Presents Annual Awards

Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Presents Annual Awards

Past-presidents Todd Lattimer and Eric Williams presented the 2010 Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards December 9 at the Hilton Springfield.  Local businesses and citizens are honored each year for their efforts and achievements throughout the year based on nominations from the Greater Springfield community.

The Robert J McDonough Business Owner of the Year award was presented to Mark and Helen Russell, owners of Metro Run & Walk, for excelling in the promotion of their business and for their contributions to the Greater Springfield community.  Metro Run & Walk specializes in shoes, apparel and accessories for runners, walkers, people with an active lifestyle, and those in the quest for daily comfort.

Holiday Spending: Don't let it wipe you out.

The holiday season means entertaining guests, big meals, decorating and of course, gift buying.

Stores definitely play their part offering deals and discounts to attract everyone to their stores; all to get you to spend money you don’t intend to spend.

Despite the urge plan ahead and stick to a budget so you’re not still paying for this Christmas next Christmas. Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

1.) Leave the plastic at home

Resist the urge to use your credit card for purchases. It is more difficult to keep track of what you spent and that line of credit will only intensify your urge to buy, buy, buy. The worst part: the interest you will be paying on that purchase long after that present is unwrapped, used and pushed to the back of the closet. 

2.) Budget

2010 Holiday Gift Ideas - All Under $30

It's time for holiday shopping, but don't stress because I did a little work for you already. Here are some holiday gift ideas for the whole family and they are all under $30! Most of these purchases can be made without even going into an actual store. That's right, you can buy these gifts from the mall carts in Tyson's Corner. I know you can usually find some pretty abstract items from mall carts, such as smokeless cigarettes or several versions of eyebrow threading, but today in Tyson's Corner I came across a few fabulous gift ideas. 

-For the little ones: Stuffed animal pillows. Who wouldn't love one of these? They might not just be for the little ones. These pillows come in pretty much animal (pigs, lady bugs, frogs..you name it!) and are $16.99 for the smallest, $21.99 for the medium sized one, and $24.99 for the largest one.