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Archive for Sunday, December 23, 2001

Briefcase

December 23, 2001

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Tax-assistance program seeks volunteers for season

AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers to help taxpayers complete their 2001 federal and state income tax forms in 2002. The free program is administered by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service.

Last year in Kansas, 280 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 21,200 taxpayers at more than 150 sites across the state, including Lawrence. This year the program is working to expand its electronic-filing assistance, putting a premium on finding volunteers who are computer-literate.

But individuals of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels are encouraged to apply. Qualifying as a volunteer is not that difficult, said Marvin Wambsganss, volunteer state coordinator for Tax-Aide in Kansas.

"If you can balance your checkbook, that's a good indicator," he said.

Volunteers receive free tax training from the IRS, and are asked to give a minimum commitment of 40 hours during the 10-week tax season, which ends April 15.

For more information, call the AARP Kansas State Office at (785) 232-4070 or e-mail ksaarp@aarp.org.

Holiday giving: Bosses bumped off gift lists as employees cut spending

As Americans rein in spending this holiday season, bosses aren't as likely to be included on their gift lists, says Maritz Research Inc., a St. Louis-based marketing research firm.

A recent Maritz poll of 999 adults about holiday spending showed that 70 percent didn't plan to give their bosses a present this year.

"Americans are picking and choosing very carefully who they will spend their valuable holiday dollars on," said Phil Wiseman, Maritz's vice president of marketing. "For most people, the boss just doesn't make the cut."

But 38 percent said they planned to buy gifts for their colleagues. Of that number, 25 percent said they would spend $25 or less on their co-workers and 18 percent said they intended to budget between $75 and $100.

Wiseman said the harsh economic climate, terrorist attacks and the war in Afghanistan probably led workers to demonstrate camaraderie at the office by giving holiday gifts to each other.

Motley Fool: Name that company

You probably don't know my name, but I'm the largest steel producer in the United States, generating more than $4.5 billion in sales annually. Based in North Carolina, I'm also the country's largest recycler, processing more than 10 million tons of scrap steel each year. I trace my roots to the founder of Oldsmobile and later to the Nuclear Corp. of America. I'm an amazing success story, having retooled myself after facing bankruptcy in 1964. My products include carbon and alloy steel, steel joists, cold finished steel, steel fasteners, metal building systems and light-gauge steel framing. Who am I?

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