Southwest Queens news briefs


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Earned income tax credit reminder

As the April income tax filing deadline approaches, State Senator George Onorato is urging low- and moderate-income working families and individuals to determine their eligibility for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – a program that could provide them with hundreds and even thousands of dollars in welcome tax relief.

“The EITC is widely heralded as a valuable tool in helping lower income working individuals and families to make ends meet,” said Senator Onorato. “However, many people who are eligible for this refundable tax credit don’t even know that it exists.”

For the 2009 tax year, the value of the federal EITC ranges from a maximum of $457 for eligible childless workers to as much as $5,657 for those who have three or more children living with them. In addition, New York State’s EITC, which is equal to 30 percent of the federal credit, is available, together with the city’s tax credit, to provide eligible workers with even greater savings.

Eligibility for the EITC is based on age, income and family size. To be eligible, New Yorkers must have been at least 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2009, and must have worked all or part of the year. Income thresholds (which include total earned income and federal adjusted gross income) for the 2009 tax year are as follows:

• Single workers without children: Less than $13,440;

• Married childless couples (filing jointly): Less than $18,440;

• Single workers with one child: Less than $35,463;

• Married couples with one child (filing jointly): Less than $40,463;

• Single workers with two children: Less than $40,295;

• Married couples with two children (filing jointly): Less than $45,295;

• Single workers with three or more children: Less than $43,279;

• Married couples with three or more children (filing jointly): Less than $48,279.

For taxpayers who need help determining their eligibility for the EITC and filling out the appropriate forms to claim the federal and state credits, various forms of assistance exist. To find out about free tax preparation sites in Queens, interested individuals may call 311, or call 1-800-TAX-1040 (1-800-829-1040).

Help for HS seniors

LaGuardia Community College’s Teen Academy will show you how to wow college admissions committees with a compelling essay or personal statement that reveals your personality, charm, talents and why a college education is important to you. Classes begin March 6.

The two-hour classes run from 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. in the college’s main building at 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City. Classes run through April 17.

Registration is now taking place. Limited family discounts are available. Those who are interested in attending may call 718-482-7244 or register online at www.peopleware.net/ace.

In addition to helping with the admission essay, LaGuardia is helping students with the June SAT exam. LaGuardia Community College’s Teen Academy is offering Saturday intensive test prep classes, beginning March 6.

The four-hour-long sessions, which begin at 10 a.m., will be held in the college’s main building at 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City. The course runs through March 22.

Registration is now taking place. Those who are interested in attending may call 718-482-7244 or register online at www.peopleware.net/ace.

Queens Green Business Summit

On Friday, February 19, Queens will turn green for a day as the Queens Chamber of Commerce will host the second annual Queens Green Business Summit at Queens College.

The Queens Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with Queens College to gather key decision makers, facilities managers, purchasing directors, owners and executive members of the business community in one place to interact with regional local leaders and engage in a dialogue on sustainability.

The free summit, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will again focus on the latest sustainable, attainable and measurable tools that businesses could integrate into their own companies.

For more information log onto www.queenschamber.org

Training day

The Cross Island YMCA starts its nationally-recognized Lifeguard Training Program on Sunday, February 28 8:30 a.m. at the Y, located at 238-10 Hillside Avenue in Bellerose.

Participants are taught safety and survival skills, accident prevention, guarding techniques, emergency systems, rescue skills, CPR, AED, oxygen administration and first aid in aquatic environments

Applicants must by 16 years or over and a proficient swimmer. The cost for the course is $165, plus materials (approximately $95.) Bring bathing suit, towel, cap and goggles.

The day begins with a pre-test; perform a long shallow dive, swim 500 yards continuously using freestyle, breaststroke and sidestroke; tread water for two minutes using legs only; surface dive to a depth of eight feet and swim underwater 15 feet. Lifeguard Candidates that complete pre-requisite skills test will stay to complete first day of class.

For more information, call 718-479-0505 or visit www.ymcanyc.org/crossisland