Amazing Acro-Cats - Jerry Azumah - Wings for Kids - Herb Kent - Tony the Taxman - Chef Chris Koetke

Tuesday, February 2

Amazing Acro-Cats with groundhog guest
February 6 and 7
Viaduct Theatre

Jerry Azumah
ASAP (Azumah Student Assistant Program)

Wednesday, February 3

Wings for Kids
Every Tuesday in February

Thursday, February 4

Herb Kent Presents "Step Into the Light"
Saturday, February 13th
5:30 p.m.
House of Hope
752 E. 114th Street

Tony the Taxman

Important Points for filing your 2009 income taxes

If you plan to claim the First Time Homeowners Credit for 2009, be aware that you CANNOT electronically file the return. You will be required to mail in the return and attach supporting documentation such as:
- Copy of the settlement papers - normally a HUD-1 Settlement Statement.
- Property tax records
- Homeowner insurance records

How would you like to have an additional $6,667 dollars of income added to your 2009 tax return? Be aware that if your dependent child turned 17 at any time in 2009, they no longer qualified you for the Child Tax Credit of up to $1,000. By not getting the $1,000 if you are in the 15% tax bracket, it is like adding an additional $6,667 of income to your return.

Remember that for 2010 you can still receive an energy credit for making your personal residence more energy efficient. The amount allowed has increased to 30% of qualified expenditures, up to $1,500. On 1/31/2010, the appliance rebate program kicks off with 15% rebates off of qualifying energy star water heaters and insulation and in April 25% rebates appear for appliances such as clothes and dish washers and refrigerators. Plus additional money will be available if you show the items replaced were properly recycled.

There are 2 new schedules for 2009.
- Schedule M is used to calculate the Make Work Credit for employees. - Schedule L is used to calculate the real estate and new car as sales tax allowances.
The Make Work Credit is calculated to add back up to $400 - $800, depending on your income and filing status to taxpayers due a change in withholding tables in 2009.

Bought a new vehicle in after February 16th 2009? That sales tax you paid could pay dividends as a deduction whether you itemize or take the standard deduction. Bring your bill of sale showing the sales tax charged and it could save you some money. If you do not itemize you would show the sales tax amount on Schedule L (new for 2009) and add the amount to the amount allowed for your standard deduction. Also for 2009, if you do not itemize but paid real estate taxes on a non-business residence, you may take up to $500 per person as a deduction in addition to your standard deduction.

Increase amount allowed for college credits for qualified tuition and fees. The "enhanced" Hope Credit allows up to $2,500, $500 more than last year and up to 40% of the amount of the credit may be returned to the taxpayer.

Amended returns… Once you do a return, you have 3 years to make corrections that will either get you more money or have you pay additional taxes. If the latter happens, be prepared to pay penalty and interest.

Friday, February 5

Beachers Madhouse Costume Ball Tour 2010
The Venue at Horseshoe Casino

Chef Chris Koetke

For those rooting for the Saints!
Yield: enough for 8-10 guests

1/2 cup each of finely diced onion, celery and green pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb. Andouille sausage, cut into a small dice
32 oz. Velveeta
1/2 cup milk
10 green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how hot you like it…)

In a large sauté pan, sauté onions, celery, and green pepper in butter until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add sausage and cook for 1 more minute. Add Velveeta and milk to the sauté pan and melt over moderate heat stirring constantly. When it is melted, add green onion, black pepper, and cayenne. Serve with slices of French bread.

For those rooting for the Colts!
Yield: 2 1/3 cups (4 to 6 servings)

2 fully ripened Haas avocados from Mexico, halved and pitted
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup cooked edamame kernels
3/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon (about 5 slices)
Hot sauce to taste

Gently scoop out the avocado from the skins; place in a medium bowl with the onion, vinegar, salt and pepper. With the back of a spoon, mash until the mixture becomes a chunky puree. Fold in the corn, edamame and bacon; serve with corn chips or cut-up raw vegetables.

Yield: 12 potatoes

8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons horseradish
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons minced green onions
8 oz. corned beef thinly sliced and chopped
12 large Russet potatoes, washed, dried and brushed with oil
3 cups sauerkraut, drained

Combine sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, black pepper, lemon juice, green onions, and corned beef. Reserve. Bake potatoes in a 375 degree oven until they are soft (about 1 hour). While the potatoes are still hot, split them open, fill with cheese/corned beef mixture, and top with sauerkraut. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the mixture is hot.