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Medicare and Medicaid: What's the Difference?

It's easy to confuse Medicare and Medicaid, particularly since they're both government programs that pay for health care. But there are important differences between each program. Medicare is generally for older people, while Medicaid is for people with limited income and resources.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that was enacted into law to provide reasonably priced health insurance for retired individuals, regardless of their medical condition, and for certain disabled individuals, regardless of age. It is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a health insurance program that is jointly administered by state and federal governments. Medicaid serves financially needy individuals who are also elderly, disabled, blind, or parents of minor children.

BBB, AT&T, ASIS, U.S. Attorney’s Office and others partner to present free cybersecurity event

BBB, AT&T, ASIS, U.S. Attorney’s Office and others partner to present free cybersecurity event

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of small businesses that experience a data breach or a cyber-attack are unable to maintain business. In addition, the average cost to fix an attack or a breach is close to $700,000.

To help educate Western New Yorker’s on how to protect their business from an attack or a breach, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, AT&T, American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) Western New York have partnered with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Crimestoppers, Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, Lawley, Lincoln Archives to host a free cybersecurity seminar, featuring experts on topics including:

·         Cyber security and your business

·         Securing your mobile device and data

·         Cyber security insurance

Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind When Amending Your Tax Return

Taxpayers can fix mistakes or omissions on their tax return by filing an amended tax return. Those who need to amend will find the following tips helpful.

Important Facts about Filing Late and Paying Penalties

April 18 was this year’s deadline for most people to file their federal tax return and pay any tax they owe. If taxpayers are due a refund, there is no penalty if they file a late tax return.

Taxpayers who owe tax, and failed to file and pay on time, will most likely owe interest and penalties on the tax they pay late. To keep interest and penalties to a minimum, taxpayers should file their tax return and pay any tax owed as soon as possible.

Here are some facts that taxpayers should know: 

Tax Tips to Help You Determine What Makes a Gift Taxable

Taxpayers who give money or property to others may wonder about the federal gift tax and if it applies. Most gifts are not subject to the gift tax.

Here are seven tax tips about the gift tax and giving:

1. Nontaxable Gifts. The general rule is that any gift is potentially taxable. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The following are nontaxable gifts:

Know these Helpful Tips about Employee Business Expenses

Taxpayers who pay work-related expenses out of their own pocket may be able to deduct them. Generally, employee business expenses are deductible if they are more than two percent of adjusted gross income. In most cases, they go on IRS Schedule A, Itemized Deductions.

Other key points about employee business expenses:

1. They must be Ordinary and Necessary. People can only deduct unreimbursed expenses that are ordinary and necessary to their work as an employee. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in the industry. A necessary expense is appropriate and helpful to a business.

2. Expense Examples. Some potentially deductible costs include:  

·         Required work clothes or uniforms not appropriate for everyday use.

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Sally Ball Conover Joins the Olear Team at MJ Peterson

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker Sally Ball Conover Joins the Olear Team at MJ Peterson

Sally Ball Conover, SRES, has joined the Olear Team at MJ Peterson Real Estate as a licensed associate real estate broker. In this role, she will provide expert guidance and service to clients who are buying and selling homes throughout Western New York. 

A resident of Irving, Sally began her real estate career in 1977. She has certifications as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Buyer Representative and Relocation Specialist. She has a thorough knowledge of Western New York real estate and extensive experience in assisting clients in finding all types of residences, including single family homes, multi-family homes, condos and patio homes.