Tax time tips and EMSA Total Care


Thursday, March 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


We're right in the middle of tax time and donating to charity could help you get a break from Uncle Sam. Plus, how using the Internet could mean a faster refund.

KOTV's Consumer Reporter Diane White says to log on to find help. The Oklahoma Tax Commission has a website where you can file state and federal returns. Filing electronically could mean a faster refund typically 5 to 7 days, compared to the several weeks you could wait if you drop it in the mail. To check out the site, just go to KOTV.com.

If you're looking for deductions, you could turn old clothes, appliances, or furniture into cash if you donated them to charity. But there are a few rules to follow. Get a dated, signed receipt from the charity. It should list exactly what items you donated. Assign fair market value to each item, how much the item would cost in a second hand store. If the total non-cash donation is worth more than $500, you must file form 82-83. And make sure your deductions are accurate, to help avoid an audit.

An ambulance trip can be costly if your insurance doesn't pay for it. So EMSA offers a plan called Total Care. It covers out of pocket expenses, including co-payments and deductibles for all medically necessary ambulance services. The plan also covers your immediate family, including children under 21 living at home. Enrollment for Total Care runs through the end of March. A membership is $60, $50 for a renewal. People without insurance can buy the plan for $75. Call EMSA at 396-2888 for more information or go to KOTV.com.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions for Consumer 6, call KOTV's Tip Line at 732-6111 or send an e-mail to dwhite at KOTV.com.