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Page 18 – North Central News, March 2011

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Trim your 2010 tax bill By Harvey Amwake, C.P.A.

Even though 2010 is history, you may still be able to trim your 2010 tax bill. Be sure you don’t overlook the following actions and deductions that could save you money. • Maximize your 2010 IRA contribution. You have until April 18, 2011, to make deductible 2010 contributions. The maximum 2010 contribution is $5,000 ($6,000 if you were 50 or older last year). • If you changed jobs in 2010, make sure you didn’t have excess social security taxes withheld. Claim credit for the excess on your Form 1040 if you paid over $6,622. • Look into itemizing deductions if you usually take the standard deduction. Search for allowable deductions that you might have overlooked, such as the restored 2010 deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of deducting state and local income taxes. • Medical deductions are allowable to the extent they exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Don’t forget items such as eyeglasses and hearing aids. You can deduct mileage for 2010 medical appointments at 16.5 cents a mile, plus parking and toll fees. • Don’t overlook tax preparation fees, safe deposit costs, and certain investment advice. They all qualify as miscellaneous deductions, subject to a 2 percent of AGI limit. • Up to $2,500 of student loan interest is deductible whether you itemize or not. • The deduction of up to $4,000 for qualified tuition and school expenses is available for 2010. Qualifying amounts for you, your spouse, and dependents may be deductible. Income limits apply. • If you’re a teacher or teacher’s aide, you can deduct up to $250 for classroom supplies that you purchased with your own money. This article is for general information only and does not constitute financial advice. If you have any questions about financial matters, consult a professional tax adviser. Harvey Amwake, CPA, is

a tax and small business consultant with Arthur Spoon & Company, Ltd., at 1130 E. Missouri Ave., Suite 820. He can be reached at 602-2646500 or by e-mail at

Business Briefs Lieb joins new team at HomeSmart North Central real estate professional Bobby Lieb announced last month he will join the new luxury home team at HomeSmart, one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in Arizona. “I have enjoyed being part of Realty Executives for 17 years but I felt it would be exciting to work with HomeSmart in establishing a new luxury home division called HomeSmart Elite,” Lieb explains. “This is a new position that was created for me by Matt Widdows, who is the founder of HomeSmart and lives near the North Central area.” HomeSmart is opening its new Elite office at 5225 N. Central Ave., which is where Lieb will be based out of—closer to home than his former office at Tatum and Shea boulevards. “I look forward to helping HomeSmart bring some more name agents over to our company and establishing HomeSmart as the No. 1 selling company not only in North Central but all over the Valley,” Lieb says. He anticipates adding 15 to 20 of the topselling Central Phoenix real estate agents to the HomeSmart Elite staff in the next month. “The North Central area will continue to be my primary focus as his has been for the past 17 years,” Lieb says. “I have sold more than 750 homes in North Central and that is why I wanted to open a high-profile office on Central Avenue, to serve the North Central area even better.” Lieb can be reached via cell phone at 602-376-1341.

Local photographer honored by association Phoenix portrait photographer Allen Patrou was recognized by the Arizona Professional Photographers Association with five awards at the organization’s state convention last month in Phoenix. Patrou took first place in the Open Portrait Division and the Open Commercial Division and was awarded Top Ten Photographer of the Year.

North Central News, March 2011 – Page 19


Patrou also was presented with the AZPPA APPLE Award (Award for Professional Photography Leadership and Excellence). He also received the prestigious Kodak Gallery Award for his winning image titled “Cowboy Coffee,” which was chosen to become part of the “Loan Collection.” Patrou has a portrait studio, Apatrou Photography, located in Sunnyslope, which has been in business since 2005. For more information, call 602-821-5307 or visit

Sunnyslope band gets donated instruments Music students of Sunnyslope High School received a big surprise on Jan. 14 when Pyramis Global Advisors, a Fidelity Investments company providing investment products and services to large institutions throughout the United States and the world, unveiled a donation of new instruments collectively valued at more than $25,000. The donation was made as part of the Fidelity FutureStage program, an arts education initiative created and funded by Fidelity Investments to support music programs in public schools ( Representatives from Pyramis Global Advisors in Scottsdale presented the student musicians with new marching band instruments including trumpets, euphoniums flutes, clarinets, a tuba, an alto saxophone, tom drums and assorted marching band accessories. The new instruments will enable the school to build on their existing music program. Fidelity FutureStage worked with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF) to select the school, which serves 1,800 students.

Kirk Development honored by Angie’s List Kirk Development Company has been awarded the 2010 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews local service companies. “Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility

requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2010 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on

Kumon Center open for students The Kumon Math and Reading Center of Arcadia has opened at 3728 E. Indian School Road. Kumon is an afterschool math and reading enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children so they can achieve more on their own. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills. The center will assist students who are struggling in school and need to catch up, as well as those who are seeking enrichment and want to advance. For more information, call Center Director/Instructor Hema Moorthy at 602-957-4433.



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