business trip

Carbon Offsets Among New Options for American’s Business Extra Members


American Airlines Business Extra program members now are able to redeem points for carbon offsets with the carrier’s carbon-offset platform partner Cool Effects, the carrier announced.

The offsets were one of three new options for Business Extra program members added this week. Members now also can use points to give their employees Gold or Platinum AAdvantage status or convert them into AAdvantage miles that they can transfer directly to employees.

Those options are in addition to previous options that include flights, upgrades and Admirals Club memberships.

Additionally, American has added new requirements for members to redeem their Business Extra points. Members who joined on Oct. 4 or later are required to have at least three unique travelers and have at least $5,000 in qualifying Business Extra flight activity during the previous 12 months. For members enrolled before Oct. 4, those requirements will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2023.



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G7 Members Commit to 7 Principles for Restoring International Travel


On Thursday, the travel industry witnessed a milestone moment when G7 leaders mutually agreed upon seven key principles aimed at building a “long-lasting recovery for the international travel sector”.

Their pledges were made during yesterdays’ G7 transport and health meeting, the first summit of its kind attended by G7 transport and health ministers from major global economies. The G7 inter-governmental forum consists of delegates from the U.S., Canada, Japan, U.K, France, Germany and Italy, as well as the European Union in a guest capacity.

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While no detailed or concrete steps were set forth yesterday, securing world leaders’ shared promise to align their border policies in order to facilitate international travel is itself an achievement. And, this was only the beginning of the conversation. U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who chaired the meeting, said in a statement that G7 members are, “committed to continuing this dialogue, and to deepening cooperation on facilitating the safe and sustainable reopening of international travel.”

The seven key agreed-upon principles will guide the development of global standards for international travel, to ensure a lasting recovery and set precedents for future policy responses to emerging issues.

These seven core principles are:

— Future-proofing the transportation sector against future health threats

— Ensuring the fair treatment and safety of essential transport personnel

—Respecting privacy and data protection in implementing vaccination certification solutions

—Reaffirming the pre-eminence of scientific evidence in planning international travel policy

—Ensuring fairness and equity in respective national responses

—Maintaining regular international and multilateral engagement

—Delivering a safe, sustainable and resilient recovery

The G7 members also agreed to focus on building a sustainable global recovery by prioritizing efforts to decarbonize transportation and protect the rights of sector workers. They collectively recognized the importance of continued testing and vaccines in mitigating the risks inherent in the current pandemic, and any future infectious disease outbreaks.

Achieving uniformity in vaccine recognition looks to be one of the biggest challenges facing G7 and non-G7 nations alike, but ministers acknowledged the importance of sharing information on such shared difficulties and benefit from others’ experiences.

This news arrives ahead of this month’s upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) High-level Conference on COVID-19. “Ministers affirmed their support for the work of the ICAO to align travel requirements, and help facilitate interoperability of vaccination certificates and applications,” Shapps reported. “The G7 ministers also noted their desire to reach a collective global agreement on a single vision for aviation recovery, resilience and sustainability beyond the global pandemic at the ICAO High-level Conference on COVID-19 in October.”





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Travel Juneau proposes Assembly appointment of board members



Travel Juneau Board of Directors Chair Richard Burns

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – An update from Travel Juneau highlights the Lands, Housing and Economic Development Committee agenda Monday evening.

The committee requested information on how memorandum of agreements with destination marketing organization’s like Travel Juneau operate.

In a memo from Travel Juneau Board Chair Richard Burns it’s proposed that the appointments to the organization’s board be approved through the Assembly’s Human Resources Committee.  Burns wrote, “While no other Alaskan DMOs have this type of governance, the Travel Juneau Board operates in an open and transparent manner and we want to offer the city leadership the opportunity to vet and approve Travel Juneau Board appointees to bolster confidence in both Travel Juneau’s work and its governance.”

 
The organization proposes the process be phased in beginning with the currently open seat, and the four seats expiring June 30, 2022, of which three are in their first three-year term, according to Travel Juneau’s  bylaws.  

Burns added that the Travel Juneau Board places a high value on the panel being representative of its  constituency.  He said  
the current board is an example of these priorities in action. Currently represented on the board are a hotelier, small business operator, a restaurateur, and cultural tourism in the form of an Alaska Native business  The balance of the  seats are “at large” to reflect the changing needs of the independent travel community, according to Burns and including a marketing and advertising  representative and a representative from the Assembly.  

In other matters, members will take up an ordinance that calls for the rezoning of lots along Honsinger Drive from industrial to general commercial.  It’s recommended that the measure be forwarded to the full Assembly.

The committee will take up a request from David McCasland of Franklin Foods LLC, the owner, and operator of Deckhand Dave’s, to purchase CBJ property at 139 South Franklin Street known formerly as Pocket Park.   

Franklin Foods leases the property currently.  A memo to the committee says McCasland has a contract to purchase the former Gastineau Apartments property which is adjacent to where his restaurant is located.   The staff recommendation is to forward the matter to the full Assembly.

Members will also be updated on the status of housing initiatives and updates to the Land Use Code.

The meeting rescheduled from last Monday is scheduled to convene at 5 p.m. this Monday.       

 

 

 



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British Airways protects tier status for Executive Club members


Members of British Airways’ Executive Club frequent flyer scheme whose point collection renewal date is between January and March 2022 will receive another year of their current status, the airline has announced.

It means that no member will lose their tier status, regardless of how many tier points they have earned will lose their status. The airline has also applied a 25 per cent reduction in the thresholds to achieve various tiers until June 2022: 225 tier points for bronze, 450 for silver and 1,125 for gold.

BA has also announced that silver and gold members will now also be able to enjoy pre-flight dining, which is available at selected North American lounges, including New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Washington regardless of their cabin of travel.

The airline’s Concorde Rooms in Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK, will also now be accessible to gold guest list members, regardless of how many tier points they earned in the previous collection year.

Niall Rooney, British Airways’ loyalty manager, said: “We want to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.  Many of our Executive Club Members haven’t had the chance to use their benefits as normal, by further extending their tier status, none of them will miss out on the amazing benefits they have earned.” 



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UArizona Research Project to Monitor Health of SpaceX Inspiration4 Crew Members


College of Medicine – Phoenix

Today

zenhausern and colleagues
From left to right: Frederic Zenhausern with Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine researchers Jerome Lacombe, Ali Fattahi, Jian Gu; Kaitlyn Janssen, an Arizona State University undergraduate student studying biomedical engineering; Jasmine Devadhasan; and Alexander Summers.

Space flight is not just for astronauts and rocket scientists anymore. SpaceX Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission, will make the dream of orbiting Earth come true for a crew of civilians on Sept. 15. Researchers with the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, led by center director Frederic Zenhausern, will provide the first in-flight testing of multiple biomarkers of stress, inflammation and immunity measured in a zero-gravity environment to monitor the health of the four-member crew.  

The essential task of protecting humans from exposure to hazards is critical to the prospect of future deep space exploration. Zenhausern and his team developed a novel technology that will monitor crew members’ stress, inflammation and immune levels during space flight through a blood droplet from a fingerstick or a saliva sample.

“Our development of advanced molecular diagnostics for multipurpose indications of emerging infectious diseases, health performance or risks of environmental exposure must benefit all populations where possible,” Zenhausern said. “This Inspiration4 mission shares some operational requirements similar to a consumer health product to be performed at home or in low-resources settings, which must be easy to use, minimally invasive, rapid and low cost.”

VeriFAST device
A VeriFAST device.

The Vertical Integrated Flow Assay System Technology, known as VeriFAST, uses blood or saliva deposited onto a device to perform rapid assessments of physiological or molecular effects on humans. The system provides precise measurements, including multiplex molecular diagnostics, to detect possible radiation exposure. The devices have nanoporous membranes printed with arrays of reagents arranged in rows. When the assessments are completed, the spots in the array change color, providing visual results within minutes.

Zenhausern and his team designed the VeriFAST platform to assess a full range of biomarkers, from proteins to genes. While the Inspiration4 mission will take less than a week to complete, it will provide a unique opportunity to apply the VeriFAST platform to help researchers study the molecular and physiological levels in the human body under extreme zero-gravity conditions. One of the biomarkers measured by VeriFAST is the C-reactive protein. The level of that protein in blood has long been used as a diagnostic marker of inflammatory response, including the response occurring in cancer. This biomedical data will offer valuable insights and help inform the measures necessary to protect future astronaut crews in orbit during longer missions.

Zero gravity, confinement and radiation experienced during space flight can have significant health consequences. Space radiation is risky to the human body, potentially causing damage to the DNA in cells. Radiation exposure may occur during deep-space missions and can increase the risk of long-term health consequences such as cancer. Adverse effects to the central nervous and cardiovascular systems may also occur.  It is difficult to determine remotely the health consequences on the tissues and cells of crew members.

“As civilian space travel becomes more frequent and accessible, the university is well positioned to lead in the important, emerging field of aerospace biomedicine,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, the university’s senior vice president for research and innovation. “The new knowledge Dr. Zenhausern’s group will create through SpaceX Inspiration4 is really the tip of the iceberg toward a better understanding of in-flight health.”

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health, known as TRISH, funded the project, which is part of a research complement to be conducted during the multi-day journey. The Inspiration4 crew, commanded by Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, will contribute to the space biomedical community by participating in important scientific research during the mission. Inspiration4’s goal is to inspire humanity and to advance cancer research through collaboration with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

If the VeriFAST platform is validated by the Inspiration4 crew, it could provide a valuable blood and saliva analysis system to support the health and performance of future space crews. The biomedical samples collected during the Inspiration4 mission will become part of a biobank used for future collaborations by research teams at SpaceX, TRISH and the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

“Innovation and problem solving to improve health are at the core of what we do. That impact has been felt in Arizona, around the world and now for those in space,” said Dr. Guy Reed, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. “This collaboration with TRISH, SpaceX and the ANBM Center creates synergies that will help to protect humans against radiation injury and other hazards that they encounter during space travel. It will fuel the development of new therapies and preventive strategies for crew members and patients here on Earth and beyond.”

A version of this article originally appeared on the College of Medicine – Phoenix website: https://phoenixmed.arizona.edu/spacex



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UArizona Research Project to Monitor Health of SpaceX Inspiration4 Crew Members During Mission


College Researchers Designed Novel Molecular Diagnostics Technology to Monitor the Health of Four Crew Members during First All-Civilian Mission to Orbit

SpaceX Inspiration4 LogoSpace flight is not just for astronauts and rocket scientists anymore. SpaceX Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission, will make the dream of orbiting the Earth come true for a crew of civilians September 15. Researchers with the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, led by Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA, will provide the first in-flight testing of multiple biomarkers of stress, inflammation and immunity measured in a zero gravity environment to monitor the health of the four-member crew.

The essential task of protecting humans from exposure to these hazards is critical to the prospect of future deep space exploration. Dr. Zenhausern and his team developed a novel technology that will monitor crew members’ response to measure stress, inflammation and immune levels during space flight through a blood droplet from a simple fingerstick or a saliva sample.

“Our development of advanced molecular diagnostics for multi-purpose indications of emerging infectious diseases, health performance or risks of environmental exposure must benefit all populations where possible,” said Dr. Zenhausern, director of the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine. “This Inspiration4 mission shares some operational requirements similar to a consumer health product to be performed at home or in low resources settings — which must be easy to use, minimally invasive, rapid and low cost.”

The VIFAS Technology
The VIFAS Technology

The Vertical Integrated Flow Assay System (VIFAS) technology uses blood or saliva deposited onto a test strip to perform rapid assessments of radiobiological effects on humans. The system provides precise measurements, including multiplex molecular diagnostics, to possible radiation exposure. The test strips have nanoporous membranes printed with arrays of reagents arranged in rows. When the assessments are completed, the spots in the array change color providing visual results within minutes.

Zenhausern and his team designed the VIFAS technology to assess a full range of biomarkers, from proteins to genes. While the Inspiration4 mission will take less than a week to complete, it will provide a unique opportunity to apply the VIFAS technology to help researchers study the molecular and physiological levels in the human body under extreme zero gravity conditions. This biomedical data will offer valuable insights and help inform the measures necessary to protect future astronaut crews in orbit during longer missions. 

Zero gravity and radiation experienced during space flight can have significant health consequences. Space radiation is risky to the human body, potentially causing damage to the DNA in cells. Radiation exposure may occur during deep-space missions and can increase the risk of long-term health consequences, such as cancer. Adverse effects to the central nervous and cardiovascular systems may also occur. It is difficult to determine remotely the health consequences on the tissues and cells of crew members.

Ali Fattahi, PhD, Works with the VIFAS Technology
Ali Fattahi, PhD, Works with the VIFAS Technology

“As civilian space travel becomes more frequent and accessible, the university is well positioned to lead in the important, emerging field of aerospace biomedicine,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, PhD, the university’s senior vice president for Research and Innovation. “The new knowledge Dr. Zenhausern’s group will create through SpaceX Inspiration4 is really the tip of the iceberg toward a better understanding of in-flight health.”

The Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) funded the project, which is part of a research complement to be conducted during the multi-day journey. The Inspiration4 crew, commanded by Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, will contribute to the space biomedical community by participating in important scientific research during the mission.

If the VIFAS platform is validated by the Inspiration4 crew, it could provide a valuable blood and saliva analysis system to support the health and performance of future space crews. The biomedical samples collected during the Inspiration4 mission will become part of a biobank used for future collaborations by research teams at SpaceX, TRISH and the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

“Innovation and problem-solving to improve health are at the core of what we do. That impact has been felt in Arizona, around the world and now for those in space,” said Guy Reed, MD, MS, dean of the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. “This collaboration with TRISH, SpaceX and the Center for ANBM creates synergies that will help to protect humans against radiation injury and other hazards that they encounter during space travel. It will fuel the development of new therapies and preventive strategies for crew members and patients here on Earth and beyond.”



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Two House members secretly traveled to Kabul airport amid hurried evacuations


WASHINGTON — Two House members issued a scathing statement Tuesday after they took a secret trip to the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, saying “Washington should be ashamed” about the effort to evacuate Americans and allies.

Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Peter Meijer, R-Mich., said they traveled to Kabul, the capital, on Tuesday as part of an effort to persuade President Joe Biden to extend the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw U.S. troops, which would effectively end the effort to evacuate Americans and others who helped the U.S. over two decades of war.

“After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11,” the lawmakers, both of whom are veterans, said in a joint statement. “Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban.”

The two lawmakers also criticized the support U.S. troops on the ground in Kabul are receiving. Both members served in Iraq before being elected to Congress.

“Washington should be ashamed of the position we put our service members in, but they represent the best in America,” they said in the statement. “These men and women have been run ragged and are still running strong. Their empathy and dedication to duty are truly inspiring.”

Republicans and Democrats have vocally criticized Biden’s handling of the withdrawal, which he has largely defended as necessary to ending the decades-long war.

The Taliban effectively took control of the country this month, and since then the U.S. has conducted hurried evacuations from the Kabul airport with the tacit permission of the new government. As recently as Tuesday, a Taliban spokesman warned that after the deadline, they will no longer view a U.S. presence in the country as acceptable, a position that could lead to more violent clashes if U.S. troops remain.

But U.S. officials have warned that it may not be possible to get all Americans and allies out by the deadline.

Biden announced Tuesday that he intended to honor the deadline, saying he has asked the Defense and State departments to craft contingency plans if the evacuations are not complete.

Moulton and Meijer gave House leaders and the Armed Services Committee no notice about their trip, a senior Democratic leadership aide said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration advised against Americans, whether elected officials or not, trying to travel to Kabul.

“The focus must continue to be evacuating American citizens and our Afghan partners who fought alongside us for the last 20 years, and that is best left in the hands of our the Department of Defense and the State Department,” Psaki said.

An administration official told NBC News Tuesday night that the trip was “an unhelpful distraction to the mission we are trying to accomplish. Our troops need to be focused on getting evacuees out, not hosting members of Congress who want to find a way in.”

Before the trip became public, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote a letter to tell members they could not travel to Afghanistan.

“I write to reiterate that the Departments of Defense and State have requested that Members not travel to Afghanistan and the region during this time of danger,” she wrote, saying such trips would “unnecessarily divert needed resources from the priority mission of safely and expeditiously evacuating Americans and Afghans at risk from Afghanistan.”

During her weekly press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, Pelosi said she knew about the trip a little while before it became public but didn’t say anything because it was too dangerous.

“This is deadly serious,” Pelosi said, reiterating that leadership does not want any more members to travel to Afghanistan because there is already a strain on resources. “There’s a real concern about members being in the region.”

A trip taken by lawmakers would normally require approval by congressional committees and Pelosi said that they did not have the greenlight from the Democratic side.

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, told MSNBC on Wednesday that he was “shocked” to hear about the trip.

“I actually think this is a pretty irresponsible thing for these two members to do,” Crow said. “The bottom line is we are just trying to secure our troops and soldiers, we’re trying to get as many people out as possible and the only thing that I thought about when I heard this is how many Afghan women and children were not able to be evacuated yesterday because they had to pull Marines off the line or out of rest to provide security for VIPs? It shouldn’t have happened.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., suggested in an interview Wednesday on Fox News that more of his fellow Republicans are trying to travel to Afghanistan to observe the evacuation for themselves.

“Other colleagues of mine are doing the same thing,” he said. “I’ve talked to a lot of my colleagues who served in Afghanistan and we’ve heard them very vocally talking about their translators that they worked with, friends of theirs that are still left behind enemy lines by President Biden. And they’re doing things to try to get people out.”

Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-Calif., a member of the Armed Services Committee, criticized the two for the trip.

“Whether it is Haiti or Afghanistan, taking up space in a disaster zone for your own ego helps no one,” she wrote on Twitter.

Meijer and Moulton pre-emptively defended their decision to travel to the country, saying they did so secretly so they would not draw attention to their presence.

“We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand,” they said. “We left on a plane with empty seats, seated in crew-only seats to ensure that nobody who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence.”





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Membership Pro Tip: Help Members Get Back to Business: Associations Now







By Lisa Boylan / Jul 28, 2021
The American Bus Association helped get its members on the road again. (123ducu/iStock/Getty Images Plus)


A newsletter became a free marketing resource for one association’s members to help them reignite their businesses after a particularly difficult time for the travel industry.

The American Bus Association became a central hub for its travel industry members to connect with its tour operator members so they could get back to business after the long pandemic shutdown.

How Does It Work?

The American Bus Association staff puts a question in its newsletter geared for the travel industry: Are you open for business? More specifically, are you open for groups to travel to your attractions and venues?

They ask the travel industry members to contact them; ask them five questions about logistics, requirements, and more; and request a couple of pictures of their destinations so they can put the information in their newsletter showing tour operator members that those attractions are open for business.

“We brought business through for our members,” says Lia Zegeye, ABA’s senior director of membership. “We were able to connect the buyer and the seller.”

Why Is It Effective?

It is a marketing tool for ABA’s members who might not have the financial resources or the capability during this difficult time to market themselves because they don’t know what’s open and what’s not. Making an investment in marketing is difficult right now, Zegeye says, because they might be marketing to an audience that is not open for business yet.

“They’re reaching the right audience through the newsletter and have a sense of the market and who’s actually working right now,” she says. Which helps them gear their marketing strategies in the right direction.

What’s the Benefit?

The benefit for the association is increased member retention and engagement. For members, this answers the “what’s in it for me” question. They might not have the marketing resources yet and ABA is able to put their information out there and they’re able to leverage that.

“This was a minor thing for us to do just putting the information in the newsletter,” Zegeye says. “That way we engage the community when they need us most.”

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.









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ACP Members Provide Summer Tips for Taxpayers to Plan Ahead for 2021 Returns |


WILMINGTON, N.C., July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — While families explore the possibility of getting out of their homes and even travelling this summer, four certified members of the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP), have provided an array of tax tips to help the general public and other advisors keep an eye towards planning for next year’s tax returns while they enjoy their vacations. A community of tax-focused financial planners who provide comprehensive planning strategies for their clients on a commission-free retainer basis, ACP members adhere to fiduciary standards, which means that they are legally and ethically bound to put their clients’ best interests first.

Journalists who would like to interview one or more of these professionals are invited to contact ImpactMediaManager@ImpactCommunications.org. An annual conference is planned for Atlanta this fall so that these financial professionals can gather in-person and share ideas. Journalists interested in a press pass, please inquire.

Consumers who are looking for professional tax strategy, financial planning and investment management services, as well as financial advisors interested in learning more about joining the organization, are invited to visit www.ACPlanners.org.

TIP #1:  PLAN FOR AND SPEND ON VACATION EXPERIENCES, NOT STUFF

“Plan ahead for next year. The most popular vacation spots, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, tend to fill up quickly. Planning ahead for next year’s vacation is a great way to end this year’s trip. It will motivate you to start saving up for next year and even give you the opportunity to reserve your ideal spot well in advance (sometimes for even lower rates).”

Josh Cutler, CFP™, partner

Bluestem Financial Advisors

“Many individuals receive pay raises, bonuses, or other cash inflows during the summer months. Remember to always set aside enough for taxes and savings first, but try to spend the remaining amount in a way that will bring you the most enjoyment,” said Josh Cutler, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional, EA, a partner and senior advisor at Bluestem Financial Advisors, LLC in Champaign, IL. “Oftentimes, that is achieved by spending on experiences, rather than the next gadget or consumer good to hit the market.”

“Pay for your vacations in advance. This will help to reduce the financial anxiety that many of us often experience during vacation and allow for the opportunity to focus more on enjoying the experience and less about how much that dinner or extra excursion might cost,” said Cutler. “Additionally, consider travel insurance to protect your investment for more expensive vacations. Having to miss a vacation due to an emergency is bad enough; losing any money that you have put as a pre-payment for that vacation will only make the situation worse,” added Cutler.

“Plan ahead for next year. The most popular vacation spots, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, tend to fill up quickly. Planning ahead for next year’s vacation is a great way to end this year’s trip. It will motivate you to start saving up for next year and even give you the opportunity to reserve your ideal spot well in advance (sometimes for even lower rates),” said Cutler.

TIP #2: BE PREPARED FOR CHANGES IN THE EXTENDED CHILD TAX CREDIT

“For couples with adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 (single filers with less than $75,000), an extended child tax credit of $3,600 for children less than age six and $3,000 for children between six and 17 is available for 2021 (credit is normally $2,000 per child),” said Steve Cruice, a CPA and CFP® with Simply Steward in Denver, Colorado. “What is unique this year, however, is that starting July 15, 50% of the credit will be paid monthly through the end of the year. So, if a couple has a five-year-old and an eight-year-old, they will begin receiving monthly payments through the end of the year of $550 per month ($300 per month for the five-year-old and $250 per month for the eight-year-old). It is always good to do a tax projection, however, to see how the extended child tax credit will impact your overall 2021 tax picture. If you are projected to owe taxes, you may want to consider saving these monthly payments towards your tax bill,” said Cruice.

Individuals can check their eligibility through the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-eligibility-assistant. It is important to know your eligibility as the credit is not available for all and it is possible, based upon 2021 income, that a portion of it may need to be repaid to the IRS at tax time.

“For those that know they will not be eligible due to the income limitations, the IRS has rolled out instructions on how to unenroll from the Child Tax Credit advance payments,” said Rorik Larson, CFP®, EA, Founder and Principal of Essential Financial Strategies in Palos Heights, IL. There are dates through the summer to unenroll. Unenrolling is a one-time effort and can not be undone. Here are the unenrollment deadlines.

Payment Month

Unenrollment Deadline

Payment Date

July

6/28/2021

7/15/2021

August

8/2/2021

8/13/2021

September

8/30/2021

9/15/2021

October

10/4/2021

10/15/2021

November

11/1/2021

11/15/2021

December

11/29/2021

12/15/2021

In late June the IRS rolled out a website to manage payments including unenrolling and updating bank account information.  The link to the website is https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-update-portal.

TIP #3: CHECK ON YOUR 401(K) CONTRIBUTIONS

“Now is a great time to doublecheck on 401(k) contributions and make sure to at least contribute to your employer’s matching levels (if available). Not taking the employer’s match is giving up on free money offered by the employer. Also, taxpayers turning fifty this year can increase their contributions from the under-fifty-years-of-age maximum of $19,500 to $26,000,” added Larson. 

“Taxpayers who are currently in their prime earning years should take advantage of opportunities to defer taxation on current income. This may become even more important if legislation is passed to increase tax rates,” said Jane M. Young, a CFP® with More Than Your Money, Inc. in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “If investors increase their monthly contributions now, to maximize their  2021 401(k) contributions, they can ease the burden by spreading the increase over five or six months,” said Young.

TIP #4: ADJUST ESTIMATED TAX PAYMENTS FOR 2021

“Taxpayers were not required to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) in 2020 due to the pandemic. As a result of not taking RMDs, many experienced a significant drop in income which rippled through their tax return. Less of their Social Security may have been subject to taxation, they may have paid less on capital gains, and they may have dropped to a lower tax bracket,” added Young.

“Tax preparation software uses 2020 data to calculate 2021 estimated taxes. As a result of the drop in income due to the waiver on RMDs in 2020, many people will underpay their estimated taxes for 2021. To avoid an unhappy surprise on your 2021 tax filing, taxpayers who experienced a dramatic drop in 2020 income due to these factors should do some tax planning and adjust their estimated tax payments,” said Young.

TIP #5: CONSIDER USING TAX LOSS HARVESTING

“While many of the changes in federal tax laws are directed at those earning more than $400K, there is the potential for some changes to reach down to the lower income levels,” said Larson. “One strategy that I suggest is tax loss harvesting. That is selling securities that have gone down below their purchase price so that the loss can be used to offset future gains. In some cases, with the extended bull market we have experienced, there may be no securities in a portfolio, thus reflecting losses. As a result, selling some investments that have modest gains may be prudent. This allows paying a lower capital gains rate now rather than potentially-higher future tax rates. With this said, there is no crystal ball to exactly know what changes will finally be enacted,” said Larson. 

TIP #6: SPEAK WITH A FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL TO BE PREPARED FOR CHANGES IN 2021 TAX SEASON

“History will likely show that the last 12 months and next few months will have one of the most dynamic times of change in the federal tax laws,” continued Larson. “It is a great time to consult with or book a fall appointment with a Certified Financial Planner™ professional or CPA like those who are a part of the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners about the many proposed changes,” Larson said.

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE OF COMPREHENSIVE PLANNERS (ACP)

The Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP) is a community of tax-focused financial planners who provide comprehensive planning strategies for their clients on a fee-only retainer basis. ACP members are required to maintain the CFP® or CPA/PFS designation and complete ACP’s rigorous training program. To learn more about this fiduciary network or to find a certified ACP member, visit www.ACPlanners.org.

Press contacts:

Leesy Palmer or Marie Swift

Impact Communications, Inc.

800-974-7753

ImpactMediaManager@ImpactCommunications.org

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acp-members-provide-summer-tips.png

ACP Members Provide Summer Tips for Taxpayers to Plan Ahead for 2021 Returns

Extended Child Tax Credit, Adjusted Tax Payments, and Vacation Experiences Top the List

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/acp-members-provide-summer-tips-for-taxpayers-to-plan-ahead-for-2021-returns-301333735.html

SOURCE Alliance of Comprehensive Planners



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Community members in Western Oregon eager to travel this year for long holiday weekend


EUGENE, Ore. — A year ago, concerns about the spread of the coronavirus completely halted the travel industry, but community members are now expressing an eagerness to travel again.

KEZI 9 News spoke with several people both in, and traveling to Eugene to learn about their level of comfort with traveling as most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in Oregon.

Resident Leanne Wolf-Webber said she recently returned to Eugene from a trip to Seattle. She said she didn’t have any concerns about her travel.

“I feel much more comfortable this year than I did last year,” Wolf-Webber said. 

Kevin Marks, Missouri resident, flew in through Eugene Airport terminals on Saturday, and for him, it was business as usual.

“I’ve been traveling over the last year about once a month, so travel’s been about the same,” Marks said.

He did mention a noticeable increase in the amount of people on the plane this weekend.

For many, the increase in vaccination rates and loosening of COVID-19 restrictions played a big role in their willingness to travel. 

“I don’t feel afraid to travel which is good because last year ther were so many unknowns,” resident Kristen Slay said.

While many expressed comfort, some people still feel apprehensive.

Marty Vielma said she recently returned to Oregon on a trip, but she believes people should still pay attention to coronavirus updates.

“There’s still a little bit of apprehension about it. I definitely want to stay up on the latest research,” Vielma said.





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