Friday, November 19, 2004

Community News

WHO DID LATINOS VOTE FOR?

New NCLR Publication Examines the Latino Vote in the 2004 Election

Washington, DC - Hispanic participation in the 2004 election, including exit poll numbers that have generated considerable debate and controversy over the last two weeks, is the subject of a new analysis released today by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
"NCLR's analysis shows first that there was a record turnout of Latinos in this election, and second that Hispanic voters have clearly cemented their status as a swing vote," stated Janet Murguia, NCLR Executive Director and COO.
NCLR's paper examines a variety of exit poll data that show a range of support among Latinos: 31-44% for President George Bush and 53-67% for Senator John Kerry. The analysis concludes that, despite discrepancies among the various exit polls, when each poll is compared to its 2000 counterpart, it shows a seven to nine percentage point increase in support for President Bush. The document also includes a comparison of exit poll data from other presidential elections dating back to 1988. Finally, it notes the exponential growth in Latino voters in that same time frame. NCLR estimates that nearly eight million Hispanics went to the polls on November 2, a 27% increase since 2000 and more than double the number who voted in 1988.
The analysis is available free of charge. To access other election related information visit NCLR's website, www.nclr.org:

"NCLR - How Did Latinos Really Vote in 2004?"
"UNPRECEDENTED ELECTION FOR LATINO COMMUNITY."
"VOTER INFORMATION HOTLINE KEY TO PARTICIPATION AMONG LATINO VOTERS"
"PROTECTING THE LATINO VOTE IN 2004 ELECTION"

source: NCLR

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IRS Has Refunds for Hundreds of Puerto Ricans

Washington, DC – The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) is working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to alert taxpayers in Puerto Rico that over 700 Puerto Ricans who were owed refunds in 2004 did not receive them due to incorrect mailing addresses or other problems. Nationwide, nearly 87,500 income tax refund checks – totaling over $73 million – could not be delivered.
Refund checks can be reissued as soon as taxpayers correct or update their addresses with the IRS.
"If we owe you money, we'd like to get it to you," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "All you have to do is tell us where you are.”
Mari Carmen Aponte, executive director of PRFAA, said her Agency will help facilitate the dissemination of information to all Puerto Ricans who might be missing their refund checks. “We have posted on our website – www.prfaa.com – all the names of those Puerto Ricans who are owed refunds by the IRS. We know that you have worked hard to earn a living and want to make sure that every Puerto Rican receives what they are owed.”
“If you see your name or the name of someone you know on the list, you can click on the link on that page to go directly to the IRS website to track your undelivered refund check. On the IRS website, you will need to provide your social security number, your filing status (such as single or married filing jointly) and the refund amount shown on your 2003 tax return.” Aponte explained.
When that information is submitted online, taxpayers see Web pages that show the status of their refund and, in some cases, instructions to resolve potential account issues. “Where’s My Refund?” was developed through the IRS Business Systems Modernization program and delivered in the summer of 2002. Taxpayers used the online tool nearly 24 million times to track their refunds in 2004.
Taxpayers who believe they are owed a refund that was never received and are unable to access the internet may call IRS toll-free assistance line at 1-800-829-1040 to update their address.
The number of undeliverable checks decreased this year by 5,325, but the average refund, $836, increased compared with last year’s average of $722.
Taxpayers can avoid undelivered refund checks by having their refunds directly deposited into a personal checking or savings account. Direct deposit also guards against theft or lost refund checks. The option is available for both paper and electronically filed returns. More than 49 million taxpayers chose to direct deposit almost $120 billion in refunds this year. The number of direct deposit refunds was up 10.8 percent from last year.
Refund checks go astray for reasons that can vary with each taxpayer. Often, it’s because a life change causes an address change. If taxpayers move or change their address and fail to notify the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service, a check sent to their last known address is returned to the IRS.
Taxpayers who have moved since filing their last tax return can ensure the IRS has their correct address by filing Form 8822, Change of Address, with the IRS. Download the form or request it by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Related Links:
“Where’s My Refund?” —
http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96596,00.html
Form 8822, Change of Address —
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822.pdf

Names of those Puerto Ricans who are owed refunds by the IRS — (go to www.prfaa.com and click there).

PRFAA, which serves as the mainland offices of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, facilitates and promotes economic and public policy initiatives important to the growth and empowerment of all Puerto Rican communities. The agency is headquartered in Washington, DC and currently operates 12 regional and satellite offices in New York City, Newark, Boston, Springfield, MA, Philadelphia, Hartford, Orlando, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Houston. The Washington, DC office is located at 1100 17th Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036 and can be reached at (202) 778-0710 or via the web at www.prfaa.com.

source: www.prfaa.com
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