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Hills Bank and Trust Company

HBT Connect eNewsletter from Hills Bank and Trust Company

  HBT Connect  
Volume 1, Issue 2: March - April 2011  

  Spring into Spring Cleaning

With spring forward also comes spring cleaning! Don’t forget about these important tasks that are often overlooked during spring cleaning.

  • Ensure Safety: Change batteries and dust smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you have children, teach them how to use a fire extinguisher, review fire escape routes, and remind them of stop, drop, and roll.
  • Update First Aid Kit: In addition to replacing expired bandages and ointments, the kit should include a list of emergency numbers, especially the number for your closest poison-control center.
  • Change Furnace Filters: Have your furnace professionally inspected now, rather than during a busy season when you may have to wait for service. If you have a central air and heating unit, be sure to have drains, lines, and reservoirs inspected. If you like the person who came to do the work, schedule an appointment for next year.
  • Washing Machine and Dryer: Vacuum out your dryer's vent hose and scrub the lint filter with soapy water and a bristle brush. Check your washing machine’s user manual to perform recommended cleaning.
  • Garage Door: Replace batteries on garage door openers and check the belts and chain on the opening mechanism.
  • Home Security: If you have a home security system, schedule and run a test to make sure it works properly. Make sure everyone in the house knows how to set the alarm.

Home maintenance should be a regular task each year. Spring is the perfect time to complete these tasks because the longer days bring a new energy to you and your home.

   
   
  Avoid These Common Tax Filing Errors

Some of the most common errors in tax preparation are preventable. If you are filing your own taxes this year, avoid these errors and save yourself any hassles or delays in receiving your tax return.

According to the IRS website, some of the most common errors are:

  • Incorrect or missing social security numbers.
  • Incorrect tax entered based on taxable income and filing status.
  • Computation errors: taxable income, withholding and estimated tax payments, earned income credit, standard deduction for age 65 or over or the blind, the taxable amount of social security benefits, and child and dependent care credit.
  • Missing or incorrect identification numbers for child care providers.
  • Withholding and estimated tax payments entered on the wrong line.
  • Math errors.

Before filing your 2010 tax return, be sure to do the following:

  • Write legibly.
  • Enter names and social security numbers for yourself, spouse, and dependent and qualifying children exactly as they appear on their social security cards.
  • Check only one filing status.
  • Enter income, deductions, and credits on the correct lines and total lines correctly.
  • Sign and date the return. If you filed jointly, be sure your spouse signs as well.
  • Verify the account number and routing number for direct deposit.

Remember to make a copy of the signed returned and all the accompanying forms for your records. For more information about common errors in tax preparation, visit the IRS website.

Source: www.irs.gov

   
   
  Choose Direct Deposit for Your Tax Refund

According to the IRS website, the fastest and safest way to receive your tax refund is by direct deposit. Taxpayers who e-file and choose direct deposit can get refunds in as few as 10 days!

It’s safe: Thousands of IRS paper checks are returned every year as undeliverable mail. By choosing direct deposit, you eliminate the possibility of refunds being lost, stolen, or returned as undeliverable.

It’s fast: Your refund will go directly into your bank account, saving you time and gas money. Simply make sure when you prepare your return that you follow the instructions and verify the correct account number and routing number are on your tax return.

It’s flexible: You can have your deposit divided into as many as three checking or savings accounts. Just use the IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, to divide your refund.

To arrange for direct deposit of your tax refund, complete the information on your IRS Form 1040 in the section labeled “Refund” and include the following:

  • Hills Bank’s routing number (073913755)
  • Account number (found at the bottom of your checks)
  • Account type (checking or savings)

If you have any questions about direct deposit, contact Hills Bank at 1-800-445-5725 and have your social security number available.

Source: www.irs.gov

   
  Fashionably Frugal...Continued

In the last issue of HBT Connect, we asked you to share your own Fashionably Frugal Tips. Here are a few of our favorites:

"After I'm finished cooking in the cold winter months, I leave the oven door open and let the heat escape to keep the kitchen warm and toasty. I just have to make sure I have turned the oven off!"
Angie G.

"I cut off the ends of lotions when I can't get anymore out of the tube. It's amazing how much product is left that can be used."
Katie S.

"I reuse dryer sheets to dust electronics like my TVs, computer screen, and digital photo frames. The anti-static in the dryer sheets repels dust on the screen too."
Tom A.

A special thanks to everyone who shared a Fashionably Frugal tip!

   
   
 

Celebrate Spring and Agriculture

This month, Hills Bank is celebrating spring and our agricultural heritage by hatching baby chicks. The hatching of our chicks represents the anticipation of new life and all of the good things that agriculture production provides us. Life’s new beginnings each spring portray Mother Nature at her best.

The eggs are currently incubating, set to hatch the week of March 21st. Stop by your local Hills Bank location now to view a unique agriculture display and choose the numbered egg you predict will hatch first. If yours is the first to hatch, you could be a LUCKY prize winner!

No purchase or account required to enter or win. Need not be present to win.

Barnyard Day at Hills Bank

Hills Bank invites you and your family to Barnyard Day at our Coralville, Cedar Rapids Blairs Ferry Road, and Mount Vernon locations on Saturday, March 26th from 9:00 - 11:00 am. You'll see many different animals and maybe even pet a few!

April is Friends Club Month

April is Friends Club month and we have a special offer for anyone that makes a referral for membership. Make a referral and your name will be entered into a drawing for your choice of a NOOKcolor or a $200 Visa® gift card! It is easy. All you have to do is submit the name and address of a family member or friend age 50 years or better to any Hills Bank Location!


Tell A Friend about Hills Bank and you both earn money when they open a checking account!
  Prepare for your future and open a 24 month Bump-up IRA today!

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©Copyright 2011 Hills Bank and Trust Company. Member FDIC.

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