MVP Track Club’s head coach, Stephen Francis, feels Jamaica’s sprinting programme will never replace nine-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, but he has urged track and field’s stakeholders to assist the universities, colleges and clubs to develop and turn out future world class talents. “Well I think we are going to have a problem obviously when Usain Bolt decides to call it a day. There is no obvious replacement it appears on the male side,” he said. Francis was, however, quick to point out that Bolt, the only man in history to win three consecutive triple track and field gold medals at the Olympics is the standard bearer, but he is hoping to discover the next big male athlete at his MVP track base. “I think at UTech we have a programme which would probably like to turn up somebody, but I don’t think there is anybody who can even begin to compare to Usain,” said Francis. He admitted that Jamaica’s current and upcoming stock of athletes will be of a lower level. “The people who we have … are at a lower level,” Francis reasoned. Bolt who is coached by Francis’ counterpart Glen Mills, is the fastest man ever at 100 and 200 metres with his records standing at 9.58 and 19.19 seconds respectively. Francis was speaking at an official welcome home function on Tuesday night inside the Pineapple Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport. He, and members of the MVP Track Club, had just returned home from their camp in Europe. They had travelled to compete on the Diamond League circuit, following outstanding performances at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. “Right now we are dependent on UTech, UWI, GC Foster and Mico to make a contribution to allow these kids to study and train at the same time and we have to make sure that, that contribution does not diminish,” Francis said. According to the veteran coach who has nurtured numerous Olympic and IAAF World Championships stars, Jamaica’s programme needs to ensure that people like medical personnel get the experience that they desire and the clubs are not heavily penalised when they try to acquire gym equipment and technology for their athletes. “Those are the things that we need. We don’t want to be like the football people who try from top up, then they hire a great coach and try to make things happen without investing from the bottom,” he warned. ALLOW TO STUDY AND TRAIN
“This may be the last straw for some of the more of 20 million Americans who still file their returns manually,” said David Bergstein, an analyst with the online tax preparation program CCH Complete Tax. For do-it-yourself tax filers, software options are plentiful, both as desktop or Web-based. For ease of use and helpful features, I continue to prefer market leader TurboTax (www.turbotax.com), which this year offers three products beyond the Basic program (Deluxe, Premier, and Home & Business). All three include a deduction maximizer. Premier and Home & Business allow users to find online the tax basis of securities they’ve sold, a number that can be maddeningly difficult to obtain in stock splits and spin-offs. Home & Business, the version Georgina and I use as freelance writers, is designed for filers of Schedule C and customizes the questionnaire based on your line of work. I can also recommend other programs, including TaxCut (www.taxcut.com), TaxACT (www.taxact.com) and CCH Complete Tax (www.completetax.com). If you insist on doing your return by hand, make sure you know the rules, or it may cost you. The reason: After the Internal Revenue Service printed this year’s paper forms, Congress retroactively extended some tax deductions that had expired, including popular deductions for sales taxes and for certain teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses. For example, to claim the deduction for sales taxes (you can deduct either sales taxes or state income taxes, not both) you need to enter the letters ST on line 5 of Schedule A. For more explanations, you can go to the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov. Or you can simply give up and use tax-preparation software. Humberto Cruz can be reached at AskHumberto@aol.com or c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207. Personal replies are not possible.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! I found I didn’t get tired or stressed and still got an overall picture of our tax situation. I confess it took me a day to realize that the last piece of information I entered was the last one that was needed, and I was done. We won’t actually file our return until close to this year’s April 17 deadline, however, just in case we get a corrected 1099 or other tax form that would require us to amend the return. Because of the complexity of figuring out which dividends qualify for preferred rates, many brokerage and mutual fund firms have made errors they have had to correct in the 1099 forms they send to taxpayers. Waiting to file can be a good idea, many financial planners say. This same tax complexity is another argument for hiring a professional or using tax-preparation software, particularly this year when the paper forms do not even reflect the latest changes in our ever-changing tax laws. Before I realized it, I was done filling out our 2006 income tax return. Rather than tackle the whole thing at once, I did it bit by bit, entering the information as I received it (for example, how much my wife, Georgina, and I made in dividends from our mutual funds, and how much of it qualified for a preferred tax rate). By using tax-preparation software, I could work on any part of the return I chose without getting confused. The program makes all the computations and adjusts any previous entries based on new information. This ability to work on your return, stop and come back to it has been an attractive feature of tax-preparation software for years. I had rarely used it, preferring to gather all our tax documents and do everything at once from beginning to end. This year I decided to try the stop-and-come-back approach.