Confused about taxes? The IRS is there to help
Dear Readers: Are you ready? It’s TAX TIME! The Internal Revenue Service is here to help; the website is www.irs.gov. If you have questions about filing your taxes, jump on the computer first.
You also can call and speak to representatives from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time (Alaska and Hawaii residents, use Pacific Time; Puerto Rico residents can call between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time). The phone number for individuals is 800-829-1040; for hearing-impaired folks, call 800-829-4059. But be aware: There may be long hold times.
Again, search the website first; most likely your question can be answered. If not, give the IRS a call; they are happy to help. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I read your column in The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. I’m surprised that no one has written to you about the problem with storing laundry detergent and other chemicals in the same place as your plastic storage bags.
I have received many baked goods wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil and/or plastic storage bags, and they smell and end up tasting like laundry detergent or a perfumed candle. Have you ever noticed this?
I would love it if you could encourage your readers to NEVER store any storage bags, wrap or other item that touches food next to chemicals, laundry detergent or perfumed candles. First of all, it is not healthy, but it also ruins the natural flavor of the food. — Simone, via email
COST PER WEAR
Dear Readers: Think “quality” when shopping for clothes, bags and jewelry. You will reach for a well-made garment, handbag or piece of jewelry more often than you will a cheap copy.
Figure cost per wear, and the item is usually a great value. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: On my cellphone, I simply go to “Settings” and “Do Not Disturb” and select “Contacts Only,” and only calls from people on my contacts will come through.
Believe me, life is much more peaceful with that setting completed. — Rose in Huntington, Ind.
Dear Readers: For parents and grandparents of infants, diaper rash can be a big problem. What causes diaper rash? The top three:
1. Not changing a diaper frequently enough.
2. Yeast infections.
3. Allergies to the diaper, soaps or wipes.
How to prevent it? Keep baby dry, clean and fresh. Use alcohol-free wipes and a diaper cream containing zinc oxide. Cloth diapers can help too. Disposables may have chemicals in them. Check with your pediatrician for more information on ways to prevent diaper rash. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I was going to make a list of the credit cards in my wallet in case my purse is ever lost or stolen when it dawned on me: Just use my copier and photocopy all of them. It’s worked out fine. — Doe G., via email
Good idea! Be sure to store in a safe place, and make sure the customer service phone numbers are clear and legible. — Heloise
Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.