Saturday, September 22, 2012


40 years ago, little did Maureen Rice know when she married Art Dorrington that her three sons would be competing in golf in the Ri-Dor Cup against her three nephews.  Throw in two son-in-laws and the first annual Ri-Dor Cup will be played today at Brighton Dale Links in Kenosha, Wisconsin between the Rice’s and the Dorrington’s – hence the Ri-Dor Cup.

Although the actual Ryder Cup will start on September 27, 60 miles south in Medinah, Illinois between Team USA and Team Europe, the Ri-Dor Cup will be just as competitive.  Golf has been part of the families for years.  They learned the game from their fathers who learned from their fathers. 

The Dorringtons, Dan, Brian, and Michael,  played competitively at Greendale, Wisconsin High School and currently reside in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.   The fourth member of their team, brother-in-law Chris Muench,  is currently the golf coach at Greendale High School and is married to Colleen Dorrington.   The Rices, Kevin, Michael, and Bobby,  played competitively at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee.  The fourth member of their team, Rhett Holland of Wauwatosa, is married to Sara Dorrington and played competitively in college.

27 holes will be played on Saturday in true Ryder Cup format.  They will play Foursomes, Fourballs and Singles matches.  Team uniforms will be worn and trash talking will not be allowed on the course.  They will play for the Cup and the right to brag for the next year or two. 

Future plans are in the works.  Two of the Rices reside in the Chicago area, so it may become a Wisconsin versus Illinois competition in the future. 

Maureen Rice Dorrington lives in Greendale and has 10 grandchildren so the Ri-Dor Cup may go on for many years.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Who Should Take Education Tax Breaks: Parents or Students?

When it comes to education tax breaks, it’s important to carefully consider your options, and plan out who is going to take what tax break. This is an important distinction because it’s an either/or situation in terms of who gets the tax break. If the parent claims the education tax deduction or credit, then the child (in this case, the dependent) can’t claim it. If the child claims it for himself or herself, then the parent can’t claim it. Parents have to communicate with their kids since the education tax breaks are only allowed to be claimed on either one of your tax returns and not both.

Is the Student a Dependent?

First of all, you need to determine if the student is a dependent. If a parent claims his or her student as a dependent, then that’s who gets to take the tax credit or education deduction. Whether it’s the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, or the Tuition and Fees Deduction, only one person gets the tax advantage and it often comes down to whether the student is a dependent in the eyes of the IRS. If a student is a dependent on someone else’s tax return, the student doesn’t qualify for these tax breaks.
If a student isn’t claimed as a dependent, though, it’s possible for him or her to claim an education tax credit, or take the deduction.  One thing to keep in mind, each student cannot claim more than one tax break. So it’s one of the education credits or education deduction (not all of them).

Should the Student Take the Tax Credit or Deduction?

In some cases, it makes sense for the student to take the tax break. If the student is married, and no longer dependent on a parent for support, obviously that’s who should take the education tax break. Additionally, if the student makes enough money to owe taxes, it makes sense to reduce that tax bill as much as possible.
Most of the time, though, students don’t earn enough money to owe taxes. As a result, in many cases, it makes more sense for parents to claim their children as dependents and reap the benefits of the tax breaks. After all, parents have spent quite a lot to raise their children, and probably help pay for college. It’s only reasonable that they receive some sort of financial benefit in return – and a lower tax bill is one way to recoup a few of those costs.