Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Tax Refunds Are Not Ideal, But Are Still Useful

Many people get excited around tax time. Who doesn’t want a few extra hundred or thousand dollars in their pocket? The more, the merrier. Do you really understand how tax refunds work? You may have read - or have been told – that getting a tax refund isn’t necessarily a good thing. Having Uncle Sam send you a big windfall just means your employer over-withheld Federal taxes from your paycheck last year. Sure, you could have...
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IRS Warns Taxpayers of Refund Scam

With anything regarding your finances, it’s always prudent to be on guard against crooks who want to trick you out of your hard-earned money - and that includes during tax time.The Internal Revenue Service sent out a warning this tax season about a particular tax scam that often targets seniors, those who have little or no income, and members of church congregations. Promoters of the scheme promise tax refunds to people who normally aren’t required to...
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IRS Holding $153 Million in Undeliverable Tax Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service put out a reminder that the agency is hanging on to $153.3 million in undeliverable tax refund checks - owed to just over 99,000 taxpayers.The undeliverable tax refunds averaging $1,547 could not be delivered to their recipients because of mailing address errors, the IRS said in a statement released on Wednesday.The IRS advises taxpayers who believe they missed their tax refund due to problems with their mailing address to use the “Where’s...
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Tax Deadline Today!

Just a heads up if you haven’t already filed your income tax return - today is the last day to get your taxes paid on time. Your mailed return must be postmarked or your e-filed return (with payment) must be electronically delivered by midnight to be considered on time by the IRS. Failure to pay the entire balance due can result in a late payment penalty. This year’s April 18th due date comes three days later...
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Tax-Related ID Theft

Unfortunately, tax season is when many Americans find out that their identifying information was fraudulently used by a crook. An unexpected message from the Internal Revenue Service could be a warning sign that your Social Security number is being misused by an identity thief, warns the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers should always be alert to signs of identity theft, and that includes tax-related identity theft. If you receive a notice from the IRS that more than...
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Tax Freedom Day is April 12th for 2011

Have you ever though about exactly how many days out of the year you have to work in order to pay your tax bill? Well, the Tax Foundation in Washington figures that for this tax year, you’ll work over a hundred days to pay your taxes - about 28% of your income. Using government figures on income and taxes, the organization calculated that if the average taxpayer were to begin the year working and all income...
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2008 First Time Home Buyer Credit Causing Delays for Some Taxpayers' Refunds

The Internal revenue Service made an announcement today that there are processing issues that may cause a delay in some taxpayers receiving their refunds. The delay is primarily affecting a small percentage of taxpayers who bought a home in 2008 and qualified for the First Time Homebuyer Credit, the IRS said.The credit was actually an interest-free loan for 10% of the home’s purchase price, up to a maximum of $8000. The credit is to be repaid,...
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IRS Warns Against Frivolous Tax Returns

Savvy taxpayers often put a lot of thought into ways to legally reduce their tax bill. But taxpayers thinking about arguing to the Internal Revenue Service about whether they are truly obligated to pay their fair share of taxes should think again. The IRS released a public announcement advising individuals and groups to avoid wasting time and money with frivolous tax arguments that will only result in penalties for the taxpayer. Arguments heard by the IRS...
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IRS Free File

Many taxpayers can easily do their own tax returns, and tax software can help make preparing your tax return go even more smoothly.Have you heard of Free-File?Free-File is available for low and moderate-income taxpayers through cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service and a large number of tax software providers. Free-File programs are available for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income that is less than $58,000.Each tax company has its own taxpayer qualifications to use their Free-File...
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Better to Give than Receive at Tax Time

While getting back a tax refund can be exciting, it’s not always bad to owe a little money when you file your taxes. If you are due a big refund, that means that you’ve let the federal government hang on to your money all year long. And depending on your financial situation, that money could have been used to pay off a credit card balance, for investments and retirement savings, or even for those little luxuries...
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