Finance Globe

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

Mary Tomkins is a freelance writer located in Spartanburg, SC, with emphasis on economic news and research on the financial industry.

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 has $1.1 Billion in Unclaimed Tax Refunds for 2007

Time is running out for over one million people who haven’t claimed their refunds for the tax year 2007.According to the Internal Revenue Service, refunds totaling $1.1 billion owed to people who did not file a federal income tax return in that year.The law provides a three-year window of opportunity for most taxpayers to claim federal refunds from prior tax years - the 2007 return must be properly addressed, mailed and postmarked by the April 18th...
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Pending Home Sales Slip for January 2011

The housing market continues to stabilize even though the pace of pending home sales slipped by more than analysts had expected in January, according to an industry report released on Monday. The pending home sales index declined 2.8% last month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. Market analysts had predicted a decline of 2.2%. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said, “The housing market is healing with sales fluctuating at times, depending on the flow of...
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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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FTC Halts Spam Text Messages

FTC Halts Spam Text Messages
A debt and mortgage relief operation that allegedly sent 5.5 million illegal spam text messages has been halted by a federal judge at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The unsolicited text messages were allegedly sent over a 40-day period by the defendant, Phillip A. Flora, at an average rate of 85 texts per minute ‘round the clock. The FTC calls the number of texts in such a short period, “mind-boggling.” According to the FTC’s...
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Taxpayers Affected by Tax Law Can File Returns Now

In late December, the IRS had informed taxpayers who were affected by recent tax law changes to wait to file their returns until notified that the IRS was ready for them, which was estimated to be around mid-February.On Monday, IRS began to accept and process both e-file and paper tax returns claiming itemized deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A, as well as deductions for state and local sales tax, higher education tuition and fees and educator...
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The Student's Guide to Job Hunting - A Job That Suits You

The Student's Guide to Job Hunting - A Job That Suits You
As a young person with little work experience, you might not really know what kind of work you like to do. While you may not expect a job to be enjoyable, know that working in the right environment and doing something you enjoy can make your first job a positive experience. Knowing yourself is the key to choosing the right type of job for you. Ask yourself a few questions to help narrow your job choices...
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Using Wi-Fi Hotspots Safely

Using Wi-Fi Hotspots Safely
Establishments that offer a wireless internet connection are often bustling with customers who want to use their laptops, netbooks, and smartphones while taking their lunch break. Wi-Fi Hotspots will only continue to gain popularity with busy consumers looking to stay connected on the go. While very convenient, these public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure, potentially putting your sensitive personal information at risk. It’s safest to only send personal information that is encrypted through either a...
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Advance Fees Banned for Mortgage Relief Companies

As troubled homeowners continue to face foreclosures through the mortgage crisis, shady mortgage relief companies have sprung up to “help” unsuspecting consumers - while charging advance fees without providing the services promised.But mortgage relief companies are no longer allowed to charge homeowners up-front fees, thanks to the Federal Trade Commission’s new Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule.“Banning the collection of up-front fees will protect homeowners from being victimized,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. “This is especially...
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