tax refunds

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Feds Say They'll Stop Seizing Some Tax Refunds

Social Security puts halt on collecting more than decade-old debts

(Newser) - No longer will a single sentence make tax day even more miserable for hundreds of thousands of Americans—for now, at least. Late last week, the Washington Post reported on a recent Treasury Department practice made possible by a single sentence lurking in the 2008 farm bill: seizing tax refunds... More »

Feds Swiping Tax Refunds to Pay Parents' Debts

Many are told there aren't even records proving the debt exists

(Newser) - The Treasury Department has been seizing tax refunds or demanding payment from hundreds of thousands of Americans on some very old debts—some of which aren't exactly theirs in the first place. Many taxpayers are being forced to repay debts their parents allegedly racked up, the Washington Post reports.... More »

Identity Theft Probe Halted $1.4B in False IRS Refunds

105 busted in sweep

(Newser) - The Internal Revenue Service is cracking down on fraudsters as tax return seasons begins. The agency has stepped up efforts to prevent identity theft, and caught 260,000 bad returns last year, up from 50,000 in 2010, and prevented a total of $1.4 billion in bad refunds being... More »

47% of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax

Tax day is just Christmas for many

(Newser) - Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of US households it's simply somebody else's problem. About 47% will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions, and exemptions to eliminate their... More »

Millions Must Repay Part of Stimulus Tax Credit

Withholding errors mean 15.4M will get smaller refund or owe money

(Newser) - An IRS tax credit designed to lighten the load on recession-addled taxpayers won't work out as well as hoped for about 15.4 million Americans. Because certain minutiae of the new Making Work Pay credit weren’t factored in to withholding tables, more than 10% of taxpayers who file individual... More »

Obama Offers New Options for Retirement Savings

Americans can have tax refunds sent as savings bonds

(Newser) - President Obama used his radio address today to roll out several initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to save for retirement. One move will allow people to have their federal tax refunds sent as savings bonds by checking a box on their tax return; another has workers automatically... More »

Poll: Few Plan Splurges With Tax Refunds

More people than ever are just paying off bills

(Newser) - Taxpayers’ refund checks are starting to arrive, but this year the economy might not see much of a boost from that money, an AP poll finds. More people are planning to spend their refunds in some way, but 54% say they’ll pay off existing bills rather than go on... More »

Ponzi Victims Will Be Tax Nightmare for IRS

Service expects to refund $7-$10 billion in taxes paid on fake income

(Newser) - The work of fraudsters such as Bernie Madoff and R. Allen Stanford will complicate the IRS’ job as tens of the thousands of victims attempt to reclaim taxes paid on income that went up in smoke, Time reports. The IRS estimates that refunds due victims to Madoff alone could total... More »

Cash-Strapped Calif. May Shorten School Year

(Newser) - Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting a week out of the public school calendar, the latest desperate measure in California's struggle with a $41 billion budget shortfall. The Governator says the $1.1 billion savings will ward off other cuts to education, which makes up 40% of the state budget. Schools... More »

Calif. Budget Gap Could Mean IOUs, Not Tax Refunds

Facing $42B deficit, Schwarzenegger, state Dems continue to wrangle

(Newser) - Faced with a mounting budget gap and failed negotiations toward a solution, California may have to send out promissory notes to taxpayers owed refunds and local governments, the Los Angeles Times reports. Talks between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Democratic legislature foundered yesterday; lawmakers sent the governor a disputed package... More »

IRS Notice Stuns Lawyer: 'You Owe Us a Penny'

(Newser) - Washington may be loaning billions to automakers, but a Detroit lawyer? He has to pay an IRS bill of 5 cents, the Detroit Free Press reports. James Howarth was busy tallying the cost of paying his debt—which is "several hundred percent over the nickel," he said—... More »

IRS May Block Popular Instant Refunds

Proposed change aims to curb fraud, steep loan rates

(Newser) - The IRS may stop big tax-preparation firms from offering instant refund loans to curb potential fraud, Bloomberg reports. Such loans are popular with taxpayers who don't want to wait weeks for a check, but interest is often steep and consumer groups have been pushing for a crackdown. The proposed change... More »

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