February 8, 2013 |
Don't worry if you haven't received your expected IRS tax refund. Most people haven't -- and the fiscal cliff is to blame. The Internal Revenue Service is far behind its normal pace in processing federal tax returns and mailing billions of dollars in refunds, according to a new report. Through Feb. 3, the agency sent out only about $4.3 billion in refunds, according to the analysis by Nicolas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group in new York. That's far behind the $26.9 billion in refunds issued at this point in 2012.
December 5, 2012 |
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama's healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings -- an estimated $1.1 billion -- came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found.
November 11, 2012
The magic and music of Tikal I read David Kelly's article "Tikal's Lost World" [Nov. 4] while gazing at the extraordinary embroidered Maya calendar hanging on my walI. I purchased it in Flores during a trip with my husband in December and January. Tikal was an absolutely magical place and the highlight of our seven-day trip to Belize and Guatemala. Instead of flying in and out of Guatemala City, we flew into Belize City and spent several days exploring the ruins, caves and jungle of Belize (all fantastic)
November 4, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Hurricane Sandy -- The Justice Department and FBI are warning consumers to be careful when making donations intended to help victims of Sandy. Here are some other tips: --Do not respond to spam emails or click on any links in the emails and instead seek out reputable organizations on their websites. Most reputable charities have websites that end with “.org” instead of “.com.” --Do not respond to high-pressure solicitations; reputable organizations do not use coercive tactics.
November 4, 2012 |
Question: Several readers have asked for information about what to do when a relative who plans to make an airline trip dies before the trip can be taken. Does nonrefundable mean nonrefundable? Answer: When airlines say "nonrefundable fare," they usually mean it. Except when they don't. Don't get excited. This doesn't mean you'll get your money back if, say, you change your mind about going to (fill-in-the-blank place) because you're worried about (fill-in-the-blank anxiety-inducing issue)
October 26, 2012 |
Thousands of Wells Fargo & Co. home loan customers recently received a surprise in the mail: refund checks from the big bank, along with letters saying they had paid unnecessary fees for their mortgages. The unsolicited offers of thousands of dollars arrived with a catch - if the borrowers cash the checks, they can't later sue the No. 1 U.S. home lender. The San Francisco bank said in the letters that borrowers were put into more expensive loans when they could have qualified for cheaper ones.
October 1, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Credit card giant American Express Co. has agreed to refund $85 million to 250,000 customers and pay $27.5 million in civil penalties after federal and state regulators determined numerous violations of consumer protection laws. Among the alleged infractions were misleading some people who signed up for the company's Blue Sky credit card program into believing they would get a $300 payment they never received, charging improper late payments and deceiving customers about the benefits of paying off old debts, the regulators said.
September 26, 2012 |
In an unusual move, a Las Vegas casino is offering refunds to gamblers who lost money on the Seahawks controversial 14-12 win over the Packers on Monday. Yes, you read that right, a casino is actually offering to return money to bettors. The owner of The D Las Vegas, Derek Steven, told the Associated Press that the events that transpired in the final moments of the game were unacceptable and that giving people back their money was the right thing to do. The Seahawks won after some of the league's replacement officials botched a call , giving the Seahawks a touchdown on the final play of a game.