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Tax Refunds

BUSINESS
February 11, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton
The Chinese new year, the Year of the Snake, could leave the stock market snake-bitten. Sunday ushered in the Chinese New Year but, investors may wish it hadn't. The Year of the Snake is the only one of the 12 Chinese lunar calendar years in which the Standard & Poor's 500 index has a losing record, according to researcher Capital IQ. Since 1900, the benchmark index is down an average of 2.9% in the Year of the Snake, according to Capital IQ. It has risen in only three of the nine snake years since 1900, marking the worst performance of the any of the named lunar years.
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BUSINESS
February 8, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The beleaguered U.S. Postal Service can't seem to catch a break. Just two days after announcing it would cease Saturday delivery of first-class mail later this year, the agency Friday announced it lost $1.3 billion during the last three months of 2012.  The October through December time frame is traditionally the postal service's strongest financial quarter because of the holiday shipping season. While package delivery was up 4% from the year-earlier period, that was not enough to buffer that $1.3 billion net loss.
BUSINESS
February 8, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton
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.
BUSINESS
January 14, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told Congress Monday that the U.S. would exhaust its special measures to avoid breaching the nation's debt limit sometime between mid-February and early March. In updating an earlier estimate of late February, Geithner stressed that it was difficult to be more precise because it is tax season. The filing of taxes causes "a significant amount of uncertainty" because the "amounts and timing of tax payments and refunds are unpredictable.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My cousin had his house broken into a little over a year ago. A lot of things were taken, but insurance replaced most of what he thought was missing. This year after he filed his return he was contacted by the IRS, which told him that a return using his information had already been filed and the refund check cashed. The IRS is investigating the situation now, but I really worry about what is going to happen to his Social Security in the future if someone else is using his numbers or those of his children.
BUSINESS
May 11, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Californians who paid their state income taxes electronically and asked for the refund to be deposited in their bank accounts should have already received their money. But many people who filed paper forms could still be waiting, the California Franchise Tax Board said. That's because state workers in Sacramento are plowing through a mountain of nearly 4 million returns that were mailed around the time of the April 17 deadline for paying 2011 taxes. The best way to find out when a check of deposit might be coming is to go online, state tax officials advise.
BUSINESS
April 11, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Feeling stressed because you waited until the last minute to file taxes? Making that rare trip to the post office to send off the return? Be careful, warns the Journal of the American Medical Assn.: The chances of getting into a fatal car accident jump 6% on Tax Day. It's not quite clear why, though authors of Wednesday's report postulate that “stressful deadlines distract drivers and contribute to human error.” Lack of sleep, limited patience...
BUSINESS
April 5, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
You may want to sit down for this one: Americans aren't happy with the U.S. tax system (though 12% of them think it's actually the best one in the world). More than six in 10 Americans say the way the country levies taxes is less than perfect, according to a survey from Rasmussen Reports . More than a quarter aren't sure how they feel. Nearly half think that the average American currently pays out at least 30% of their income in taxes, when most believe the ceiling should be more like 20%. California Gov. Jerry Brown hopes to land a measure on the November ballot that would increase the sales tax and raise the rate for higher earners, with revenue going to schools and to balance the state's budget.
NEWS
March 25, 2012 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Tax refunds - Special agents with the Internal Revenue Service have arrested a former H&R Block Inc. manager who allegedly used tax clients' personal information to file false returns in their names and steal their refunds. Damon Charles Dubose, 38, who worked at the H&R Block in Van Nuys, was arrested Thursday, the IRS said in a news release. The IRS said Dubose used H&R Block “emerald cards,” similar to debit cards, to claim refunds at ATMs.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
In the thick of tax season, a new study suggests that when Americans get their refunds, they file for more bankruptcies - because they can finally afford all the related fees. Researchers from the University of Chicago, Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis found that, in 2008, the number of people who went broke went through a “significant, short-run” 7% increase after the IRS sent out refunds. Many used the extra money to pay the average $1,477 in fees needed to declare bankruptcy; without the refunds, 3.8% of filers could not have afforded to go through the process, according to the report.
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