If you e-file your taxes and select the direct deposit option, you may receive your refund in as few as 10 days. Generally, the IRS issues most refunds in 21 days or less. If corrections or reviews are required, it may delay the process.
You can check the status of your tax refund on the IRS website 72 hours after e-filing or 4 weeks after submitting a paper return. You’ll need to know your Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount.
Participate in the National Consumer Protection Week Live Q&A
We will host a National Consumer Protection Week question and answer session on Tuesday, March 6 at 2pm EST.
Experts from USA.gov and the Federal Trade Commission will be on hand to answer your consumer-related questions and and provide government resources that can help. So whether you have questions about how to file a complaint with a company or how to learn about the latest scams, now is your chance to get answers.
You can submit your questions in advance on our Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #NCPW. You can also submit questions during the live chat from 2 to 3pm EST on Tuesday, when experts will be available to answer them live.
National Consumer Protection Week runs from March 4-10 and encourages you to take full advantage of your consumer rights and make well-informed decisions in the marketplace.
i need my IRS numbers showing info for last year, I have moved, and can furnish correct identifying myself.
You can request a tax return transcript to see most line items on your tax return as you originally filed it. If you made a change to the tax return after it was filed, you’ll need to request a tax account transcript instead.
It’s free to order a transcript and you can request them for the current and past three years. After requesting one, it normally takes ten to thirty business days to receive it. Order a tax transcript.
Tomorrow is February 29 instead of March 1 because this year is a leap year. But why do we have a leap year every four years?
Years and days are measured differently, and they don’t quite add up.
A year is the time for the earth to complete its annual orbit around the sun.
A day is the time required for the earth to make one complete revolution on its axis (24 hours).
Going by those measures, there are almost 365 and a quarter days in a year. That’s an extra quarter of a day a year. And every four years, we have an extra day on our hands.
To make up for those extra four quarters, every year exactly divisible by 4 is a leap year: a year with 366 days instead of the usual 365. That extra day is always February 29, and 2012 is just such a year.
However… We had said there are almost 365 and a quarter days in a year. There are actually 365.2422 days in a solar year, which equates to 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds.
That’s only 11 minutes and 14 seconds less than 365 and a quarter days, but after 125 years, it would mean we’ve added a whole extra day too many.
Thanks to that gap of 11 minutes, years that end in ‘00’ that are not exactly divisible by 400 are not leap years. Therefore, 2000 was a leap year, but 1900, 1800, and 1700 weren’t. 2100 won’t be a leap year either. So, if you have anything due March 1, 2100, don’t procrastinate thinking that you’ll have February 29th, 2100 to take care of it, because you won’t.
When you order your credit report, you need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may be asked to provide additional information that only you would know.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, make your credit report available for free, once every year.
When requesting your report on annualcreditreport.com, you may be offered additional products or services, but you are not required to make a purchase in order to receive your credit report. Don’t fall for imposter websites that offer a “free” report when you purchase a membership or only if you buy other products.
Last year, nearly 100 million taxpayers e-filed their federal income taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s the safest, fastest, and easiest way to submit your tax return.
If you e-file, you can expect to get your refund in half the time. If you owe money, you have more payment options.
There are four ways to e-file your federal income taxes:
Free File - if your income was $57,000 or less, you can use Free File for free tax preparation and e-filing.
Free File Fillable Forms - regardless of income, you can use online Fillable Forms. Fillable Forms are an electronic version of the IRS paper forms. This is a good option if you are comfortable preparing your own tax return, but want the advantages of fast, secure, and free e-filing.
Commercial Tax Software - you can buy your own tax preparation software, prepare your own return, and press send to e-file.
Tax Preparer - Find a tax professional you trust to prepare and e-file your return. Nearly all tax preparers use e-file now and many are now required by law to e-file.
Can a person get a list of his / her employers for a life time ?
The Social Security Administration can provide a detailed or certified report of your employment history, including periods of employment or self-employment and the names and addresses of employers, for a fee.
Image description: The Grand Canyon stretches for 277 miles and covers more than 1 million acres of land in Arizona.
Sunday marks the 93rd anniversary of the establishment of the Grand Canyon National Park. On February 26, 1919, Congress officially passed the act establishing the park in Arizona.
Known as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles and is cut down the middle by the Colorado River. The national park covers more than 1 million acres of land in northern Arizona.
Senator Benjamin Harrison was the first to create a bill protecting the Grand Canyon, and pushed for it multiple times. As President, Harrison established the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. Senate bills to make it a national park were shot down twice, until finally, in 1919, the Grand Canyon National Park Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
On Facebook, Laura asked, “what is causing the rise in fuel prices in the USA and who benefits from this increase?”
Fuel prices in the United States are rising because of the increasing cost of crude oil. Crude oil is the natural form of oil as it is found in the ground, before it has been refined into gasoline. As of January 2012, the price of crude oil made up 76% of the cost of regular gasoline. In January, the national average retail price of gas was $3.38 per gallon. This means $2.57 per gallon paid for crude oil. Find out what makes up the rest of the price.
There are a few reasons why the price of crude oil is rising. There’s more demand from countries that haven’t used very much oil in the past, such as China. Also, instability in the Middle East means recent output from countries like Libya and Iran has been unpredictable or low. The Middle East produces a lot of the world’s oil and less oil means higher prices.
Currently, the United States’ demand for oil is down and production of oil is up. These factors would normally make prices go down. However, demand for oil in emerging markets like China is so high that it overcomes these market forces.
The countries and corporations that sell crude oil benefit when the price is high. In 2010, about 49% of the oil used by the U.S. was imported from foreign countries. Learn more about dependence on foreign oil.
I can not find a city approved source for recycling old TV's - I know there are hazardous materials in them in the tube types- but what is valuable inside the guts of a television case?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best option for recycling old electronics is to donate them. However, since the switch to digital broadcasting, many charitable organizations have stopped accepting analog televisions. Be sure to check with an organization before you drop off an old TV.
If you want to dispose of the TV, try these options:
The EPA has a list of recycling programs offered by some television manufacturers and retailers.
Old televisions contain valuable lead, copper, steel, and aluminum that can be recovered through recycling. Recycling TVs helps to conserve natural resources and energy, reduce landfill use, and reduce pollution resulting from the extraction and processing of raw materials from the earth.
How can I find rules and regulations about ssa disability's five month wait rule?
The Social Security Administration requires a five month waiting period to make sure that they do not pay disability benefits to people who do not have long-term disabilities. Learn more about this waiting period.
Test Your Money Knowledge During America Saves Week
Currently, most Americans don’t save enough money for retirement or don’t have enough saved for emergency expenses like home or car repairs. If you’re in that position, you have a chance to take a look at your saving habits and learn ways you can make your financial future more stable during America Saves Week.
Applicants from the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) were not eligible to apply for the 2013 Diversity Visa program. The list of countries that were eligible are listed in the program instructions.
The Diversity Visa program makes up to 55,000 visas available to people who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The online registration period for the 2014 program should open in fall 2012.
Today we celebrate George Washington’s Birthday. Contrary to popular belief, neither Congress nor any President has ever officially changed the name of the holiday to Presidents’ Day. Learn more about the holiday.
Nine out of 10 Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to heart disease and stroke. Nearly 800,000 people die each year from these and other vascular diseases. Sodium intake has a huge impact on our health.
Eating low-sodium is a real challenge
You can’t just “eat fewer pretzels” because —
Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and restaurant food.
High sodium comes in common foods you don’t expect.
High sodium foods don’t always taste salty.
Breads, sandwich meats, cheese and cheesy foods like pizza & pasta, and chicken are some surprising high-sodium sources.
What can you do?
Take control of what you put in your body by preparing more foods yourself.
Compare labels, because brands vary their levels by a lot. And even most raw chicken and pork from the grocery store have been injected with salt water.
Limit processed foods high in sodium.
Eat more fruits and veggies - without sauce.
Tell your favorite restaurants and grocers that low sodium is important to you. Make sure that cafeterias and vending machines suppliers at school and work are aware as well.
Track your sodium intake
Most people need to limit their sodium intake to at least 2,300 mg a day. However, people who are older than 50, African Americans and people with high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease may need to limit their intake to 1,500 mg a day.
On average Americans intake 3,300 mg a day, which shows how far off target we are. In today’s busy world, it’s very easy to eat twice as much sodium as you should. Learn more about the effects of a high-sodium diet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I got an email from someone who claimed that SB 1698 and HR 3166 was a bill that would allow US citizens to be stripped of their citizenship if they are "engaging in, or purposely and materially supporting, hostilities against the US," without trial. Is this true?
Senate bill 1698 and House of Representatives bill 3166 are both bills to create the “Enemy Expatriation Act.” The Senators and Representatives who introduced the bills are trying to make a change to an existing law, the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Immigration and Nationality Act includes a list of reasons why a U.S. citizen or national could lose his or her nationality, such as serving in the armed forces of another nation. The bills’ sponsors are concerned that the Immigration and Nationality Act might not apply to terrorists. The proposed Enemy Expatriation Act would revoke a person’s U.S. nationality for “Purposefully and materially supporting hostilities against the United States.”
The government cannot revoke a person’s U.S. citizenship against his or her wishes without a federal trial. The Enemy Expatriation Act does not try to change this.
Both bills are in the early stages in the process of becoming a law. They are in committees, which is what happens after a bill is first introduced. Many bills never make it out of committee.
Stay updated on the status of S. 1698 and H.R. 3166, or read the text of the proposed legislation.
Keeping up with vaccines is not always easy, particularly if you live in a household with family members of different ages. Vaccination needs can also change quickly if there’s an outburst of a disease.
These days, however, figuring out who needs to get vaccinated, when and where is as easy as visiting Vaccines.gov, the federal government’s centralized portal for everything related to vaccines. The portal recently launched a Spanish-language version of the site.
"Vaccinations protect you but also protect family members and the community, and this website will help everybody get answers to some of the most basic questions about vaccines," said Guillermo Avilés-Mendoza, a Public Health Advisor to the National Vaccine Program Office at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Useful Information about Vaccines
The site offers information about vaccines from a practical and useful perspective. You’ll find, for example, vaccination calendars, explanations on how vaccines work and resources on which vaccines you need to take before going abroad.
In addition, you can:
Read about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Learn which diseases are preventable through vaccines.
Become familiar with the many acronyms and abbreviations surrounding vaccinations.
"It’s a place where you can find practical and useful tools," said Guillermo Avilés-Mendoza.
Who Needs to Get Vaccinated and When
It’s a myth that vaccinations are only for children, pregnant women and senior citizens. In fact, every year thousands of adults get vaccinated against flu. There are different factors that determine if you need to get vaccinated, including your age, lifestyle, medical conditions and the places you visit. You might also want to get vaccinated if there’s an outburst of a particular disease, like whooping cough.
Dozens of people died during an outbreak in 2010, most of them children under the age of one who couldn’t get vaccinated because they were too young. That’s why the federal government recommends that 11 or 12 year-olds get a booster of whooping cough vaccine, and that all adults get vaccinated against the whooping cough and get a booster every 10 years.
"The vaccine protects the person who took it, but also those who can’t get vaccinated, such as small children and people with weak immune systems," said Avilés-Mendoza.
Vaccinations are available in many places, from your doctor’s office and hospitals to pharmacies, churches and even schools and colleges. And many insurance companies cover the cost of vaccines. But what if you don’t have insurance?
You can always get vaccinated at the many community clinics funded by the federal government across the country. These clinics offer low cost vaccinations, so you pay what you are able to afford. Vaccinations.gov has a community clinic locator. Just type in your ZIP code.
"These clinics are great because they also offer other types of services such as prenatal care, dental and mental health services," said Avilés-Mendoza.
For international travel, U.S. citizens need to have a passport or other valid documents in order to enter the United States. Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the U.S., called closed loop cruises, do not require you to travel with a passport. However, if you need to leave the cruise ship because of an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may have trouble entering or staying in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty re-entering the United States by air because many airlines require a valid passport in order to board the aircraft. Because of these reason, it is strongly recommended that you always travel abroad with a valid passport.
By Dan Rutherford from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
About 75 percent of taxpayers are expected to receive a federal income tax refund this year. If you’re one of them, here are five ways to help you keep more of the money you’re getting back from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
Automatically deposit your savings. Use IRS Form 8888 (PDF) to automatically deposit your refund into up to three accounts. You have the option to deposit some of your refund into your checking account and some into your savings account. You can also use the form to deposit refunds into retirement accounts, mutual funds, or U.S. Savings Bonds. All you need are your account numbers and routing numbers. Contact your financial institutions if you need assistance locating these numbers.
Use free filing services. Store-front tax preparers can charge you hundreds of dollars to file your taxes. But many taxpayers can use the IRS’s FreeFile service to complete and file their taxes free online.
Compare instant refund offers to direct deposit. Many commercial tax preparation companies market “free filing” or “instant refunds.” But these offers may come with hidden fees and strings attached.
Be sure to claim all credits or deductions. A tax credit lowers your tax bill dollar for dollar. A deduction lowers your taxable income, so the amount you save will depend on your tax bracket. Knowing which credits and deductions you qualify for can be complex and you may want to find a qualified tax preparer to help. Although a qualified tax preparer will generally charge for their service, if you qualify for the earned income tax credit, have children, have a mortgage, contributed to a retirement plan, or paid tuition, the added tax savings may be worth the extra effort and cost.
If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, contact your local VITA site for free help. There are more than 12,000 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the United States. These sites offer you free tax preparation and assistance by trained volunteers if you meet the income limits. Call 1-800-906-9887 to find the VITA site nearest you. To learn more about the VITA program, visit the IRS website.
Federal law establishes public holidays for federal employees. When a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is usually observed on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).
give or take how long does it take to process a spouse visa with the right supply of information
The time it takes to process a spouse or fiancée visa varies from case to case and, unfortunately, cannot be predicted.
Cases can be delayed when the applicant does not follow instructions carefully or when the U.S. sponsor, or petitioner, cannot meet the requirements. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer.
The FY2013 Budget of the United States Government was released yesterday. It contains a message from the President, information on the President’s priorities, budget overviews organized by agency, and summary tables.