No, a tax transcript will not help you determine when you will get your refund. This is among the common myths and misconceptions that are often repeated in social media.
The codes listed on tax transcripts do not provide any early insight into when a refund will be issued. The best way to check on your refund is by visiting “Where’s My Refund?”
While transcripts include a lot of detailed information regarding actions taken on your account, the codes do not mean the same thing for everyone and they do not necessarily reflect how any of these actions do or do not impact the amount or timing of your refund.
IRS transcripts are best and most often used to validate past income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications and to help with tax preparation.
Know the Difference Between your Visa Expiration Date and your Authorized Length of Stay
When you decide to travel to the United States, whether for business or pleasure, you’ll need both a passport and a visitor visa.
A visa issued by the U.S. consulate or embassy allows you to travel to the United States, but the immigration officer at the port of entry is the person who allows you to enter the country and decides how long you may stay.
Your visa expiration date
Your visa will state how long you are able to travel to the country. This length of time varies by case and depends on the decisions of the consular or embassy officials who process your application.
Note that the expiration date of your visa is not the same as the time you are allowed to remain in the country during each trip. For example, a visa that’s valid for 10 years allows you to travel back and forth to the United States for that period, but doesn’t mean you can stay in the country for the entire time.
Your length of stay in the United States
Upon entering the country you need to complete and submit an immigration I-94 form (which registers arrivals and departures). The forms are available at any air, sea or land port of entry.
The immigration officer will ask you a series of questions about the purpose of your visit. The agent will also stamp your passport with the date of arrival and write on your I-94 the length of time you can stay in the country — for example, 60 days. This length of time indicates your legal presence in the United States and may be extended if necessary.
How to extend your stay
When asking for an extension you need to verify that you haven’t exceeded your authorized stay. For instance, if you arrived as a tourist but want to become a student, you must submit an application to change your status before your stay expires.
To make your request you must complete an I-539 form. Be sure to do this well in advance.
If you stay in the country beyond the authorized time, your presence will be considered illegal, and you could lose the privilege of returning to the United States or your visa renewal may be denied.
America Saves Week February 24 – March 1, 2014 is chance for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. Did you know that only half of Americans report having good savings habits? Now is the time to take action and Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Take the time this week to select a savings goal and create a plan to save for it.
Here are 5 easy ways to get involved in America Saves Week:
Those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save for emergencies and retirement than those without a plan. Join over 350,000 people who have already committed to save. When you take the pledge you can also choose to receive text message tips and reminders to help you save for your goal.
As part of America Saves Week (February 24-March 1, 2014), a time set aside annually to promote good savings behavior, the Cooperative Extension system is launching an online “2014 America Saves Challenge.”
This free five-week program, open to anyone who enrolls online, will be held from Sunday, February 23, through Saturday, March 29, 2014.
Prizes will be awarded for participants who report the highest point totals at the end of each week and at the end of the challenge.
To participate in the America Saves Challenge, visit the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Small Steps to Health and Wealth™ Challenge Web site at http://rutgers.ancc.net/.
Set up a user name and password and download a one-page user’s guide with instructions about how to proceed. Enroll in the Challenge titled “2014 America Saves Challenge.” This challenge will be among a list of names of online challenges that are currently available to participate in.
America Saves Week, February 24 – March 1, 2014, is a time to review your finances, decide what you want to save for, and set up a system that will allow you to save automatically. That’s why the America Saves Week theme is Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.
Did you know that only half of Americans report having good savings habits? Even if you are already saving, it’s good to take a look at your goals and decide if you can save more or start a new savings goal. Join thousands of others who are pledging to pay down debt, save money, and take financial action during America Saves Week.
Not sure what to save for or what to save for next? Here are the most popular saving goals of those who have pledged to save through America Saves:
Save for Emergencies - Only 37 percent of low-to-moderate income households have a savings or money market account at a bank or credit union and nearly a quarter of savers who have pledged to save have chosen “emergency savings” as their first wealth-building goal. Learn more.
Save for Education - Saving for education is the second most popular goal savers select when they pledge to save with America Saves. There are many different things to factor in when saving and paying for college. Learn more.
Pay Down Debt - Getting out of debt is the #3 goal Savers select when they pledge to save. That does not come as a surprise since a 2012 survey found that 45% of families with annual incomes under $50,000 rely on credit cards to pay for basic needs such as rent, utilities, insurance and food. Learn more.
Save for a Home - For decades, home ownership has been the main path to wealth for most Americans. Today, home equity - the market value of a home minus the balance on any home loans - represents more than four-fifths of the typical family’s wealth. Learn more.
Save for Retirement - Retirement savings is a top priority for many Savers. Saving for retirement now will ensure that you have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living when you stop or reduce the amount of hours you work. Learn more.
Not sure how to save for your goals? Here are some saving strategies to help:
Save Automatically - The easiest and most effective way to save is automatically. This is how millions of Americans save at their bank or credit union, and how millions of employees save through 401(k) and other retirement programs at work. Learn more.
Save at Tax Time - Do you spend weeks eagerly anticipating your tax refund? When the money finally comes in, is it gone tomorrow? Many people view tax refunds as unplanned bonuses. They see the money as a gift from the government, to use for splurges or treats. But a tax refund provides the opportunity to improve your financial situation. Learn more.
Take the America Saves Pledge (or re-pledge) today to set your savings goal and make a plan to save. When you take the pledge you can also choose to receive text message tips and reminders to help you save for your goal. And don’t forget to follow America Saves on Facebook and Twitter.
In order to retire and be able to collect Social Security benefits, you must be at least 62 years-old. However, if you begin to collect at that age, the funds will be permanently reduced. If instead you decide to retire at age 67, you will be able to collect your full benefits.
2.Number of Social Security Credits Needed to Retire
In addition to reaching retirement age, you should also have accumulated a total of 40 credits. You earn credits depending on the number of years you worked. Generally you get four credits for every year you’ve worked.
If you’ve already accumulated 40 credits and you’d like to know the amount of money that you’d collect during your retirement, you can create an online Social Security account and receive a copy of your benefits.
If you don’t have the required 40 credits but would like an estimate of the amount of benefits you’d receive, you can use the retirement benefits calculator.
You have the right to collect Social Security benefits even if you live in another country. But if you are receiving retirement payments from another country that isn’t the United States, Social Security may reduce those benefits.
There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. But the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow, and the more equity you’ll have. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a mortgage insurance policy to secure the loan. When considering the size of your down payment, consider that you’ll also need money for closing costs, moving expenses, and - possibly -repairs and decorating.
The process to get a visa to go to the U.S. is different depending on your country of origin and the purpose of your visit. Often you must complete part of the process online, but you will likely have to go to a U.S. Embassy for an interview and paperwork processing. You may also have to go to a certain bank to pay a fee. Start learning about the U.S. visa process.
Financial Aid for College: Many State Applications Are Due Soon
The federal government offers more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds to students each year. To see if you qualify for aid, you must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called the FAFSA.
Many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.
Generally, your grant or loan will cover a full academic year and your school will disburse (pay out) your money in at least two payments called disbursements. In most cases, your school must pay you at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that don’t use traditional terms such as semesters or quarters usually must pay you at least twice per academic year—for instance, at the beginning and midpoint of your academic year.
If you will have a work-study job, then you’ll be paid at least once a month.