Tax Extension Deadline – Should You File a Tax Return or File an Extension?

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In these economically tough times you might not have enough money to pay your entire tax bill when due. Inside your head, you scream, “I need more time!” But before you stress out realize that the IRS offers a 6-month tax filing deadline extension that is not that hard to get.  So ask yourself, “Should I […]

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Has my Financial and Personal Information Been Compromised if I used TurboTax, H&R Block or Tax Act?

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There has been a lot of publicity of late around electronic security breaches with a focus on tax software related breaches. The majority of people file their taxes electronically and with tax returns containing your most sensitive personal information it is no surprise that hacking or compromised data that leads to identity theft and other online […]

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2015 IRS Average Tax Refund

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[Updated with latest refund details] As of March 1st, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said it has received more than 50 million tax returns, with more than 95% of those returns filed electronically and over 80% of those returns resulting in refunds. The IRS generally receives over 140 million returns over the tax season. The IRS […]

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iPhone or Samsung Trade-in and Upgrade? Then Skip Best Buy and Go For Verizon or AT&T Stores to Get The Best Deal

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Just a quick money saving tip. If you are looking to upgrade your old iPhone or Samsung then avoid Best Buy and other big box electronic store and go to the network provider (AT&T, Sprint Verizon) for the best deals. See the screenshots below for the trade-in prices I got at various sites on my […]

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2015 IRS Refund Cycle Chart for 2014 Tax Return Filings

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While the IRS has officially discontinued releasing refund cycle charts, below are estimated refund dates (based on past refund cycles) you can expect to receive your refund after filing your tax return. For refund dates specific to your tax filing go to the Where is my Refund page at IRS.gov. You will need information from your […]

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5 Places to Get Free Tax Advice, Guidance and Help

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A lot of families cannot afford to pay for professional help to get advice on taxes and/or to prepare their tax returns. While simple returns for low income earners can be filed for free with most large online e-File tax providers, those who have complicated financial situations or have moved states during the year can find […]

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Where Can I Check my State 2014 Tax Refund Status and 2015 Filing Information?

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There is a lot of focus around this time of the year on folk’s federal IRS tax return, but just as many people need to worry about one or more state tax returns. Every state varies with their local tax rules and refund processing timelines and I thought I would provide a consolidated list of […]

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What Should I Do With My Tax Refund and How Do People Spend Their Refunds

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So you are lucky enough to get a tax refund. Congratulations. But before you think of this as an end-of-year bonus or money you can fritter away, realize it is actually just the money you already earned for the most part. Sure some of the refund may be due to a tax credit or other […]

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How Much Will it Cost to Have a Tax Professional Prepare Your Tax Return this Year?

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I have received variations on this question over the last few years and when I saw this article in the WSJ I had the answer to my question.  The national average fee for 2014 returns will be $273, according to a survey by the National Society of Accountants. This fee is based on filing for the […]

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Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2016

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[Updated following SOTU speech] Following President Obama’s state of the union speech and in addition to the items below, he had some good news on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  for 2016, which actually partisan support. The EITC supplements the wages of low income workers, and especially working mothers, lifting more children out […]

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