Avoid tax refund ripoffs, and think twice about getting married

Tax refundMy recent MSN Money columns, in case you missed them:

How to avoid tax-return rip-offs Beware of promises to get your refund faster. Refund anticipation loans are gone, and what’s replaced them isn’t worth the cost.

Gay marriage can muddle finances Gay and in love? You might want to wait to marry.

‘Boomerang’ kids: Moving out again Household formation is on the rise and the kids who moved into their parents’ basements are finally able to move out on their own. Here’s what they, and their parents, need to know to avoid future boomerangs.

Simple retirement can be satisfying If you haven’t saved much for retirement, all is not lost as long as you’re willing to pursue a much simpler lifestyle than what you’re probably living now. One man who lives just such a life is happy he does.


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  1. Michael Peralta says

    I have a question. My company gave me company stock as part of my benefit package. By default, they sell a certain amount of them to pay for the taxes due on the stocks. This year I noticed that I actually got a tax form from e-trade for this transaction. I didn’t know I got a form from them in prior years so I included those forms to my tax agent so she can include them. She actually told me that it reduced my total refund because this is considered a form untaxed income. Does that make sense?

    • I’m not sure why she said it was a form of untaxed income, since it’s obviously being taxed–that’s what’s reducing your refund. Perhaps she said “unearned income”? In any case, when you sell stock (or it’s sold on your behalf), that typically generates a 1099B form that needs to be accounted for on your returns. If you haven’t previously gotten these forms, you might want to check with your HR department to see what’s up. It’s better to do this proactively than just wait for the IRS to audit you for prior years.