Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The tax credit fix many can’t afford to miss. Also in the news: Being the first in the family to invest, how to right your retirement savings after coronavirus setbacks, and why your credit karma score seems to high.

The Tax Credit Fix Many Can’t Afford to Miss
Working families could miss out on the refundable tax credits they need to make ends meet.

First in the Family to Invest: How I Saved Almost $700K
Frugality and a commitment to invest at least 20% of his earnings have paid off for this Missouri man.

How to Right Your Retirement Savings After Coronavirus Setbacks
For investors whose retirement savings have been disrupted by the pandemic, there’s a path to replenishment in 2021 and beyond.

Why Your Credit Karma Score Seems Too High
Not all scores are the same.

The tax credit fix many can’t afford to miss

Families battered by the pandemic recession soon may discover that the tax refunds they’re counting on are dramatically smaller — or that they actually owe income tax. Congress offered a partial solution, but the fix hasn’t been widely publicized, consumer advocates say.

Refunds are crucial to many lower- and moderate-income households, which use the money to catch up on bills and medical treatments, pay down debt and boost savings.

But the unemployment insurance that kept many people afloat last year may cause problems at tax time this year. In my latest for the Associated Press, how a tax credit fix could lessen the blow of unemployment benefits taxes.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 money tasks you need to do right now. Also in the news: NerdWallet’s 2019 Best Banks, how one couple ditched holiday debt, and all the tax credits you can take for 2018.

3 Money Tasks You Need to Do Right Now
Make your life much easier.

NerdWallet’s 2019 Best-of Awards: The Best Banks
Check out the winners.

How I Ditched Debt: Holiday Bills Break a Couple’s Budget
Recovering from the holidays.

All the Tax Credits You Can Take for 2018
Start making a list.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How bad credit can increase your car costs. Also in the news: Owning Bitcoin creates a complex tax situation, 13 last-ditch ways to avoid the poorhouse in retirement, and the top 7 tax deductions and credits people forget.

Good Driver, Bad Credit: What Makes Your Car Costs So High
It’s not just the monthly payment.

Owning Bitcoin Creates a Complex Tax Situation
Taxing cryptocurrency.

13 Last-Ditch Ways to Avoid the Poorhouse in Retirement
Before it’s too late.

Top 7 Tax Deductions And Credits That People Forget
Leave no deduction behind.

Q&A: Credits can boost a refund beyond the taxes paid — and keep millions out of poverty

Dear Liz: A friend of mine received a 2016 tax refund of over $9,000 even though this person did not pay nearly that amount in taxes over the course of the year. My friend has a fairly low-paying job with no benefits, is a single parent of two young children and receives no support from the children’s other parent. Given this scenario, is it possible to get a tax refund in an amount greater than what you paid in taxes?

Answer: Absolutely, and these refundable credits keep millions of working Americans out of poverty each year.

Refundable credits are tax breaks that don’t just offset taxes you owe but also can give you additional money back. Most of your friend’s refund probably came from the earned income tax credit, which was initially created in the 1970s to help low-income workers offset Social Security taxes and rising food costs due to inflation.

The credit was expanded during President Reagan’s administration as a way to make work more attractive than welfare. Each administration since has increased the credit, which has broad bipartisan support.

The maximum credit in 2016 was $506 for a childless worker and $6,269 for earners with three or more children. Your friend probably also received child tax credits of up to $1,000 per child. This credit, meant to offset the costs of raising children, is also at least partially refundable when people work and earn more than $3,000.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Credit report with score on a desk

Today’s top story: Finding which tax credits you qualify for. Also in the news: New rules could mean lower life insurance rates, why you shouldn’t fear your mobile wallet, and all the credit card companies that offer free access to your credit score.

What Tax Credits Can I Qualify For?
Saving the most money possible.

New Rules Could Mean Lower Life Insurance Rates
New state laws could lower your rate.

Don’t Fear Your Mobile Wallet
It could be the safest way to pay.

All the Credit Card Companies That Offer Free Access to Your Credit Score
Checking your score is absolutely essential.

How to put more in working-class pockets

The American working class lost a shocking amount of wealth in recent decades as wages stagnated. Despite campaign promises, making up that lost ground will be no easy feat.

Creating more well-paying jobs would help, but that could take years. Tax cuts could mean bigger paychecks for higher earners but won’t immediately help the many working people who don’t pay federal income taxes — people in the bottom 40 percent of incomes receive more back from the federal income tax system on average than they pay in, thanks to tax credits.

Expanding those credits, on the other hand, quickly could make a real difference in people’s lives and help return some of the income that’s been sacrificed to changing economies and technology.

In my latest for the Associated Press, a look at which tax credit expansion would put more money back into working-class pockets.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

payday-loansToday’s top story: Covering the costs of long-term care. Also in the news: Discovering tax credits you qualify for, how to save money on your wedding day, and how the government’s new rules will make payday loans a little less terrible.

Covering the Costs of Long-Term Care
Preparing for the future.

What Tax Credits Can I Qualify For?
Finding the “gold nuggets” of the tax world.

10 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Day
Weddings don’t have to cost a fortune.

The government’s new rules will make payday loans less terrible
Easing horrific interest rates.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

interest-rates-300x225Today’s top story: What you need to know about a potential interest rate hike. Also in the news: An education tax credit that could save you $2500, how to save money on your next vacation, and how to calculate how much you’ll lose by cashing out an old 401(k).

Rates Are About to Rise: Here’s What You Need to Know
Be prepared.

Could an educational tax credit save you $2,500 this year?
Let’s find out.

5 ways to save money on your next vacation
Alternatives to coming home broke.

This Calculator Shows How Much You’ll Lose by Cashing Out an Old 401(k)
Should you cash out?

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Tax credits that can save you a lot of cash. Also in the news: How to make your kids smarter about money, why we overspend with our credit cards, and how to get through the most awkward money conversations.

5 Tax Credits That Can Save You a Boatload of Cash
Don’t miss out.

9 ways to make your kids smarter about money
It’s never too early to start.

How credit cards get us to overspend
Mind games.

The 9 most awkward money conversations and how to get through them
The conversations you can’t avoid.