Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: How to talk to your kids about money. Also in the news: Shrewd ways to use your tax refund for your future, how to survive an IRS audit, and tips for cancer patients who are worried about the cost of their care.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Money
The sooner the better.

5 shrewd ways to use your tax refund for your future
Your retirement fund will thank you.

How to survive being audited by the IRS
Don’t panic.

7 tips for cancer patients worrying about the cost of their care
Minimizing the stress.

Is Your Tax Refund Safe?

file_161555_0_tax refundYour tax refund may take a few days longer to land in your bank account this year. That’s because criminals from around the world are determined to get to it first.

“Our systems are attacked about a million times a week,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says. “These are Russian syndicates, Chinese. … They’re coming from all over.”

I talked to Koskinen on the same day his agency revealed that last year’s attack on the IRS’ Get Transcript system was more than twice as bad as previous estimates. The hackers apparently accessed tax return information for more than 700,000 people, not 334,000 as was reported last summer.

In my latest for NerdWallet, what the hackers did with that information, and how it could affect this year’s refunds.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Investing your tax refund so it feels like splurging. Also in the news: IRS scams to avoid, financial mistakes to watch out for, and being frugal without wasting your time.

How to Invest Your Tax Refund So It Feels Like Splurging
Long term rewards.

Don’t Fall for These IRS Scams
With tax season comes scam season.

3 Big Financial Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make
Avoiding these pitfalls.

How to Be Frugal Without Wasting Your Time
Making the most of your time AND money.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

321562-data-breachesToday’s top story: The excuses that are keeping you from being debt-free. Also in the news: A major data breach at Time-Warner Cable, smart ways to spend your tax refund, and why most Americans couldn’t handle a surprise $500 bill.

5 Excuses Keeping You From Being Debt-Free
No more excuses.

If you’re a Time-Warner Cable customer, you should change your passwords immediately
The first big data breach of 2016.

9 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Some are unexpected.

Most Americans can’t handle a $500 surprise bill
Living on the financial edge.

Q&A: Delayed tax refunds

Dear Liz: How long is too long for an IRS tax refund to be disbursed? I got my state tax refund in a matter of weeks. The IRS refund has been “under review” for almost five months.

Answer: A sizable surge in tax refund theft as well as a database breach that exposed more than 300,000 taxpayers’ returns have kept the IRS pretty busy. At the same time, big budget cuts have left the agency with fewer people to help with these issues.

Five months is a long wait, but people who have been the victims of refund theft report waiting nine months or more to get their money back.

You can try contacting the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040, although you’re likely to be on hold for quite a while. If you can’t get a response, you can contact the IRS’ Taxpayer Advocate at (877) 777-4778, but be advised its resources have been trimmed as well and it may just refer you back to the IRS.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Year-end tricks to boost your tax refund. Also in the news: Unstacking the deck for student loan borrowers, the most important mortgage documents you’ll sign, and why you shouldn’t raid your retirement savings to pay for the holidays.

5 Year-End Tricks to Boost Your Tax Refund
Now’s the time to reduce your tax liability.

Unstacking the Deck for Student Loan Borrowers
There’s a lot of money at stake.

The 4 Most Important Mortgage Documents You’ll Sign
What you’ll be signing if you purchase a home in the near future.

5 Safety Features That Can Save You Money on Car Insurance
Every penny counts.

Don’t Raid Your Retirement Account to Pay for the Holidays
The high costs of splurging.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How to protect your credit cards online. Also in the news: Tips to avoid investing scams, moves to make before the Fed raises interest rates, and how to handle investments if you divorce.

4 Ways to Protect Your Credit Cards Online
With holiday shopping just around the corner, you can’t be too careful.

Simple steps retirees (and others) can take to avoid investing scams
If it sounds too good to be true…

5 moves to make before the Fed raises rates
It’s only a matter of time.

How to Handle Investments When You Divorce
Making sure your assets are fairly divided.

Finally Start Saving for Retirement With the Help of Your Tax Refund
Saving instead of splurging.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

FICO-score-calculation-300x281Today’s top story: Unraveling the mysteries of the FICO score. Also in the news: What you shouldn’t buy with your tax refund, teaching your kids good money habits, and 11 common money mistakes to avoid.

How Many FICO Scores Are There?
More than you’d think.

5 things not to buy with your tax refund
Put down that solid gold Apple watch.

How to Use Allowances to Teach Kids About Money
Instilling good money habits early.

Don’t Make These 11 Common Money Mistakes
Avoid getting caught in a spending trap.

5 Vital Questions To Ask Before Retirement
Remember, this isn’t a permanent vacation.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

o-CREDIT-REPORT-facebookToday’s top story: Changes to the credit report dispute process are on the way. Also in the news: What to do with your tax refund, things you should consider as you approach retirement, and the biggest tax law changes you need to know about.

Your Biggest Credit Report Complaint May Be Getting Fixed
Changes in the dispute process are on the way.

What to Do With Your Tax Refund
Suggestions other than an Apple Watch.

7 Items for Your To-Do List in the Year You Retire
Things to consider as you approach the finish line.

The Biggest Tax Law Changes You Need to Know About This Year
April 15th is just around the corner.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: How best to protect yourself when shopping online. Also in the news: Retirement resolutions for the new year, how to stay disciplined with your money, and how your credit card could boost your retirement savings.

Which is Safer? Paypal Or A Credit Card
With cyber attacks on the rise, which payment method is safer?

5 Retirement Resolutions For 2015
How to keep your retirement plans on track.

4 Ways to Stay Disciplined With Your Money
Tips to help you stay the course.

How to Build Your Retirement Savings Using a Credit Card
Your credit card rewards could help fund your retirement.

How to Reduce Your 2014 Tax Bill By Over $1,000
Contributing to your IRA could boost your refund.