IRS will begin accepting 2016 tax returns on Jan. 23,
and this year’s deadline is April 18 — not 15 —
because the deadline arrives on a weekend, and is
followed by the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington.
delays in your 2017 refund — due to holidays for
Presidents’ Day on Feb. 20 and processing times for
the federal government and banks. The IRS, for instance,
instituted some antifraud measures that may delay
millions of refunds until Feb. 27, more than a month
after tax-filing season opens, the agency said.
you’re checking for an estimated refund date, you can
use the agency’s online "Where’s My
Refund?" tool — located at IRS.gov/refunds —
anytime after Feb. 15.
who claims the earned income tax credit or the
additional child tax credit will likely have their
refund held until at least Feb. 15.
Commissioner John Koskinen said that taxpayers who file
electronically with their own tax software need to have
last year’s return handy.
you’re changing tax-software products this filing
season, make sure you have a copy of your prior-year
return on hand," he said. "You may be asked to
enter your 2015 adjusted gross income. This helps verify
your identity before you e-file."
IRS paid refunds on 73 percent of last year’s 153
million returns, with refunds averaging $2,857, Koskinen
said, and expects similar numbers this year.
who can’t find an answer on IRS.gov can call the IRS
at 800-829-1040 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7
who can’t resolve their issue online or by phone can
schedule an appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance
the "contact your local office" tool on
IRS.gov to find the closest office or call 844-545-5640.
also Free File, free tax-preparation software available
to those earning less than $64,000 annually. After
Friday, you can download the free software at
Free File Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of
industry-leading tax-software companies partnered with
the IRS to provide free electronic tax services. More
than 46 million returns have been filed since the
program began in 2003.
on alert for scammers looking for your refund!
the IRS will never:
to demand immediate payment, especially asking you to
use a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer.
Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe
to immediately bring in local police or other
law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not
that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to
question or appeal the amount it says you owe.
for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Don’t hand those over.
calling with aggressive and threatening demands for
taxes are criminals impersonating IRS agents — and
they remain a major threat for American taxpayers.
Variations of the IRS impersonation scam continue
year-round and tend to peak when scam artists find prime
opportunities to strike — like tax season. Don’t
become a victim — just hang up.
interest rates may bring pain in the short term, but
Vanguard newsletter writer and adviser Dan Wiener still
likes Vanguard’s Short-Term Investment-Grade and
Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade bond funds, rather
than the Treasury-heavy Total Bond Market Index.
as long as the economy remains strong, the Vanguard
High-Yield Corporate bond fund is also "a terrific
option. Many questioned me when I recommended we buy the
fund at the end of September 2011. But through the end
of this past year, High-Yield Corporate has brought us a
total return of 45.3 percent, four times the 11.6
percent return for Total Bond Market Index over the same
period, making it the single best bond fund among
Vanguard’s stable by a factor of two or more."
also owns Vanguard Health Care, down 9.0 percent in 2016
and lagging its in-house index competition — Vanguard
Health Care ETF only dropped 3.2 percent. It was the
worst-performing Vanguard fund for much of the year.
certainly not happy with that performance, but allow me
to reaffirm my conviction in this holding," he
added. Health-care spending currently runs at just under
18 percent of GDP, and will represent a bit more than 28
percent of GDP by 2041.
manager Jean Hynes and the team at Wellington Management
"won’t outperform the index every year, but with
all the innovations and potential regulatory changes
coming, I’d rather have Hynes and her team picking the
winners from the losers than just blindly buying all
health-care stocks," Wiener noted.
it’s not too late to contribute to your retirement
account. How much is enough? Fidelity offers a guideline
for retirement savings that suggests you put away eight
times your annual income by the time you hit age 67 to
have a shot at 85 percent of your preretirement annual
income. So, if you’re earning $65,000 per year at age
67, you’d have $520,000 put away.