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Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

Winning the Mini-Powerball (a.k.a. Getting a tax refund)

By Mark Foster Did you know that last year the average tax refund was $3,034? Oftentimes when people get a large tax refund, it’s treated like a little lottery winning. We have seen people get a large refund of $3,000, $4,000 or more but spend it all within a few months and not improve their financial situation much, if at all. It’s okay to have some fun with your money – …Read More

Patiently Waiting for Your Tax Refund is Better Than Eating Expired Meat

By Gary Silverman Note from Gary: My colleague at Personal Money Planning, Certified Financial Health Counselor and Certified Credit Counselor (among other things) Michelle Kuehner, offered to help me out on a few of these posts. You can find out more about her at our website and at FixOurBudget.com. A while back I wrote in my blog about watching a few episodes of Extreme Cheapskates (don’t judge…). I also made …Read More

Using Your Tax Refund to Pay Down Debt

By Thomas Bright If you waited until April 15 to file your taxes then your next big milestone might be just around the corner. What milestone am I referring to? Your tax refund coming from the IRS! Exciting stuff isn’t it? Before you get ahead of yourself and start thinking about how you’ll spend it, though, you need to reconsider what a refund really is, and you might want to consider …Read More

Why Did I Receive a 1099-C From My Credit Card Issuer?

By John Ulzheimer By now you’ve probably started receiving your tax-related forms. Most of you will receive form W2, which is sent by your employer and memorializes your income earned for tax year 2014. Some of you, like me, will receive one (or several) 1099s. A 1099 is sent to people who do contract work as a non-employee. And some of you will unfortunately receive form 1099-C.   What is …Read More

Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely

By Jason Alderman Last year the IRS doled out over 110 million income tax refunds averaging $2,803. Another way to look at it is that collectively, Americans overpaid their taxes by nearly $310 billion in 2012. Part of that is understandable: If you don’t have enough tax withheld throughout the year through payroll deductions or quarterly estimated tax payments, you’ll be hit with an underpayment penalty come April 15. But …Read More

How To Handle A Tax BillYou Can’t Afford To Pay

By Kimberly Rotter This April 15th the bottom line for many taxpayers will be an amount owed, not a refund due. No matter what the amount it almost always hurts, at least a little, to write that check to Uncle Sam. And, hopefully if you’re one of those who is faced with a tax bill you’ll have the means to pay up. Some of you won’t, however. The IRS (and your …Read More

2014 Tax Season
What You Need To Know

By Lauralynn Schueckler Many people are already anticipating the need to get their taxes in order, after all, April 15th comes pretty quick. For those who have done taxes in the past, history has shown that the folks in Washington are forever making changes to the tax laws. As with many years in the past, changes will likely occur in the way we process those returns, however the biggest change …Read More

Tax Preparation and Refund Tips

By Mark Foster As the tax season rolls around there are some important things to keep in mind. Last year’s average federal tax refund was approximately $3,000. That’s a lot of money, so it’s important to have a game plan for what to do with it. It’s all too easy to spend a refund on various fun things or odds and ends, so it is wise to have a plan …Read More

Retiring Soon? Don’t Forget Tax Implications

By Jason Alderman If your retirement is not far off you’ve probably already started to estimate what your living expenses will be after the regular paychecks stop. Most would-be retirees remember to include routine expenses like housing (rent or mortgage), medical bills and prescriptions, insurance premiums, transportation – even food and entertainment. But don’t forget to factor in taxes, which can have a substantial impact on your cost of living, …Read More

Income Tax Identity Theft

By Jana Castanon Be Aware Now Identity Theft. You know what it is. You have heard ads, news reports, and warnings on ways to protect yourself. You probably have a firewall on your computer, are more cautious when you are using your credit or debit cards, and more mindful when you are giving out personal information. But, are you protecting yourself from the fastest growing area of identity theft – income tax …Read More