refund http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/621/all en-US Best Money Tips: Responsible Uses for Your Tax Refund http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-responsible-uses-for-your-tax-refund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-responsible-uses-for-your-tax-refund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money-2675414-small.jpg" alt="money" title="money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on responsible uses for your tax refund, saving money when checking out online, and principles of success.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/5-responsible-uses-for-your-tax-refund/">5 Responsible Uses for Your Tax Refund</a> &mdash; Investing for retirement is a responsible use for your tax refund. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/save-money-online-checkout/">How to Save Money Checking Out Online</a> &mdash; To save money when checking out online, use promo codes and coupons. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://youngadultfinances.com/9-principles-of-success/">9 Principles of Success</a> &mdash; If you want to be successful, free yourself from your addictions and get rid of backstabbers. [Young Adult Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/you-can-make-extra-cash-online-to-put-towards-fun/">You Can Make Extra Cash Online to Put Towards Fun</a> &mdash; Increase your fun budget by using GigWalk or Field Agent on your smartphone. [Budgeting In the Fun Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/04/how-to-hire-a-contractor.html">How to Hire a Contractor</a> &mdash; When you hire a contractor, make sure you know what is and isn't included in their bid. [Free Money Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/6532/7-best-money-tips-from-warren-buffett/">7 Best Money Tips from Warren Buffett</a> &mdash; According to Warren Buffett, &quot;the more you learn, the more you'll earn.&quot; [Moolanomy]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id1305-teach-your-kids-how-to-be-personal-finance-losers-in-6-easy-steps.html">How to Raise your Kids to Be Personal Finance Losers (in 6 Easy Steps)</a> &mdash; Giving your children everything they want will not teach them money values you want them to learn. [Len Penzo]</p> <p><a href="http://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/jumpstart-savings-or-debt-repayment-spending-detox/">Jumpstart Savings Or Debt Repayment With A Spending Detox</a> &mdash; If you want to have a successful spending detox, you have to creative when it comes to figuring out how to avoid running to the store for your needs. [Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Upcycling-Denim-Ideas-29409540">18 Ideas For Upcycling Denim</a> &mdash; Use your demin to make a purse or earrings. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/taking-your-child-s-emotions-to-heart">Taking Your Child's Emotions to Heart</a> &mdash; To change your child's emotions you have to identify what is causing the emotion. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-responsible-uses-for-your-tax-refund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-bigger-refund-with-these-often-overlooked-tax-deductions">Get a Bigger Refund With These Often-Overlooked Tax Deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-billion-tax-refund-for-long-distance-phone">$10 billion tax refund for long distance phone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ring-ring-ka-ching-lying-about-your-telephone-tax">Ring. Ring. Ka-ching! Lying About Your Telephone Tax</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes best money tips refund tax refund taxes Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 973514 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_closed.jpg" alt="Closed sign" title="Closed sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="125" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What happens to a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> if the company offering the deal closes? And how do you get your money back? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">Selling Your Groupon Coupons</a>)</p> <p>According the <a href="http://www.groupon.com/faq">FAQ page of the Groupon website</a>, the guidelines are promising but vague:</p> <blockquote><p>What if the business for my Groupon closes down?</p> <p>If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Groupon, we'll make sure you get your money back.</p> </blockquote> <p>I had not given this subject much thought until a few weeks ago when my inbox contained an email with this subject line:</p> <p>&ldquo;An Important Message Regarding Your <em>ABC Bistro</em> Groupon&rdquo;</p> <p>My husband and I had tried once to use the Groupon for this restaurant. We had called on a Saturday afternoon to check on seating availability and make reservations. But it was unclear why we could not reserve a table &mdash; either seating was available on a first-come, first-served basis or all tables were booked. When we stopped by to check, we found that all tables were reserved; we vowed to plan ahead for a future outing.</p> <p>So, using the Groupon was still on my radar when the email arrived. This is the message I received:</p> <blockquote><p>We are writing to inform you that ABC Bistro has closed. While most of you have already redeemed your ABC Bistro Groupon, we know that some have not, and we want to get you your money back as soon as possible.</p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t used your Groupon, please email us at <a href="mailto:support@groupon.com">support@groupon.com</a> and we&rsquo;ll be happy to issue you a full refund to your original credit card used for the purchase or give you Groupon Credit.</p> <p>We were big fans of ABC Bistro, so we&rsquo;re especially sad to see them go. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.</p> <p>Thank you for your continued support.</p> </blockquote> <p>I was surprised to learn that the restaurant had closed. ABC Bistro (not the company&rsquo;s real name) had opened several months earlier and seemed to be doing well. It occupied a space in a new, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood shopping center in an area with a dearth of nice restaurants. On a nearly daily basis, I drove by this shopping center and had not noticed anything amiss. Nor had I heard about its closing from friends.</p> <p>This note was the first indication that anything was wrong. In retrospect, though, the inability of the restaurant staff to communicate its reservation policy was an omen.</p> <p>Groupon&rsquo;s move was fast. The email was sent to <em>everyone</em> who bought the deal. I wondered if Groupon was in such a hurry to issue refunds (and preserve its integrity) that the deal-seller decided to notify all buyers first, get responses, figure out who had redeemed the Groupon and who had not, and then issue refunds or give credit.</p> <h2>How I Got My Money Back</h2> <ul> <li>I replied soon after getting the message that the restaurant had closed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>My email message: &quot;Hi, I just got a note saying that ABC Bistro has closed; I had an unexpired coupon there. Can I get a credit card refund now? Please let me know if you need additional information from me.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Groupon support staff told me that my credit card account would be credited within 5&ndash;7 business days.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">refund</a> transaction was initiated on the same day and the credit was posted in 3 days.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Then I wondered:</p> <p>Had Groupon (or I) acted too quickly?</p> <p>No.</p> <p>Soon after sending my email, I checked the restaurant's website and saw that it had been dismantled. Its Facebook page was still active. A status update indicated that the restaurant would be closed for a few days while some business issues were resolved. Since then, the restaurant has not re-opened and the Facebook page is now empty. In this situation, Groupon knew about the restaurant's status before everyone else in town did.</p> <p><em>Do you use your Groupons immediately? Have you ever tried to use a Groupon but found that the company with the deal was closed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">Track Your Refunds or Get Ripped Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-end-of-the-energizer-bunny-six-products-that-dont-need-batteries">The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don&#039;t need batteries.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">4 Warranties That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping closing down groupon money back refund Mon, 02 May 2011 09:48:18 +0000 Julie Rains 532855 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tax-refund-cash_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Brought to you by </em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;239332750;62162108;z" target="_blank"><em>TurboTax Federal Free Edition &mdash; Free to prepare, Free to print, Free to efile</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>With millions of Americans due to receive tax refunds in the coming weeks, it's worthwhile to think about what to do with that mini-windfall. After all, since refunds are somewhat unpredictable, chances are you may not have a plan in place just yet. Here are 8 ideas to get the most out of your refund this year:</p> <p><b>1. Pay Down High Interest Debt Immediately </b></p> <p>I intentionally listed this as the first priority. Whether it's 20% interest on a credit card or 9% interest on a car loan, chances are that even if you invested your refund in equities or other conventional asset classes, you wouldn't get a higher return than the reduction in high interest debt. Plus, debt write-downs are guaranteed and involve no uncertainty or volatility. As we've seen on numerous occasions, including recent events in Japan, stocks are highly volatile.</p> <p><b>2. Build an Emergency Fund </b></p> <p>This one takes a close second. Even if you have some high interest debt, if you have no emergency fund whatsoever, you need to start one right away. This isn't exactly the hottest job market. It would behoove you to plan for the unexpected. While your refund might only equate to a month or two of post-tax spending, it's better than having no buffer at all. Any calamity ranging from job loss to a medical emergency could force you to ring up more high interest credit card debt, ruin your credit, or worse. An emergency fund is there to help you sleep better at night and weather the unexpected&mdash;because life happens. Think of it as insurance and hope you never need it.</p> <p><b>3. Upgrade Your Home and Get Another Refund Next Year </b></p> <p>Fortunately, recent tax legislation included some tax credits for green initiatives and stimulus efforts for the appliance, HVAC and window industries (see&nbsp;<a href="http://www.darwinsmoney.com/energy-tax-credit-2011/" target="_blank">2011 Energy Tax Credits</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Other-Deductions-and-Credits/Video---What-Are-Energy-Tax-Credits-/INF13770.html" target="_blank">What Are Energy Tax Credits</a>&nbsp;for full details).</p> <p>While the tax credits aren't as generous as they were from 2009-2010, homeowners can still receive credits totaling several hundred dollars while realizing lower energy costs for the life of the home. Now that's &quot;reinvesting&quot; that refund.</p> <p><b>4. Start Investing </b></p> <p>If recent headlines have taught us anything, it's that market and government forces are forcing more costs onto employees by way of higher health care contributions, higher pension contributions, lower wages and in all likelihood, some reduction in future Social Security benefits. With that in mind, it's important to start investing early and be more self-reliant in your later years. By investing just a portion of every refund you greatly reduce the burden on your budget in retirement. If you're not already an experienced investor, consider focusing on a simple low-fee index mutual fund or ETF.</p> <p>Not sure how to make the best of your IRA contributions? Check out this <a href="http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/ira/" target="_blank">IRA Tax Calculator</a> to estimate your IRA contributions.</p> <p><b>5. Save for College </b></p> <p>With college costs rising by roughly 2-3 times the rate of inflation annually, it's no surprise that even a state school education is out of reach for many American families. Realistically, we're talking over $100,000 per child in today's dollars. It's therefore important to start saving while your children are young, in either a college credit purchase plan or a self-directed investment plan.</p> <p><b>6. Start a Small Business</b></p> <p>There are so many ways to make money online these days I couldn't possibly list them all. Either online or through a particular skill set you possess, perhaps you can roll your refund into a new business. Some online examples include starting a new blog, or even buying a blog with existing traffic and income.</p> <p><b>7. Refinance</b></p> <p>Here's another opportunity to turn a few thousand dollars into years of annual savings. While interest rates had run up a bit over the past few months, they dipped again recently following the Earthquake in Japan when investors fled into Treasuries. The dip in the 10 Year bond yield drove mortgage rates back down so refinancing may be more attractive than it was just a few weeks ago. Often times, a refinance will run a few thousand dollars in closing fees, but if the monthly savings make sense, go for it!</p> <p><b>8. Enjoy Life (Experiences over Materialism)</b></p> <p>There's more to life than making and saving money. Sure, maybe it's high time you splurge and buy that iPad 2. But maybe you want to enjoy a life experience with a significant other or family. Jump on a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> or LivingSocial weekend getaway. Go skydiving. Learn how to fly-fish. Plan a big surprise birthday party or anniversary getaway. With an unplanned windfall, if your finances are in order already, consider a life experience you'll take with you. Technology is obsolete within months, life experiences are forever.</p> <p>I hope those ideas got your creative juices flowing. Personally, I'm using this year's refund for 529 savings, topping off our 2010 IRA contributions and investing in our business we just started. And for you tax procrastinators out there&mdash;if you haven't even started your taxes yet and you're itching to know what your refund's going to look like, check out this <a href="http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/" target="_blank">Tax Refund Calculator</a> for some instant gratification!</p> <p><em>What are your refund ideas?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darwins-money">Darwins Money</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-places-to-get-free-tax-advice">6 Great Places to Get Free Tax Advice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/warning-turbotax-missing-minnesota-tax-info">Warning: TurboTax Missing Minnesota Tax Info (Updated With TurboTax Response)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-more-questionable-aspects-of-the-housing-bailout-bill">The Questionable Aspects of The Housing Bailout Bill - H.R. 3221</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-billion-tax-refund-for-long-distance-phone">$10 billion tax refund for long distance phone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-file-your-first-tax-return">How to File Your First Tax Return</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes refund tax turbotax Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:00:17 +0000 Darwins Money 517391 at http://www.wisebread.com If It’s Not Sunny In Philadelphia, It’s Free! http://www.wisebread.com/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sun travel.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="363" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Looking to book a trip through <a href="http://www.priceline.com/">Priceline</a>? <span> </span>Do it now, and you can be eligible for their <a href="http://www.priceline.com/promo/sunshine_guaranteed.asp">Sunshine Guaranteed offer</a> .<span> </span>Here are the details on this &ldquo;rain or shine&rdquo; promotion:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What&rsquo;s it good for? <span> </span></strong>By booking your summer vacation package (for departure between July 1<sup>st</sup>, 2008 and September 7<sup>th</sup>, 2008) now, you can get in on this deal!<span> </span>Get your trip to over 100 vacation destinations finalized before July 17<sup>th</sup>, and be sure that it is between 3-8 days long (travel dates included.)<span> </span>You must also be sure to book at least 12 days in advance.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What&rsquo;s the Guarantee?</strong><span> </span>If it rains more than &frac12; inch total accumulation on each of at least half the days of your vacation, your trip is free!<span> </span>So if you are vacationing for 3 days, you must have rainfall on 2 days.<span> </span>If you are traveling for 8 days, it must rain on 4.<span> </span>(Get it?)<span> </span>Your cost of airfare, hotel stay, rental car, attractions booked through Priceline, and all taxes and fees are included in the refund.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Who keeps track of the weather?</strong><span> </span>Priceline, of course.<span> </span>And while you can use your own rain gauge or a trusty meteorologist to keep score, Priceline will keep tabs on the rainfall (provided by the National Weather Service) for your destination.<span> </span>Rainfall will be updated periodically via a special link, and if the moisture measures up, your refund will be automatically sent to you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Is Seattle included?</strong><span> </span>Were you going anyway?<span> </span>I wouldn&rsquo;t make a special trip in hopes of getting something for free (it&rsquo;s been a wacky year, after all.)<span> </span>But if you&rsquo;re headed somewhere special and can&rsquo;t decide on an online booking provider, this may be the way to go.<span> </span>Getting rained out is no fun, but even a week stuck in a hotel can be relaxing if it&rsquo;s free!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For a complete list of destinations (which include Seattle, Key West, Toronto, and Philadelphia &ndash; plus too many to mention), <a href="http://www.priceline.com/promo/sunshine_guaranteed.asp">visit Priceline&rsquo;s guarantee page</a>.<span> (And try not to be too disturbed by Shatner's karate chop.) </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-around-the-guidebook-techniques-for-researching-your-trip-without-spending-a-fortune">Getting Around the Guidebook: Techniques for Researching your Trip Without Spending a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel">The 7 Rules of Budget Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Travel Art and Leisure deals priceline refund summer vacation Sun, 13 Jul 2008 04:15:31 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2233 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Cash Back by Caring for Others http://www.wisebread.com/get-cash-back-by-caring-for-others <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-cash-back-by-caring-for-others" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dollar heart.jpg" alt="dollar heart" title="dollar heart" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="231" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I recently discovered a website that offers cash refunds on an assortment of items that I use every day.<span> </span><a href="http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/">The Caregivers Marketplace</a> (<a href="http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/">www.caregiversmarketplace.com</a>) is the nation's first cash-back program for anyone who gives, gets, or needs care.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">What does this mean for you?<span> </span>The website offers money back on purchases of items in the home healthcare environment:<span> </span>blood pressure monitors, body fat scales and nebulizers.<span> </span>It also gives a buck or two back on purchases of things we would be more inclined to buy at my house, including infant diapers, training pants, and flushable wipes!<span> </span>Those of you who take vitamins and other health supplements will find that many of them are listed too.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The participating brands are limited at this time, but if you already use Huggies or Citrucel, than you&rsquo;re in luck!<span> </span>To take advantage of the rebates, simply enroll online, save your receipts, and mail in a minimum of five (5) refunds per request.<span> </span>There is no limit to the number of requests you can make!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Combining these rebates with store specials can add up to some additional savings for those of us with staggering diaper bills.<span> </span>The program is free and participation seems painless.<span> </span>I&rsquo;m looking forward to adding a few more dollars to my wallet.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-cash-back-by-caring-for-others">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-buy-one-get-one-free-is-usually-a-bad-deal">Why &quot;Buy One Get One Free&quot; Is Usually A Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-financial-gifts-for-children">Great Financial Gifts for Children</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping children diapers home health refund savings Tue, 06 Nov 2007 05:09:19 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1358 at http://www.wisebread.com Ring. Ring. Ka-ching! Lying About Your Telephone Tax http://www.wisebread.com/ring-ring-ka-ching-lying-about-your-telephone-tax <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/phone.jpg" alt=" " width="240" height="184" /></p> <p>I haven&#39;t had a landline in years. I&#39;m dead serious. Years. </p> <p>So, I was bummed to hear that this year, the &quot;sorry you were cheated initially when we taxed you too much&quot; refund that we get back is for <a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161506,00.html">long distance telephone service</a>. </p> <p>Apparently, Americans who paid for long distance calling plans were cheated or something. By Ma Bell? Or the Baby Bells? Uncle Sam in conjunction with the Bell Family? It doesn&#39;t matter now. What matters is that, when you file your taxes this year, you can get back between $30 and $60, depending on the number of exemptions you claim.</p> <p>Whoop-tee-doo. Thanks, Uncle Sam. I&#39;ve been using only my pay-as-you-go cell phone for years, carefully tracking my usage, and this is how you repay my mobile monetary frugality?</p> <p>Now, it&#39;s true that some <a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=169091,00.html">cell phone plans do qualify for the tax refund</a> (thanks, <a href="http://www.cleverdude.com/articles/finances/cell-phones-qualify-for-telephone-excise-phone-tax-refund/">Clever Dude</a>). It just so happens that mine does not. I never paid this tax, and thus, I don&#39;t qualify.</p> <p>However, a friend of mine who works for H&amp;R Block told me that anyone can pretty much claim this refund. Because the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=164310,00.html">IRS isn&#39;t going to audit it</a>. Which is awesome, <strong><em>because I already filed my taxes</em></strong>, and I didn&#39;t claim it, because I was sure that somehow, THE IRS WOULD KNOW.</p> <p>It turns out that they don&#39;t really care. So, go ahead, claim it, even if you are an off-the-grid type who doesn&#39;t even HAVE a phone. Just don&#39;t get too greedy, or they might decide not to pay everyone their $60.</p> <p>Some of you may ask if I am advocating that people cheat on their taxes. And yes, I guess I am. Just a little. Most people qualify for this refund, but those who don&#39;t might as well go ahead and try to get it, too.</p> <p>I&#39;m putting the &quot;bread&quot; in Wise Bread. Not necessarily the &quot;wise&quot;, though.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/troy-hadley">Troy Hadley</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ring-ring-ka-ching-lying-about-your-telephone-tax">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-billion-tax-refund-for-long-distance-phone">$10 billion tax refund for long distance phone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-your-chances-of-getting-audited-by-the-irs-your-guess-is-probably-wrong">What are your chances of getting audited by the IRS? Your guess is probably wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxes-on-irregular-income">Taxes on irregular income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-the-irs-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about-them">6 Things the IRS Doesn&#039;t Want You to Know About Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes audit IRS long distance phone tax refund taxes Thu, 29 Mar 2007 00:07:19 +0000 Troy Hadley 411 at http://www.wisebread.com Track Your Refunds or Get Ripped Off http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/cc_small.jpg" alt=" " width="314" height="209" /></p> <p>“Refunds” are supposedly different from “rebates”, although honestly, you might never know it, since both are difficult to obtain. I find that lately, I’ve had to harass the heck out of companies, particularly companies that primarily do business via mail order or on the internet, to get my money back even after returning a product.</p> <p>In the past, when I treated money with a devil-may-care attitude, I’m sure I let dozens of potential refunds slip right by. I don’t believe that all retailers really want to rip off customers, but I don’t see refunds as a really high priority of theirs, either.</p> <p>A few months ago, I realized that I had not received a refund for an anti-virus program that I had purchased months before, the installation of which had required a hard drive reformatting. Thinking that I was being taken for a ride, I emailed the company and demanded my money back. An apology was issued, along with an immediate refund.</p> <p>It was after that experience that I started to keep track of expected refunds. Any time I returned an item to a non-local retailer, I noted the expected time frame for a refund, say 6 weeks, and then entered a reminder in my cell phone that would go off roughly 6 weeks later. When the reminder popped up, I’d check my account balance and see if the refund had been issued. I found that if I didn&#39;t do this, it was really easy to forget that I was owed money.</p> <p>I returned quite a few items following this holiday season, so I was expecting at least six refunds. Guess how many came through in the “expected” time frame?</p> <p>Yup. Zero. Not one. For every single refund, I had to email and/or call the company and ask for the refund. Almost all of them refunded my money within 24 hours, with the exception of Palmer Cash, the “vintage” t-shirt people who don’t seem to believe in customer service. </p> <p>Which got me to thinking: after your returned merchadise is received, these companies are perfectly capable of processing your refund the same day, but they don’t. They tell you it might take 4-6 weeks. Are they expecting you to forget or get lazy about it, the same way companies that offer rebates try to make it as difficult as possible to get your money back?</p> <p>My advice to people who don’t track their expenses as well as the budgeting types:</p> <ul> <li>Whenever you return an item, set up and automated reminder (be it on your cell phone, email, online calendar, or regular ol’ wall calendar) so you’ll remember to look for the refund towards the end of the expected processing time. If I hadn&#39;t been tracking these expected refunds, I&#39;d probably be out well over $400 right now.</li> <li>As always, pay with a credit card if you have one. I don’t, so I use my debit card, which doesn’t offer protection like major credit cards. Mind you, I rarely buy big ticket items.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-store-sales-cycle-your-monthly-guide-to-clearance-prices">The Store Sales Cycle: Your Monthly Guide to Clearance Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-companies-with-the-best-customer-service">The 6 Companies With the Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better">Ordering Online Versus Calling it In: Which is Better?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping alarm calendar customer service merchandise money back Palmer Cash refund reminder return Tue, 06 Mar 2007 19:41:59 +0000 Andrea Karim 326 at http://www.wisebread.com $10 billion tax refund for long distance phone http://www.wisebread.com/10-billion-tax-refund-for-long-distance-phone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-billion-tax-refund-for-long-distance-phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tax-calculator.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you paid for long distance phone service in the last 3 years, you are eligible for a refund of the U.S. federal taxes paid on that service. The government estimates that up to $10 billion will be refunded to consumers. (Details based on <a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161506,00.html">this IRS document</a>.) </p> <p>Recent court decisions have declared that the taxes should not have applied to long distance service as it is billed today. Refunds are offered for taxes paid on long distance service between February 28, 2003 and August 1, 2006.</p> <p>The refund is only for long distance service, but if your phone bill bundles local and long distance (and/or other services), you are eligible. This refund is <strong>available for landline, wireless/cellular, and even VoIP/Internet calling plans</strong>!</p> <p>To make the refund calculation easier, the IRS has created a tiered standard payout system based on historical data:</p> <ul> <li>1 exemption - $30</li> <li>2 exemptions - $40</li> <li>3 exemptions - $50</li> <li>4 exemptions or more - $60</li> </ul> <p>To claim the standard refund, you fill out one additional line on your Form 1040, 1040A, 1040NR or 1040EZ. If you don&#39;t need to file a return, you can still claim just the standard refund using the 1040EZ-T form. </p> <p>However, if you want to determine <em>exactly</em> what you are owed and get paid interest on those monies, fill out and attach <strong>Form 8913</strong> to your tax return. (And you better have those old phone bills to back up your claim.) </p> <p>The IRS recommends using the standard refund amount rather than gathering all those old phone bills:</p> <blockquote><p>The standard amount is based on actual telephone usage data, and the amount applicable to a family or other household reflects taxes paid on long-distance or bundled service by similarly sized families or households. Using this amount may be the easiest way for taxpayers to get their refund and avoid gathering 41 months of old phone records. </p> </blockquote> <p>More information and details are available at the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161506,00.html">IRS website</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-billion-tax-refund-for-long-distance-phone">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ring-ring-ka-ching-lying-about-your-telephone-tax">Ring. Ring. Ka-ching! Lying About Your Telephone Tax</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-your-chances-of-getting-audited-by-the-irs-your-guess-is-probably-wrong">What are your chances of getting audited by the IRS? Your guess is probably wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxes-on-irregular-income">Taxes on irregular income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-the-irs-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about-them">6 Things the IRS Doesn&#039;t Want You to Know About Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes cell phone IRS long distance phone refund taxes telephone VoIP Fri, 26 Jan 2007 03:18:04 +0000 Greg Go 221 at http://www.wisebread.com