refunds http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8431/all en-US 4 Ways Student Loans Impact Your Taxes http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grad_broke_53019460.jpg" alt="Woman learning how student loans affect taxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tax time can make many feel anxious, especially if they're already burdened by student loan debt. Many people might not even think about their student loans when it comes time to file, and that would be a huge mistake.</p> <p>Here are three big tax issues &mdash; and one <em>huge</em> tax benefit &mdash; you should be aware of if you have student loan debt.</p> <h2>You Can Deduct Loan Interest</h2> <p>Yes, you can deduct your <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch04.html">student loan interest</a>, reducing your income by up to $2,500. But to qualify for this deduction, you must earn less than $80,000 if single or $160,000 if you are filing jointly.</p> <p>If you paid more than $600 in interest on your student loan, you should automatically receive a Form 1098-E in the mail. However, if you do not receive this, you can still claim the interest you paid. Just request this form from your lender in January. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <h2>Defaulting on Your Loan Could Cost You Your Tax Refund</h2> <p>If you default on your federal student loan, your tax refund could go straight to your lender. They are legally allowed to take 100% of your tax refund. For most federal loans, you will be considered in default if you have not made a payment in 270 days.</p> <h2>Filing Jointly Can Cost You More in Student Loans</h2> <p>Many couples will file jointly to save money on their taxes and have easier access to tax credits, like the child tax credit and the dependent care credit. However, filing jointly can also make you pay more in student loan repayment throughout the year.</p> <p>Many individuals pay for their student loans on an income-driven repayment plan, which calculates monthly payments based off earnings. Since your joint income will be significantly higher than your individual incomes, your loan payments are likely to be higher. To make smaller monthly payments on your loans, you should probably file separately.</p> <p>You want to understand how much money it will cost to file your taxes separately versus how much you'll make in additional monthly student loan payments if you file jointly. MagnifyMoney.com put together a simple example scenario of a married couple without children. In their example, the couple would have saved over $1,100 in federal taxes if they filed jointly, but they would have saved $6,816 on their student loan payments by filing separately.</p> <h2>Student Loan Forgiveness/Cancellation Could Mean More Taxes</h2> <p>Student loan forgiveness programs are a great way to offset some of your student loan debt. However, some student loan forgiveness programs also come with a hefty tax bill in the end.</p> <p>Student loan forgiveness programs such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and other plans for teachers, health professionals, lawyers, or volunteers are all tax-free. If you follow the programs' rules for loan forgiveness, your loan will be forgiven without tax repercussions.</p> <p>Certain student loan forgiveness programs offered through individual states can be subjected to taxes. Many are not, but it is a good idea to do your research.</p> <p>If your student loan is cancelled or discharged, it can be considered taxable income. It might be cancelled or discharged for one of the following reasons:</p> <ul> <li>Cancellation for closed school;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cancellation for False Certification of the loan;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cancellation for unpaid refund of the loan;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Discharge for death or disability.</li> </ul> <p>Finally, if you sign up for repayment programs that offer loan forgiveness after a certain number of years, any unpaid amount which is forgiven is considered taxable income. This usually happens with the income-based repayment (IBR) plans and the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) repayment plan. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt?ref=seealso"> 5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a>)</p> <p>Talk with a financial adviser that specializes in student loan debt for more help.</p> <p><em>Do you write off your student loan interest on taxes? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes">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/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</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/5-most-common-tax-mistakes-made-by-college-grads">5 Most Common Tax Mistakes Made by College Grads</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/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</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/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</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-tax-mistakes-millennials-make">8 Tax Mistakes Millennials Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Taxes deductions filing jointly filing single interest loan forgiveness refunds repayment student loans Thu, 09 Jun 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1725704 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Tax Mistakes Millennials Make http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-mistakes-millennials-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tax-mistakes-millennials-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_reading_stressed_000058019024.jpg" alt="Millennial man making common tax mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Claiming deductions and organizing receipts isn't fun for anyone &mdash; least of whom Millennials, who might be filing taxes for the first time or experiencing changes in their finances.</p> <p>And while making mistakes might at times be unavoidable, it's not a legitimate defense if the tax man comes knocking. Consider these eight common errors Millennials make when preparing and filing taxes.</p> <h2>1. Not Hiring a Tax Professional (If You Need One)</h2> <p>Not everyone needs a CPA or other tax professional. In fact, if your taxes are straightforward, you can easily file them yourself for free, or use low-cost services such as TurboTax. But not hiring a CPA is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if your taxes are complicated. Accounting professionals are all too familiar with legal loopholes, tax credits, and qualifiable exemptions, and they will work on your behalf to understand your particular situation and get you the maximum return.</p> <p>A simple rule of thumb: If your taxes seem too challenging to file on your own, they probably are. Seek expert guidance before you make costly mistakes.</p> <h2>2. Spending Tax Refunds</h2> <p>Before most people have received their tax refund, they've already decided how they're going to spend it. Most often it's on a depreciating asset like a car, clothes, or electronics. If tax season is exciting to you for this reason, you definitely should not be spending your refund. I know this not what people want to hear, but you should find more financially constructive uses for this money &mdash; such as investing, tackling debt, or making truly necessary purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund?ref=seealso">8 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund</a>)</p> <h2>3. Allowing High-Interest Debt to Linger</h2> <p>If you're carrying high-interest debt on anything &mdash; including car loans, student loans, or a mortgage &mdash; you may want to use your annual tax refund to knock it out fast. This just depends on your personal situation. First, see if you qualify for ways to reduce your interest rate and/or monthly payments, such as mortgage refinancing, a student loan forgiveness program or income-sensitive repayment. If you can't, paying the debt off quickly might make sense. Put your refund in a savings account, divide it by 12, and take small monthly withdrawals of this amount to include with your regular payments each month. Use this strategy for any debt you wish to repay early. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big?ref=seealso">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>4. Not Using Retirement Accounts to Lower Your Tax Bracket</h2> <p>Taxes are by far one of the biggest obstacles normal people face when trying to build wealth. If you don't believe me, here's a simple example. If $1 invested doubled every year for 20 years, it would end up being worth $1,048,576. If the same $1 invested doubled every year for 20 years and was subject to a 28% tax bracket, it would be worth a modest $51,353. Now you see the importance of investing to the max inside of tax-advantaged accounts such as 401Ks and 403Bs in order to reduce your tax bracket.</p> <h2>5. Forgetting to Claim Capital Losses</h2> <p>Whether you invest inside of your retirement accounts, or trade on investing platforms such as E*TRADE, if your capital losses offset your capital gains the difference can be claimed as a tax deduction. Let's say you decided to trade penny stocks &mdash; and I'm not saying penny stocks are necessarily a bad investment, but let's say this year you lost $2,000 with no other capital gains from other investments. Your $2,000 loss on risky stocks can be deducted from your other income. In fact, you can deduct up to $3,000 of Capital losses in any tax year. Anything over $3,000 can carryover to the following tax year.</p> <h2>6. Failing to Claim Student Loan or Mortgage Interest Payments</h2> <p>Mortgage and student loan interest payments are generally tax deductible, within certain limits. If you qualify for these deductions, don't forget to claim them. It could otherwise cost you thousands of dollars at tax time.</p> <h2>7. Not Using an FSA for Childcare Costs</h2> <p>If your employer offers an FSA, make sure to take advantage of it. The annual contribution limit to <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/flexible-spending-accounts/">Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)</a> is $2,550, and money saved inside a FSA is tax-advantaged and can be used for health-related costs and dependent care expenses. Any money saved inside your FSA is taken from your pre-tax income, reducing your annual income by the subsequent amount. However, there are time limits on using FSA funds so, be careful not to lose the money you've saved. In <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-spend-your-last-minute-health-care-fsa-funds">8 Ways to Spend Your Last-Minute Health Care FSA Funds</a>, I explain how to avoid losing your hard-earned dollars.</p> <h2>8. Not Claiming the Cost of Moving</h2> <p>Millennials move more than any other group. And the majority of them move due to career opportunities. Well, did you know that if you change residences due to work, you can claim the expense of your move as a tax deduction? The IRS states that if you meet certain requirements, the cost of your <a href="https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc455.html">work-related move</a> may be tax-deductible.</p> <p><em>Have you made any of these tax-time mistakes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-mistakes-millennials-make">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-11"> <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/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</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/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes">4 Ways Student Loans Impact Your Taxes</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/10-reasons-you-should-really-fear-an-irs-audit">10 Reasons You Should Really Fear an IRS Audit</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/16-great-tax-deductions-you-may-have-overlooked">16 Great Tax Deductions You May Have Overlooked</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/never-borrow-money-for-these-5-buys">Never Borrow Money for These 5 Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes capital losses debt interest millennials Mistakes refunds tax deductions Thu, 03 Mar 2016 11:30:07 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1665767 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Times You Should Demand a Refund http://www.wisebread.com/9-times-you-should-demand-a-refund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-times-you-should-demand-a-refund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_missed_flight_000066384249.jpg" alt="Man realizing the times he should demand a refund" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you spend your hard-earned money on a product or service, you expect a certain level of quality &mdash; and when that quality falls short of expectations, it's not unreasonable to think you're entitled to a refund. But not every situation qualifies. So when should you stand your ground for your money back, and when should cut your losses? Take a look at these nine times you should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/38-ways-to-save-money-without-trying-much">demand a refund</a> &mdash; ever so politely, of course.</p> <h2>1. Departure Taxes on an Unused Flight</h2> <p>I once booked a European vacation around the holidays that was supposed to stop in London, Dublin, and Paris, but the last leg of the trip was cancelled due to &quot;weather conditions&quot; according to the evil discount airline that shall remain nameless. The airline offered to fly my friends and me to Rome as penance &mdash; which was a nice offer in theory, except we couldn't fly on the dates they suggested &mdash; so my flight was essentially a loss since the airline wasn't responsible for acts of God, which, in this case, was fog. I was young and dumb and just accepted the decision.</p> <p>Maybe that wouldn't have happened if I were friendly with Kyle Stewart, travel editor at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.upgrd.com">UPGRD</a>, at the time. He experienced a similar situation, but walked away a little less broke than I did.</p> <p>&quot;We had found a very cheap flight to and from London, but once we were abroad we had to make a change and book an alternative separate flight home,&quot; he says about his one-time travel plans. &quot;Our tickets were non-refundable, but it is unlawful for the carrier to keep revenue they collect for 'taxes' if you do not actually fly the route. The U.K. has a steep departure tax of nearly $250 each on flights leaving the United Kingdom. Because we did not fly those routes but had paid for the taxes, even on a non-refundable ticket we were able to get the departure tax refunded which nearly paid for our alternative transportation home.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Anything Unsanitary or Unsavory in Your Food</h2> <p>There are a lot of gross things I can deal with &mdash; my friends would love to tell you the story about the time I ate an ancient corn chip off the carpet in high school for a dollar &mdash; but as I've evolved out of being an idiot, hair or other yuck in my food isn't one of them. It's hard enough to eat out these days just thinking about the various &quot;things&quot; in my food that I can't see, so you better believe if there's visible, physical evidence of my gag reflex, I'd like my money back, please. And another, fresh meal. I'm willing to give it another go since I understand that accidents happen and I'm usually too hungry to have to start the restaurant search all over again.</p> <h2>3. Items That Break Too Soon</h2> <p>If you've recently purchased an item and it breaks unreasonably soon under normal use &mdash; I'd say less than 90 days, for most things &mdash; take it back to the store for a replacement or a refund. I tend not to buy the same junk twice in a row, so typically I'd just like my money back so I can avoid this problem a second time. This is a situation where store associates and managers like to give you a hard time &mdash; &quot;How do I know how it broke?&quot; &mdash; but don't let them beat you. Stay strong and stage a sit-in to get what you're owed if you have to.</p> <h2>4. Groceries That Are Spoiled, Rotten, or Stale</h2> <p>I think this is a situation where Americans as a collective lose tons of money, but one that is considered perfectly valid refund territory. I would be willing to bet than more times than not when the average supermarket shopper realizes they have a spoiled, rotten, or stale item when they're already home, they just throw it out. What's a few bucks, they think. Plus, they'd have to get back in the car, go back to the store, speak to the manager, blahblahblah. All worth it in my book. Food isn't cheap, and this is America; we shouldn't expect anything less than the highest quality food for which we're paying.</p> <h2>5. Goods That Aren't as Advertised</h2> <p>False advertising is against the law for a reason: You can't trick people into thinking they're getting one thing and then sell them something else. This goes for anything: from kids' toys to electronics to power tools. If the item said it was going to perform a certain way and it fell short of that promise, you deserve a refund.</p> <h2>6. Services That Aren't Performed as Promised</h2> <p>It's not just tangible goods that can fall short of expectations; services, like hair and nail salons, auto body shops, and dog grooming facilities can too. I take services that aren't performed as promised seriously because it's an active-engagement situation, and as an entrepreneur myself I recognize the importance of providing the very best service possible &mdash; and when that's not possible, apologizing and doing whatever I can to make amends. Good customer service is key, and I expect you to recognize that without putting up a fight if I'm being perfectly reasonable.</p> <h2>7. Erroneous Charges on Your Bill</h2> <p>Mark my words here: This happens ALL the time. From your cell phone bill to your Internet bill to your doctor's bill, there are sometimes strange charges that shouldn't be there. Most of the time they're mistakes, but I'm also not naïve enough to think that the provider isn't sometimes trying to get one over on you, thinking you won't read the bill closely enough or that the fee they're overcharging is so low you won't waste your time fighting it. Read your bills closely and make sure every charge is accounted for.</p> <h2>8. One-Time Late Fees if You're a Loyal Customer</h2> <p>Just hours before I started writing this post, I called J. Crew to dispute a late fee on my bill. I didn't receive the bill in time as it arrived at my other home, so I missed the payment due date. Because I'm a very loyal customer to J. Crew, and I always pay my bill in full each cycle, I called to kindly request that the late fees be waived for this circumstance. The customer service agent was perfectly willing to do it, and it saved me $50.</p> <h2>9. Hotel Rooms That Aren't Sufficiently Clean</h2> <p>I stayed in a Red Roof Inn once that had not one but two bugs in it (not the bed variety, thank God); a hair on the towel; and no cold water in the sink, only boiling hot. I sent a message through the customer service portal on the hotel's website asking for a refund but my claim was dismissed. I stayed at the same hotel a week later and coincidentally they gave me the exact same room with the exact same issues, just no bugs this time. Again I requested a refund. I got a credit for a free night's stay &ndash; which is sort of moot, because why would I go back there after they failed me twice? &ndash; but it's better than nothing from a company that obviously doesn't put much stock in customer service.</p> <p><em>Are there other times we should demand a refund? Tell me one of your personal experiences in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-times-you-should-demand-a-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-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/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</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-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute 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/how-to-complain-and-get-a-good-result">How to complain and get a good result.</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-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer">8 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Customer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs customer service poor quality refunds Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Mikey Rox 1484619 at http://www.wisebread.com Top Three Tax Facts to Know for 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/top-three-tax-facts-to-know-for-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/top-three-tax-facts-to-know-for-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/doing_taxes_2015_000013751696.jpg" alt="Woman learning tax facts for 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>2015 is a rough year for taxpayers.</p> <ul> <li>This is the first year the IRS administers the premium tax credits and individual mandates under the Affordable Care Act.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The number of IRS employees assigned to phones <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/tax-season-2015-irs-cutbacks-cripple-taxpayer-services-poor-elderly-1871896">dropped by 26%</a>, and those employees answer fewer than 40% of calls.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lucky callers that get to talk to somebody at the IRS only do so after waiting up to 70% longer than five years ago, and can only get answers to the most basic tax questions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nina Olson, taxpayer advocate at the IRS, summarized this tax season as a &quot;devastating erosion of taxpayer service&quot; and a &quot;<a href="http://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/userfiles/file/2014-Annual-Report-to-Congress-Executive-Summary.pdf">sad state of affairs</a>.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Once this year's tax season is in the books, it's time to get ready for the one next year. To help you determine what's in store, here are three tax facts to know for 2016.</p> <h2>1. More Time to File</h2> <p>About one third of Americans wait until the last minute to file their federal taxes.</p> <p>Those procrastinating tax filers (not you, of course!) will be happy to find that most of them are going to get four extra days to file federal taxes in 2015. There are three reasons for this extension.</p> <ul> <li>2016 is a leap year, so February 29th provides a much needed extra day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The 154th anniversary of Emancipation Day, when former President Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act, falls on April 15th in 2016. Made an official public holiday under <a href="https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7503">Section 7503 of the Tax Code</a> in 2005, Emancipation Day pushes the tax deadline to the next business day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Since Tax Day and Emancipation Day will be observed on Friday April 15, 2016, the next business day will be Monday April 18, 2016.</li> </ul> <p>Wohoo! Most taxpayers will have until Monday April 18, 2016 to file federal taxes (four extra days).</p> <p>You may be wondering why I keep saying that &quot;most taxpayers&quot; get four extra days. The reason is that some taxpayers will get <em>five </em>extra days.</p> <p>Residents of Maine and Massachusetts will celebrate Patriot's Day (a state holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War) on Monday April 18, 2016. The aforementioned Section 7503 of the Tax Code includes in its definition of &quot;legal holiday&quot; any statewide legal holiday in the state where such office is located.</p> <p>So, residents of Maine and Massachusetts have until the closing hours of the postal office on Tuesday April 19, 2016 (five extra days!) to drop their federal tax forms in the mail.</p> <p>Need even more time than that? Then make sure to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/filed-an-extension-heres-what-you-need-to-know">file an extension</a> by the deadline.</p> <h2>2. Over 100,000 Compromised Tax Records</h2> <p>Even when you cross the t's and dot the i's in your federal tax forms, something may still go wrong.</p> <p>In May 2015, the IRS announced that &quot;...criminals used taxpayer-specific data acquired from non-IRS sources to <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Statement-on-the-Get-Transcript-Application">gain unauthorized access</a> to information on approximately 100,000 tax accounts.&quot; Identity thieves got away with Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and street addresses through the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript">IRS Get Transcript</a> online service, which is currently unavailable.</p> <p>Those 100,000 taxpayers affected by the data breach will receive a letter from the IRS officially notifying them of the event and providing recommendations for next steps, such as credit monitoring.</p> <p>However, there's more to this breach.</p> <ul> <li>An estimated additional 100,000 taxpayers will also receive IRS letters in the event that the criminals tried, but were unsuccessful, to <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Written-Testimony-of-Commissioner-Koskinen-on-Unauthorized-Attempts-to-Access-Taxpayer-Data-before-Senate-Finance-Committee">gain access to taxpayer data</a> through the Get Transcript application.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>About 13,000 suspect returns were filed for tax year 2014 and their refunds were already sent out.</li> </ul> <p>If you were a victim of identify theft, you may have already received (or will receive) an IRS letter in the near future. This would surely throw a monkey wrench into your 2016 tax filing.</p> <h2>3. Late State Tax Refunds</h2> <p>This 2015 the state tax man cometh late.</p> <p>In response to the increasing number of tax fraud cases around the country, more than one state Department of Taxation is delaying refunds. For example, the Hawaii State Department of Taxation initially told taxpayers it would take six to eight weeks to process submitted tax forms.</p> <ul> <li>By April 2015, new procedures to prevent tax fraud increased the wait period to <a href="http://khon2.com/2015/04/08/state-tax-refunds-delayed-further-by-new-fraud-prevention-procedures/">approximately 10 to 14 weeks</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The Hawaii Department of Taxation updated the processing time to up to 16 weeks on May 6, 2015. Further delays are expected since refunds issued after July 20, 2015 will start receiving interest.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hawaii taxpayers that file their state taxes online usually get a faster refund. This won't be the case for 2015.</li> </ul> <p>But Hawaii taxpayers aren't the only ones on this boat.</p> <ul> <li>The state Department of Taxation of Colorado has noticed a spike in fraudulent forms, so they had to <a href="http://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/consumer/wheres-my-refund-colorado-tax-refunds-delayed-following-possible-fraud-through-turbotax-software">suspend refunds for 10 days</a>. As a result, many refunds may be still be delayed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The State of Alabama Department of Revenue saw a rise in the filings of fraudulent state income tax returns using online software services, so they had to implement a <a href="http://revenue.alabama.gov/idquiz/">Taxpayer ID Confirmation Quiz</a>. Some Alabamians are required to take this quiz and, if the fail to complete it, they won't have their refund processed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The Louisiana Department of Revenue didn't start issuing state income refunds until the last week of February due to an <a href="http://www.thenewsstar.com/story/news/local/2015/03/03/state-begins-issuing-income-tax-refunds/24330635/">increase in tax fraud</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Waiting on your refund, if any, may put a hold on your finances, particularly when you're counting on that refund to make a down payment, pay a big bill, or reduce debt. This is why you need to figure out the appropriate withholding rate (not too big, not too small) so that you don't end up owing the taxman a big check. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make?ref=seealso">8 Tax Return Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a>)</p> <p>More days to file federal taxes, letters from the IRS warning some taxpayers about identity theft and tax fraud, and delayed state tax refunds are sure to make 2016 an interesting year.</p> <p><em>What is your forecast for 2016's tax season? Please share in the comments below or tweet us at </em><a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread"><em>@Wisebread</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-three-tax-facts-to-know-for-2016">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/how-to-choose-the-best-tax-preparer">How to Choose the Best Tax Preparer</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/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">5 Important Tax Changes for 2016</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/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">8 Tax Return Mistakes Even Smart People Make</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/not-so-fast-5-things-you-must-do-after-filing-taxes">Not So Fast! 5 Things You Must Do After Filing Taxes</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/charitable-giving-get-a-receipt">Charitable giving - get a receipt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes extensions filing fraud IRS refunds taxpayers Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:00:12 +0000 Damian Davila 1462317 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Tax Return Mistakes Even Smart People Make http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/taxes_000032707004.jpg" alt="Smart woman making mistakes while filing her taxes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can happen to the best of us.</p> <ul> <li>Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to pay nearly $35,000 in Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from 2001 through 2004.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Five-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill served prison time for owing roughly $2.3 million in taxes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hollywood star Christina Ricci owed unpaid taxes close to $200,000 back in 2008.</li> </ul> <p>Whether intentional or unintentional, tax return mistakes have big consequences. Here are eight of the most common that you have to pay special attention to.</p> <h2>1. Waiting Too Long</h2> <p>More than <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Refunds/What-to-Expect-for-Refunds-This-Year">90% of IRS refunds</a> are issued in less than 21 days, but the 2015 tax season may feature longer refund wait times. This year the IRS is hit with a triple whammy: a smaller budget, greater costs, and increased tax complexity. Remember that 2015 is the first year the IRS will administer the premium tax credits and individual mandates under the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p>Waiting until the last minute to file your taxes increases your chances of waiting longer than necessary for a refund. According to the IRS, one third of Americans wait until the last minute to file taxes. The longer that you wait, the longer that your tax refund (if you're expecting one!) is going to take. So, stop procrastinating and get it over with already.</p> <h2>2. Filing on Paper</h2> <p>IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has already gone on the record that the <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/02/12/irs-commissioner-john-koskinen-qa-editorial-board/23309595/">level of taxpayer service</a> people can expect is not going to be very good this year. The Commissioner has a special warning for those filing their tax returns the old fashioned way: People filing paper tax returns could wait an extra week or longer for their refund than those who file electronically. Paper returns are handled by an actual person, and this year the IRS simply has less staff available.</p> <p>Besides, people doing their <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Eight-Common-Tax-Mistakes-to-Avoid">taxes on paper</a> are about 20 times more likely to make an error than e-filers. Errors in addition or subtraction are very common on paper forms and can delay processing times. Other common places for math errors are the worksheets included in some forms. The IRS asks filers to pay special attention when figuring out their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, and standard deduction.</p> <p>The fastest way to get your refund is to file electronically. If your tax declaration has no issues, your refund gets processed automatically.</p> <h2>3. Making Math and Data Entry Mistakes</h2> <p>Even when using a tax software program, you can still make math mistakes. While the software can add, subtract, and transfer amounts across forms, you still need to input the right amounts.</p> <p>The most common of data entry errors is the transposition mistake. This happens when two digits in a larger number are reversed. For example, your W2 form may say $54,000, but you incorrectly put $45,000 into the software. Avoid this problem by double checking any time that you input an amount.</p> <p>Pay particular attention when entering your bank's routing and account numbers for tax refunds by direct deposit. In the event that you enter an account or routing number that belongs to someone else, and the designated financial institution accepts the deposit, you must work directly with that financial institution to recover your funds. The <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-Splitting-Federal-Income-Tax-Refunds">IRS assumes no responsibility</a> for this type of error.</p> <h2>4. Using Wrong Names</h2> <p>Just like numbers, names matter on tax forms. Your name, your spouse's, and your dependents' need to match the tax identification number the Social Security Administration has on file. Any mismatch could cause delays in processing time.</p> <p>If you legally change your name because of marriage, divorce, court order, or any other reason, you need to apply for a new Social Security card in order to use your new name on a tax form. Getting an updated SSN card is free and can be completed via email or at your local Social Security office.</p> <h2>5. Forgetting Signatures</h2> <p>An unsigned tax return is not valid. Be aware that both spouses must sign a joint tax return. When filing your paper return, make sure to gather all necessary signatures before mailing it out. Don't forget to include the date next to the signatures.</p> <p>Any tax software requires you to sign using a personal identification number. The tax software should explain the e-signature process to you, or you can get your <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Electronic-Filing-PIN-Request">electronic filing PIN</a> on your own. Either way, you'll need the Adjusted Gross Income from your original (not any amended) last year's federal tax return.</p> <h2>6. Failing to Ask for an Extension for Payment by April 15th</h2> <p>Uncle Sam is one guy that you don't want to owe money to. From wage garnishments to liens on your properties, the IRS has a scary arsenal of debt collection tactics. The first step in solving your tax payment problems is to file on time and request a filing extension with <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf">IRS Form 4868 </a>by midnight on April 15th.</p> <p>This way you only pay a monthly penalty of half of 1% of any tax that you owe, instead of 5%. If you can show reasonable cause for not paying on time, attach a statement to your return explaining the reason. In some cases, the IRS may waive the late penalty payment. Also, even if you can't pay in full at the time of filing, try to pay as much as possible to minimize fees.</p> <p>No matter what your circumstances are, make sure to file federal taxes by the April 15th deadline. Then, work out how to pay the remaining balance to the IRS. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-pay-your-taxes-heres-what-to-do?ref=seealso">Can't Pay Your Taxes? Here's What to Do</a>)</p> <h2>7. Paying for Tax Preparation</h2> <p>Certain taxpayer groups are eligible for free tax return preparation.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers">Volunteer Income Tax Assistance</a>: People making $53,000 or less per year, persons with disabilities, seniors, and limited English-speaking taxpayers can get free basic income tax return preparation from IRS-certified individuals. Call 1-800-906-9887 for more information.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Tax-Counseling-for-the-Elderly">Tax Counseling for the Elderly</a>: Individuals age 60 or older can receive free tax help and assistance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free">IRS Free File</a>: Any taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less can file federal taxes for free. Some state returns are available and some are free.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On-campus tax prep: During tax season, many colleges and universities offer <a href="http://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/local/2015/03/26/tax-help-young-adults/70516242/">free tax prep services</a> for qualifying students.</li> </ul> <p>However, if you're a small business owner or self-employed, you should consider hiring a professional. If you use Schedule C, you're almost three times more likely than a corporation to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/28/us-yourmoney-freelancing-irsaudit-idUSTRE81R1QR20120228">receive an audit</a>. Any &quot;creative accounting&quot; that can't be proved gets slapped with a 25% inaccuracy penalty from the IRS on top of any applicable taxes and interest. Better safe than sorry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-you-should-splurge-and-hire-a-pro?ref=seealso">4 Times You Should Splurge and Hire a Pro</a>)</p> <h2>8. Not Filing Taxes When Living Abroad</h2> <p>The IRS is very clear in that any U.S. citizen or green card holder is subject to U.S. federal income tax whether he or she is in the U.S. or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.</p> <p>The rules for state income taxes for U.S. citizens and green card holders abroad vary from state to state. Wyoming, Washington, Texas, South Dakota, Nevada, Florida, and Alaska don't collect state income taxes, so former residents of those states don't have to worry.</p> <p>Make sure to file the applicable tax returns every year. You're lucky that you may be allowed an <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad---Automatic-2-Month-Extension-of-Time-to-File">automatic two-month extension</a> to file your return and pay any federal income tax that is due. U.S. expats in England, France, and Germany can get help directly at the IRS permanent offices in those countries. All other U.S. expats should review the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad">International Taxpayers</a> section of the IRS website.</p> <p><em>Have you ever made any of these &mdash; or any other &mdash; tax filing mistakes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-return-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">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/top-three-tax-facts-to-know-for-2016">Top Three Tax Facts to Know for 2016</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-really-fear-an-irs-audit">10 Reasons You Should Really Fear an IRS Audit</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/5-important-tax-changes-for-2016">5 Important Tax Changes for 2016</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/3-tax-deductions-you-can-never-take">3 Tax Deductions You Can Never Take</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes filing deadline IRS refunds tax mistakes tax returns Tue, 07 Apr 2015 16:54:00 +0000 Damian Davila 1373054 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Effectively Complain to the Manager http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4099487936_ddfbd16766_z.jpg" alt="angry woman" title="angry woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the basic tenets of business is that it&rsquo;s cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Many companies view customer complaints as a way to gauge what works and what changes they need to make to keep customers happy. Good managers take this to heart and strive to provide the most favorable solution to a customer&rsquo;s problem. However, an ineffective complaint can actually hurt your chances of getting the issue resolved. How you approach the situation can make all the difference, so using the right methods can greatly increase your chance of satisfaction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">How to Get What You Want on Customer Service Calls</a>)</p> <h2>Remain Polite and Calm</h2> <p>Although you are likely annoyed or even angry about the situation, it&rsquo;s very important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">keep your emotions in check</a> when you speak to the manager. People often lose their ability to empathize when they feel like they&rsquo;re being verbally attacked, and the manager can easily go into a less-than-helpful, defensive state if you come off as overly upset or aggressive.</p> <h2>Don&rsquo;t Point Fingers</h2> <p>People react better and are more willing to help you if they do not think you are blaming them directly for the problem. If a service rep, salesperson, or restaurant server is the problem, using a phrase such as &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sure the person in question does not represent your policies&rdquo; tells the manager that you&rsquo;re not attacking him or the company as a whole. This also keeps management from becoming defensive and less willing to resolve the matter in your favor.</p> <h2>Blunt Your Criticism</h2> <p>No one wants to hear everything they do is wrong, and this is especially true for mangers who are trying to solve a customer&rsquo;s problem. Stating what you enjoyed about the meal, product, or service and then offering your criticism softens the blow and tells the manager that he may be able to keep you as a customer. Use the company&rsquo;s desire to retain you as a customer as leverage. Say how often you visit or use the service and tell the manager that you would like to return. Failing to point out the good points about the establishment or service will make the manager think you won&rsquo;t be returning anyway, and it may make him less inclined to honor your request.</p> <h2>Propose a Solution</h2> <p>The most effective complaints offer a specific solution. Telling the manager exactly how you want the issue to be resolved gives him a direct course of action and increases the likelihood of a positive result. It also takes away the need for the manager to guess at what you want, which can quickly turn into dickering for &ldquo;fair&rdquo; compensation instead of fully resolving the issue. If you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">desire a refund</a> of a purchase or payment for a service, read your service contract or check the store policies online or on the back of the receipt to determine the refund policy and ensure that you are not out of the refund or return time frame. If you are, you may only be able receive store credit or an exchange, no matter how well you craft your complaint.</p> <h2>Be Reasonable</h2> <p>While your request should make you feel adequately compensated, demanding a free meal because your drink order was wrong will make you seem unreasonable and can make the manager less willing to help you. If a product or service you ordered was damaged or incorrect, give the manager adequate time to repair, replace, or redo it.</p> <p>Staying polite and reasonable gives you the best chance of initiating an effective complaint. Not only will you be more likely to receive the outcome you desire, you&rsquo;ll also be able to return to the store or restaurant or keep using the service with confidence.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-treadwell">Lauren Treadwell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">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/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</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/8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer">8 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Customer</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/ordering-online-versus-calling-it-in-which-is-better">Ordering Online Versus Calling it In: Which is Better?</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/customer-service-nightmares-whats-a-good-consumerist-to-do">Customer Service Nightmares - What&#039;s a Good Consumerist to Do?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping customer service managers refunds returns Tue, 20 Nov 2012 11:00:34 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 955448 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable <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-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4133651889_26dc86174d.jpg" alt="No Refunds" title="No Refunds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That little phrase &mdash; non-refundable (or non-returnable) &mdash; is as unsettling to frugal shoppers as garlic is to vampires. Surely in this day and age, where the customer is always right and stores are willing to do anything to get your business, the very idea of non-refundable must be out of date, right?</p> <p>Well, yes it is. Kind of. There are usually ways around every problem, if you're willing to put in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-got-two-ceos-to-listen-to-my-complaints">a little bit of extra effort</a> and turn on the charm. Or, if charm doesn't work, the threat of further action, including legal ramifications, can work. But usually, a simple explanation of extenuating circumstances can get you what you need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-complain-and-get-a-good-result">How to Complain and Get a Good Result</a>)</p> <p>So, what follows is a list of items that are often non-refundable or non-returnable, and a few ideas on how to get around the &ldquo;standard&rdquo; policy.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="Airline tickets" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/tickets.jpg" /></p> <h2>1. Airline Tickets</h2> <p>These are perhaps the biggest and best-known non-refundable purchases. We're always afraid to commit to buy because we know, even if we purchase the pointless travel insurance, that we're never going to get our money back.</p> <p>But for those with particular circumstances or some real persistence, it is possible. These are tough times for the airlines though, so these days it's even harder than ever to get any kind of refund or exchange.</p> <p>First, if you need to cancel your flight due to &ldquo;acts of God&rdquo; in the country or state you're flying to, you will most likely get a refund. These reasons are not exactly small potatoes though, and they include severe weather, political turmoil, war, pandemics, or civil unrest. It's no guarantee, of course.</p> <p>Medical problems are also taken into account when it comes to ticket cancelations. If you are struck down by a sudden illness or cannot fly due to problems that could occur (eye surgery + pressure = danger), then you could qualify for a full refund. You will need supporting medical documentation; you can't just call up with a sick note from your mom.</p> <p>If there's a death or illness in the family, many airlines will give you a refund for your ticket. Hopefully that's one reason you'll never have to use.</p> <p>And if you have just lost your job, you may be able to get a refund on that ticket. You'll really have to turn on the charm, though; most airlines have been thrown into financially choppy waters due to the economy, and a similar story on your end may not go very far.</p> <h2>2. Hotel Rooms</h2> <p>Closely related to airline tickets are hotel rooms. Many of the same reasons for canceling a flight also apply to the cancelation of a hotel room.</p> <p>Once again, you should be able to cancel your reservation and get a full refund if the hotel is bang in the middle of a country that's being hit by war, severe weather, a pandemic, and so on.</p> <p>Canceling due to illness or a death in the family is also a solid reason. However, you may not have as much luck with your own medical issues. Can't fly? Drive to the hotel. Feeling ill? Stay in your room for the trip. The hotel won't really care.</p> <p>If it's peak season or there's a conference in town, you'll have a better chance of getting a refund. In those circumstances the hotel will have no problem filling the room. But any other time, you're probably going to eat the bill unless you have a world-class excuse.</p> <p>Remember, though, if you can't get a refund, a credit for that hotel may be just as good. See if you can wrangle a stay later in the year for free. It also doesn't hurt to ask travel agents if they can help; they often have great relationships with the hotels. And always call the hotel directly; never go through the site you used to book the room. Hotels are filled with people who are in the business of making people happy with their stay. The other sites just want to sell rooms at a discount.</p> <p><img width="350" height="467" alt="Paint" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/paint.jpg" /></p> <h2>3. Custom-Mixed Paint</h2> <p>When you ask for a specific paint to be mixed, you're committing to the sale. The hardware store will print in big, bold letters NON-RETURNABLE on the top. You're stuck with it. Or are you? You may be stuck with the can of paint, but most stores will be more than happy to tint it again if it's possible. I just found this out when a tint I asked to be made turned out to be slightly too dark. The people at Home Depot showed me a selection of colors that could be made from the tint I already had and turned it that shade for me. Nice!</p> <p>Now if you're wondering how those &ldquo;oops&rdquo; paints get returned, they don't. Those are mistakes made during the tinting process that produce the wrong color, or maybe you ordered a quart and the member of staff mixed a gallon by mistake. That goes on sale because you didn't ask for that size and shouldn't have to pay for it.</p> <h2>4. Concert Tickets</h2> <p>You bought two tickets to see U2 or Coldplay at a huge stadium, but then a week before the gig your boss tells you about a last-minute conference out of state. You're now stuck with two tickets that you won't be using, and almost all concert tickets are non-refundable.</p> <p>The best way to get a refund is to sell them. It's that simple. Craigslist is the best resource in my opinion. List the tickets at face value, and you'll probably get your money back. If you want to make sure you get something for them, undervalue them a little. If the concert is sold out, don't think it means everyone is scrambling for a ticket. Scalpers and online brokers often buy up hundreds of tickets and resell them at a massive profit, but it doesn't always work out well for them (Charlie Sheen...oh dear).</p> <p>But don't go down to the box office to get a refund. You'll be laughed at 99% of the time.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="Store Sale" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/sale.jpg" /></p> <h2>5. Sale/Clearance Items</h2> <p>This one's a toughie. The bright red or yellow sticker on the box saying &ldquo;clearance, no refunds&rdquo; should make it fairly obvious that you won't get a refund on the item. But a little ingenuity can help. Many of the big stores like Walmart and Target will take back those clearance items in spite of the warning. As long as it's in the original packaging, you'll probably get your money back, or at the very least some store credit.</p> <h2>6. Bespoke Clothing</h2> <p>Now we go from tough to really, really tough. Bespoke, or tailored, clothing is very difficult to return. And the reason is obvious. The only person it fits perfectly is you.</p> <p>For a start, think about why you'd want to return it. Is it buyer's remorse? That won't fly with the tailor who sold you the suit of pair of slacks. Tough.</p> <p>You can always try and claim poverty, but that won't work either. To be honest, your best bet here is to list it on eBay. With its worldwide reach, you'll find plenty of people with your measurements, and you may even get more than you paid for it. And if that fails, donate it and write it off on your taxes.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="DVDs" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/DVDs.jpg" /></p> <h2>7. Opened Video Games, DVDs, and CDs</h2> <p>This is another rotten one to negotiate. In the past, no problem at all. But these days, with copying as easy, and as widespread, as ever, stores have to be ultra-vigilant. Personally, I don't blame them. If they gave everyone a refund who came back a week later with an opened game, they'd go out of business.</p> <p>Now, there is definitely no problem in getting an exchange for the exact same title. If you have a scratched disc and want a replacement, you'll get one. If someone got you a PS3 game and you own an XBOX 360, they should swap it out for a different platform.</p> <p>But what if you get a CD or game, pop it in, and instantly hate it? What then?</p> <p>Well, you could simply sell the item. You won't get top dollar for it, but it's better than having something around that you'll never watch, listen to, or play. Another option is to &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">regift</a>&quot; it. Of course, it should be in perfect condition if you do that; no one wants some scratched-up DVD or CD or a game covered in fingerprints and Cheetos crumbs.</p> <p>So, that's my list of the top seven items that are non-refundable and have workarounds. Did I miss one? Do you have any additional advice? Leave your sage wisdom in the comments below.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">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/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</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/9-times-you-should-demand-a-refund">9 Times You Should Demand a Refund</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/customer-service-nightmares-whats-a-good-consumerist-to-do">Customer Service Nightmares - What&#039;s a Good Consumerist to Do?</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/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">How to Get What You Want on Customer Service Calls</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs customer service refunds returns Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:36:08 +0000 Paul Michael 677748 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask The Readers: Are You Getting Your Tax Refund this Year? (Answer to win $10!) http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-getting-your-tax-refund-this-year-answer-to-win-10 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-are-you-getting-your-tax-refund-this-year-answer-to-win-10" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flag day.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family: Verdana; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); line-height: 18px; "></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><em style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Winners update!! -- Congrats to the following winning submissions:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal; "><br /> <h3 style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; font: normal normal bold 1em/normal 'Trebuchet MS', sans-serif; color: rgb(43, 150, 203); line-height: 1em; "><a class="active" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(43, 150, 203); text-decoration: none; font-size: 1.2em; " href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-getting-your-tax-refund-this-year-answer-to-win-10#comment-325276">No Refund</a><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana; font-weight: normal; line-height: 18px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">.. Submitted by Misty (comment #32): &nbsp;</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&quot;<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 11px; font-weight: normal; ">We aren't getting a refund this year, we adjusted our tax form so we paid a little bit and got more money to use during the year.</span>&quot;</strong></span></h3> <p> </span></strong></li> <li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: 800;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; ">@</span></span></strong><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: 800;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; "><a href="http://twitter.com/coloradoeyes" onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview('/exit/to/coloradoeyes');" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(147, 13, 133); "><strong>coloradoeyes</strong></a><strong><span id="msgtxt2903076168" class="msgtxt en">: &quot;I plan yearly with accountant 2 get as close 2 $0 refund as possible. I want 2 earn interest on $, not let the govt.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></li> </ul> <p></span></p> <p>There's been a lot of buzz online about tax refunds lately. &nbsp;Some filers of 2008 returns are finding out that they can't even get their own state refund, due to issues with state budgets. &nbsp;Others have been keen to coming problems for some time, rushing to their employers to demand the maximum deductions and even getting their Earned Income Credit payments coming through their paychecks.</p> <p>As questions of solvency and preparedness begin to become mainstream in every household, what can tax-payers do to avoid granting the government an interest-free loan on our own money? &nbsp;Do you even care? What can you recommend for the uncertain future? &nbsp;We want to hear about it!</p> <p>Do you have a tip for making sure your tax money comes back to you at the end of every year? &nbsp;Are you a stickler for making sure you get your tax money up-front, either by claiming huge deductions or even exempt status? &nbsp;Are you likely to hand everything over to your accountant and say, &quot;Here you go. Let me know how it turns out?&quot; &nbsp;Do you have some special advice for the self-employed? Or are you someone who LIKES getting it all back in one lump sum, as part of a informal savings plan? &nbsp;Give us your views and insights into tax refunds now (before the year runs out), and we'll enter you to win one of two $10 gift cards from Amazon!</p> <p>&nbsp;Those of you who aren&rsquo;t familiar with the &ldquo;drill,&rdquo; read below for full details:</p> <h2 style="border-style: none; border-bottom: 1px none rgb(217, 217, 217); margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px 0px 5px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS',sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 1.8em; font-weight: normal;">Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate</h2> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 15px; padding: 0px;">We're doing two giveaways -- one for random comments, and another one for a random&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 156, 204);" href="http://www.twitter.com/">tweet</a>s.</p> <h3 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px 0px 5px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS',sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 1.4em; font-weight: normal;">How to Enter:</h3> <ol type="1" style="margin: 1em; padding: 0px; list-style-type: decimal; list-style-position: inside;" start="1"> <li style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" class="MsoNormal">Post your answer in the comments below, or</li> <li style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" class="MsoNormal"><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 156, 204);" href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a>&nbsp;your answer.&nbsp; Include both &quot;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(0, 156, 204);" title=" @wisebread #moneytippers" href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread</a>&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.</li> </ol> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 15px; padding: 0px;">If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 15px; padding: 0px;">At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.</p> <h3 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px 0px 5px; font-family: 'Trebuchet MS',sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-size: 1.4em; font-weight: normal;">Giveaway Rules:</h3> <ul type="disc" style="margin: 1em; padding: 0px; list-style-type: square; list-style-position: inside;"> <li style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" class="MsoNormal">Contest ends Thursday, July 30th at 11:59am CST. Winners will be announced after July 30th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.</li> <li style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" class="MsoNormal">You can enter both drawings -- once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.</li> <li style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;" class="MsoNormal">Only tweets that contain both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)</li> </ul> <p style="margin: 0px 0px 15px; padding: 0px;"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">&nbsp;Good luck!&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</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/ask-the-readers-are-you-getting-your-tax-refund-this-year-answer-to-win-10">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/turbotax-new-features-and-a-chance-to-win-a-copy">TurboTax: New features, and a chance to win a copy</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/ask-the-readers-do-you-look-forward-to-tax-time-your-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Look Forward to Tax Time? (Your Chance to win $20!)</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/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</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/tj-maxx-giving-away-500-in-gift-cards-to-wise-bread-readers">TJ Maxx Giving Away $500 in Gift Cards to Wise Bread Readers</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/50-smart-things-to-do-with-your-tax-refund">50 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways ask the reader refunds taxes Tue, 28 Jul 2009 17:51:58 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3438 at http://www.wisebread.com Impulse Shopping: A Controllable Handicap http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/impulse shopping.JPG" alt="marked woman" title="marked woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="373" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>A good friend and former client of mine was always cheerfully depressed in our regular financial review meetings. Inevitably at each consultation she had either made no headway on her debt repayments, or even worse had dug herself a little bit deeper into the red.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Her weakness: impulse shopping. All too often she found herself in a store searching for a black skirt for work, and walking out with a red shirt, blue skirt, three scarves, and two pairs of jeans - but no black skirt. Then off to the next store looking for a coffee table, walking out with bags upon bags of other items she &quot;needed&quot; but didn&#39;t actually need. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>To her, the <em>need</em> was to walk out of a store with bags in her hands. Even if she didn&#39;t find what she wanted, there was some part of her that was satiated from an afternoon spent shopping if she could return home with all sorts of new loot in her possession. You could say her eyes were bigger than her pocketbook. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Guilty Spending</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Inevitably, she would feel terrible about her purchases within a week. But by that time she had ripped all the tags off, used or worn the items, and made them part of her life such that even though they were constant reminders of her inability to afford them, she couldn&#39;t let go of them. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>And in this way my friend passed many debt-ridden years of her life: living amongst rooms upon rooms of &quot;stuff&quot; she didn&#39;t need and couldn&#39;t afford in order to have the satisfaction of a day spent shopping and buying. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>Impulse shoppers:</strong> if this is a tune you know well, you are not alone! There is indeed something strangely satisfying about carrying all those beautiful paper bags out of the store, taking your loot home, and finding a place for that perfect ornament, pair of shoes, or kitchen utensil. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>But if your pocketbook doesn&#39;t agree, there is a solution, which my friend discovered and has been using successfully for years. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Two Day Rule</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Feeling satisfied with the day&#39;s purchases, my friend will carefully set her shopping bags in a corner of her home and <strong>not touch them for two days</strong>. This is a hard and fast rule, not to be broken. As much as she needs what is in those bags, she cannot even look in them for two days. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>After the two days are up, she allows herself to pull the items out of the bags, but <strong>not to take any tags off</strong>. She lays them out for a third day to admire her wares and to truly decide if she needs the items she bought. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Return Policies</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The other trick to this scheme is that my friend only buys items from stores with a cash refund policy. Reason being, after the three day trial period, she inevitably returns most of the items she bought on impulse. A few prized possessions might make it through this rigorous process, but if they survive the trial period, she is happy to keep them and absorb the financial consequences of doing so. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><em>I am in no way advocating a shopping spree with subsequent returns of the items purchased as a financial plan or solid financial advice!</em> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>But I will say that my friend managed to dig herself out of a mile-high pile of retail debt by recognizing her weakness for impulse shopping, and using this disciplined approach for managing it in the best way she could. Just like yo-yo diets, using extremes (like stopping something cold turkey) to manage a problem is rarely a viable long-term solution; creativity and a little discipline can be much more effective, and possibly even fun. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">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/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</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/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid-their-tricky-traps">Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps</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-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off">Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off</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-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping impulse shopping refunds return policies Tue, 01 Jan 2008 00:48:49 +0000 Nora Dunn 1571 at http://www.wisebread.com