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Entries in Refunds (8)

Wednesday
Jul112012

Chevy Offers 60-Day Return Policy for New Vehicles

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you just purchased a new Chevy and aren't thrilled with the vehicle, don't worry: you can take it back for a full refund within 60 days.  

Between now and early September, Chevy buyers can return their new cars or trucks and get their money back as long as they've been driven less than 4,000 miles.

The return policy is part of a new offer from the automaker called "Love It or Return It." The marketing move by General Motors is aimed at reversing Chevrolet's recent drop in market share.  The offer is also geared towards clearing out Chevrolet's remaining inventory of 2012 vehicles.

USA Today reports "deals from other makers, too, are likely," but brands that have already begun selling 2013 models, like Hyundai and Kia, are not expected to join the trend.

Overall, car and truck sales have made strong gains compared to last year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar162012

Fewer People Plan to Spend Their Tax Refunds on Vacations

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Using federal or state tax refunds to pay for a vacation seems like a good idea, but just 10 percent of Americans are planning to do so this year, a 20 percent drop from 2011.

The finding comes from a survey of 1,005 U.S. adults commissioned by Taxsoftware.com.  Most of the Americans surveyed said they will instead use their refunds to pay off debts or add to their savings or investments.

The decision to pay down debt rather than use the refund to cover a vacation is just one of several dramatic differences between surveys taken in 2011 and 2012.

Here’s a breakdown:

In 2011, 31 percent planned to use the refund to make home improvements.  For 2012, it’s eight percent.

In 2011, 23 percent planned to use the refund to buy products such as cars, electronics or furniture. For 2012, it’s eight percent.

In 2011, 15 percent planned to give their refund to charity. For 2012, just two percent plan to do so.

In 2011, 59 percent planned to use the refund to pay off debts. For 2012, it’s 29 percent.

In 2011, 19 percent planned to use the refund to mortgages or education loans. For 2012, five percent.

In 2011, 66 percent planned to use the refund on savings and investments. For 2012, it’s 27 percent.

Respondents were allowed to choose more than one way on how they plan to spend their refunds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar132012

Survey: Fewer People Plan to Spend Their Tax Refunds on Vacations

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Using federal or state tax refunds to pay for a vacation seems like a good idea, but just 10 percent of Americans are planning to do so this year, a 20 percent drop from 2011.

The finding comes from a survey of 1,005 U.S. adults commissioned by TaxSoftware.com.  Most of the Americans surveyed said they will instead use their refunds to pay off debts or add to their savings or investments.

The decision to pay down debt rather than use the refund to cover a vacation is just one of several dramatic differences between surveys taken in 2011 and 2012.

Here’s a breakdown:

-- In 2011, 31 percent planned to use the refund to make home improvements.  For 2012, it’s 8 percent.
-- In 2011, 23 percent planned to use the refund to buy products such as cars, electronics or furniture. For 2012, it’s 8 percent.
-- In 2011, 15 percent planned to give their refund to charity.  For 2012, just 2 percent plan to do so.
-- In 2011, 59 percent planned to use the refund to pay off debts.  For 2012, it’s 29 percent.
-- In 2011, 19 percent planned to use the refund to mortgages or education loans.  For 2012, 5 percent.
-- In 2011, 66 percent planned to use the refund on savings and investments.  For 2012, it’s 27 percent.

Respondents were allowed to choose more than one way on how they plan to spend their refunds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb152012

IRS: ‘Where’s My Refund?’ Glitch Won’t Affect Refunds

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Though the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” tool is temporarily down, a spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service says that it will not impact the processing of tax returns or issuing tax refunds.

A spokeswoman said the message indicating technical difficulties has only been up since Wednesday afternoon. It reads: "We’re having some technical difficulties right now but expect to have this resolved soon. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

She said she could not comment about the cause of the glitch.

A second, unrelated, message on the website has been on the site since Friday. It reads:

Update: We are aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit “Where’s My Refund” and are told that we have no information regarding their return. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit “Where’s My Refund.”

That the technical difficulties will not impact processing will be a relief to those (generally those who are poor) who have filed early in the hope of receiving a large refund, said Timothy Flacke, executive director of the nonprofit group Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund.

He said tax filers who qualify for the earned income tax credit, or EITC, typically are aware they will receive large refunds and rush to complete their returns in late January or early February.

“Whether it’s $2,000 or $3,000, they have a sense a windfall is coming,” he said. “Whereas middle America thinks tax time is a pain, lower-income communities look forward to it.”

Flacke said that in these communities, even before Jan. 1, tax preparers begin marketing their services, so they can be used as early as possible.

Based in Allston, Mass., D2D Fund makes financial products for low and moderate income consumers and raises awareness to encourage Americans to invest a part of their tax return without fees through The Tax Time Savings Bond Campaign.

About 45,000 Americans have saved $11 million in U.S. Savings Bonds with a portion of their tax refund, for an average of $244 per family, according to the D2D Fund.

There were more than 112 million individual income tax returns filed through e-file last year, according to the IRS, an increase of 13.6 percent over the previous year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec022011

Ticketmaster to Refund Processing Fees

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As if high ticket prices weren't enough, concertgoers and sports fans purchasing their seats through Ticketmaster are slammed at checkout with extra charges known as "processing fees."

The ticket distributor has reportedly profited from these fees, and now, ticket buyers may be in for a refund.

Business Insider reports a proposed class action settlement is ordering Ticketmaster to give customers $1.50 for each ticket purchased between Oct. 21, 1999 and Oct. 19, 2011.  Under the settlement, ticket buyers would be able to get their money back for up to a total of 17 orders placed during the 12-year window.

The settlement, which is expected to be approved on May 29, 2012, could end up costing the ticket seller millions.  But it stops short of blocking Ticketmaster from banking on the extra charges; the online ticket seller simply needs to denote it on its website.

Customers who are eligible for a refund won't be credited before April 15, 2012, according to Business Insider. The credits should roll out within 30 days after the settlement is approved.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug262011

Hurricane Irene Hampers Weekend Travel Plans, Weddings

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- States of emergency in advance of Hurricane Irene's expected assault on the East Coast this weekend have led to busted plans likely to affect businesses and travelers' wallets.

Travelers are scrambling to change airplane and train tickets while hotels deal with cancelled reservations.

Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and counties in South Carolina have declared states of emergency.

Andy Fink, an evening manager at the Dayton House Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, said the effect of Hurricane Irene is not yet as harsh as that of Hurricane Charley in 2004, when the resort had to implement a mandatory evacuation of its guests.  But even with the area on watch for a tropical storm, there have been nearly 20 cancelled reservations in two days.

Fink said many of his guests were from New Jersey and many checked out to return home ahead of the storm.

At the beginning of the week, the resort, which has a seven-day cancellation policy and a non-refundable deposit, gave guests who wanted to cancel their reservations full refunds, with a $20 service fee for staff services and credit card processing.

Erica Jackson, a guest at the resort from Bristol, Tennessee, planned to have her dream beach wedding through the Myrtle Beach Wedding Chapel on Friday and stay in town until Sunday.  Instead, her family decided to push the wedding to Wednesday evening and drove back to Tennessee on Thursday.

The resort agreed to give her credit for future use for the block of rooms she reserved.

Ashley Martin, the chapel manager, said out of five weddings scheduled for Saturday, two couples postponed until a later date, one couple cancelled completely, and two couples planned to proceed as scheduled.

There were at least 448 expected weddings this weekend in north and central New Jersey, 401 in North Carolina, 264 in Virginia, 264 in Connecticut, 209 in South Carolina, and 151 in South Jersey, according to The Knot Wedding Network.

If the hurricane hits those areas, chances are couples will have to reschedule, postpone or cancel their cerimonies, said Amy Eisinger, associate editor of WeddingChannel.com, which is owned by The Knot.

Items like rental equipment, lighting, draping and tents will most likely not be eligible for refunds, Eisinger said.

She recommended couples invest in wedding insurance, which can cost around $350, to cover loss of photos, video, rings, deposits, attire, and presents in the case of high-risk wedding dates, situations and locations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Ticket Tax Expires, But Airlines Raise Prices, Punt to IRS on Refunds

John Foxx/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Airlines seem to be taking an "it's not our problem" approach to refunding passengers for taxes that are no longer authorized to be collected after Congress failed to pass legislation funding the Federal Aviation Administration.

Thus far, only one major airline has announced it will directly offer a refund of the 7.5 percent excise tax and a per-segment flat fee.  On a $500 round-trip connecting ticket, a customer would be due $42.30.  If the flight leaves the U.S., add another $32.60 for a total of $74.90.

After the midnight Friday deadline passed for re-authorization of the FAA, almost 4,000 FAA employees have reportedly been furloughed and federal air transportation excise taxes have expired.

The Internal Revenue Service clarified on Wednesday that tickets purchased on or before July 22 for travel on or after July 23 may be entitled to the tax refund.

Jetblue is the only major airline accepting requests for ticket tax refunds.  A message on its website instructs customers who are flying within the next seven days to contact the company while all others should check back at a later time.  Other major airlines are directing customers to the IRS.

The IRS' announcement came after the major airlines acknowledged they increased their fares concurrent with the expired taxes, preventing fliers from reaping any savings on tickets purchased on or after July 23.  Virgin America used the so-called "tax holiday" for an email marketing campaign on July 23 despite reportedly increasing its fares in lockstep with the other airlines.

That Virgin America email marketing campaign stated, "Take a tax holiday. Grab a seat with fewer federal taxes for a limited time only."

Virgin America said it immediately passed on the exact equivalent discount as soon as the expiration happened at 11:59pm on Friday night through Sunday night and promoted the discount to guests during that time.

"But, given the dynamic nature of fares, with the Monday morning fare changes, some fares held the discount, some went up and some went down," Abby Lunardini, Virgin America spokeswoman, said.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller IV, D-W. VA, chairman of the committee on commerce, science and transportation, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., aviation operations, safety and security subcommittee chairwoman, wrote a letter on Tuesday to the Air Transport Association (ATA) chairman, Richard Anderson, who is also the CEO of Delta Airlines, saying they were "deeply perplexed by the industry's pocketing of passenger tax revenue."

"Most of ATA members have elected not to pass the savings along to consumers through reduced ticket prices, but rather have decided to increase the base fare of airline tickets," the Senators wrote.  "We urge the nation's airlines to put all of the profits that they are making from the lapse of the aviation taxes into an escrow account so that they can be transferred back into the Airport and Airway Trust Fund when Congress reinstates the taxes."

Despite the request from the tax agency and the Senators, most airlines are directing customers to the IRS to request a refund.  The IRS said that "passengers who are unable to obtain a refund from the airline may obtain a refund by submitting a claim to the IRS."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr062011

Government Shutdown Threatens to Delay Tax Refunds; Taxes Still Due April 18

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They say nothing is certain except death and taxes. The same is true this year, even though the government might be shut down when tax day arrives.

If Republicans and Democrats in Washington can't agree on a way to fund the government for the rest of this year, non-essential government personnel, including most IRS employees, wouldn't be allowed to work.

Even so, Americans still will be expected to file their taxes by this year's deadline of April 18, IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman said in Washington on Tuesday. Whether there's a shutdown or not, he encouraged people to file on time, preferably electronically. Approximately 70 percent of Americans file electronically.

Mail service would not be interrupted by a government shutdown, so an April 18 postmark still would be key to an on-time tax filing by mail.

"However, taxpayers who file paper returns will experience some delays," Shulman said.

People who file electronically and opt to receive their returns electronically "should expect to see refunds quickly," Shulman said.

Shulman didn't want to speculate on whether the shutdown might damage the IRS's ability to carry through with audits and make sure tax filers are complying with the law.

Edward Karl, the vice president of taxation for the American Institute of CPAs, said that the system is so automated with electronic filing and returns that most accountants and filers are not yet paying attention to the possibility of a government shutdown.

Tax filing season is important for the government, but also for tax filers, many of whom get a refund.

"We do know that the majority of taxpayers have refunds and the average refund is significant -- around $3,000. Taxpayers plan to spend that money," said Karl.

For now, tax professionals seem optimistic there won't be a government shutdown.

Mark Steber, chief tax officer for the Jackson Hewitt tax service, said that "any impact will depend on how a long a shutdown lasts."

Liberty Tax Service said it doesn't expect that that there will be a shutdown.

Both tax services said they will encourage their clients to file electronically, when possible, so they can avoid any possible impact.

Most Americans' tax returns won't be affected by a shutdown anyway. Only about 20 to 25 percent of returns are filed in the last two weeks before tax day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio