IRS: Someone Will Be With You … Sometime Today

Hello, IRS? Is anyone there? That’s what you might be asking if you call the IRS with questions about your 2013 tax return. The agency says today starts one of the busiest weeks of the tax filing season for the IRS phone lines. So make yourself comfortable and settle in. You’re likely to be on hold longer than the 17.6 minutes customers waited last year to speak with someone. You think that’s bad? Some 20 million people, or 39 percent …

AARP Announces 2014 Advocacy Agenda: Across the States

AARP is fighting for older Americans and their families in states across the country, focused on the key issues they are facing, front-and-center, in their daily lives.  Our state advocacy work is driven by AARP’s state offices – located in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands – where we work with governors, state legislators, other policymakers and in collaboration with numerous community partners.  In 2014 AARP is focusing on: Supporting Family Caregivers AARP is …

More New Retirement Account Proposals

Americans are way short in their retirement savings, and President Obama’s MyRA plan, which he unveiled last week, isn’t the only new proposal that aims to help with that problem. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also offered a savings plan. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has one of his own, which follows a report he released last summer. Of these three proposals, Harkin’s is the most ambitious. His Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds would create a …

Is Your State a … Weakling?

Politico Magazine has tallied the numbers, and the Oscar for best state goes to … New Hampshire. Actually, the magazine’s ranking is pegged to a different winter event: the president’s annual State of the Union address. Here’s what Politico‘s Margaret Slattery has to say: Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America’s union is “strong.” Is it? One way to judge is by the state of the states of the union: How strong are they, and, …

Need Help From the IRS? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Have tax questions or problems? You probably shouldn’t expect much in the way of help from the IRS these days, according to the latest report from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the agency. Some of the major findings: The IRS no longer helps elderly, disabled and low-income taxpayers prepare their annual returns. Ten years ago it prepared 476,000 such returns. Only 61 percent of calls to the IRS from taxpayers wanting to speak to someone were answered, …

End the Year With These Fabulous Freebies

Some fabulous freebies to end the year with and ring in 2014: Free Video From Santa: Hurry! Time is running out to send the kids a personalized video from Santa via this website. If’ you’ve already sent out your Christmas cards, remember it for next year. Free 2014 Calendar: Click on the link for these free, downloadable calendars. You can customize them to meet your needs and track your schedule. Free Financial Planning Tools: Several websites like Mint, Bankrate and AARP offer free calculators …