This 2nd Week of April 2023 Thoughts
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The furor over Schwab has dissipated so unless something comes to light, I’ll keep monitoring.
A long read, but here is everything you need to know about your taxes. Wall Street Journal 2023 Tax Guide
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Newton's Third Law: Action & Reaction states that for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. If object A exerts a force on object B, object B will exert an equal and opposite force on object A. Truisms stand the test of time because like a picture is worth a thousand words, truisms sum up what it would take paragraphs to express. I appreciate the brevity truisms bring because we immediately get the point. Other truisms etched in our brain: ·
"Money can't buy happiness." · "Some things never change." · "The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer." · "It's the journey not the destination that matters." · "Everything happens for a reason." · "Thank God it's Friday." · "All things come to he who waits." · "Patience is a virtue." In 2008 “Q-E-1” (Quantitative Easing Part 1) was launched by the FED for the first time, to help our world recover from the housing and mortgage bubble. Never had the FED dumped trillions of dollars into the economy. Never had the FED taken interest rates to 0% and kept them there for 15 years. Never had money been so free and easy, letting every Tom, Dick and Harry borrow for any brainstorm.
Why does it matter to you? Newton’s Third Law is not just a good idea; it is the law! The problem with Q-E-1 (Quantitative Easing Part 1)is that we knew, back in 2008, that “Q-E-1 would be like Evil Knievel making it over the Grand Canyon but having to stop before he drove over the edge into Snake River.” The piper had to come to call, and we knew it would not end pretty: economics may be the dismal science, but accountability has not been repealed. On a positive note, I do believe we are closer to the end.
What Happens After You File Your Tax Return?
The IRS says it delivers nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days, a time frame that hasn’t changed for e-filed returns in two decades. Tax professionals report that this tax season most clients are getting refunds for e-filed returns in five to 14 days. For taxpayers filing on paper, refunds can take four weeks or more, so, consider e-filing.
To the millions of taxpayers awaiting refunds, it is puzzling that the IRS still needs weeks, months or more to crunch the numbers and transfer the money—when most of the process is automated.
A refund that appears in your bank account an hour after you e-file might sound appealing but it would mean that the IRS didn’t check for people who either cheat or innocently overstate the amount they should get for a refund. “To maintain respect for the voluntary tax system, there has to be a sufficient level of confidence among the taxpaying public that the tax authority is appropriately checking everyone’s returns,” the IRS reports.
Processing time has improved this year and as of March 10 63 million returns have been processed. Despite this, during the last two years, tens of millions of taxpayers experienced refund delays of 10 months or more, said Erin Collins, who serves as the national taxpayer advocate for the Taxpayer Advocate Service. The IRS faced huge paper backlogs, and temporary pandemic-related items on tax returns tripped up computers and required human intervention.
Here’s a look at what happens when you send your taxes to the IRS, why some refunds take longer than others and what to do if you find yourself waiting a long time.
First, the IRS has to accept your return.
After you sign the authorization and click submit, the IRS runs a quick check to determine whether to accept the return for processing. This takes anywhere from a few minutes to up to 48 hours in peak tax season. During that time, algorithms confirm that there are no red flags about the basic legitimacy of the return, that the Social Security numbers and names match, for example. Acceptance doesn’t mean your refund is approved, just that it has passed the first hurdle. You’re hanging in limbo.
Checking the return.
Once the IRS accepts a return, its computers check it for math errors, clerical mistakes and suspected identity theft or fraud. The IRS deliberately keeps the specifics of these checks to itself and when errors are detected, many can be fixed quickly by the IRS without contacting the taxpayer. In such cases, the returns and refunds get adjusted automatically, all without a human touch. The IRS sends taxpayers a notice of the adjustment, and those who disagree have 60 days to respond. IRS computers spit out 17 million math-error notices last tax season, many relating to pandemic tax items.
Then, the IRS checks the return for accuracy by, for example, comparing the numbers you entered with the data from banks and employers. If there’s a mismatch, it goes tilt and that can delay the refund: the IRS will contact the taxpayer by letter to ask for additional information, such as a schedule for itemized deductions. Resolution can take more than 120 days and responding promptly can speed up your refund.
Finally, the computers will check whether the taxpayer owes money to the federal government or someone else for federal tax, student loan debt or child support. These get enforced through the refund process.
How payments are processed
To shave several days off processing time, choose the direct deposit option on Form 1040 and double-check your bank routing and account numbers. If you file married jointly, your refund can be deposited directly into U.S. bank accounts that are in your own name, your spouse’s name, or both if it’s a joint account.
If you file on paper, there’s a keypunching step whereby an IRS employee manually keys in your return information. Another step that comes at the end of the process increases processing time: The IRS has to send an electronic authorization to the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service to print and mail a paper check.
Where is my refund?
You can check the status of your refund online at IRS.gov/refunds or with the IRS2Go app 24 hours after e-filing your return or four weeks after surface-mailing it. You’ll need to know your Social Security number or taxpayer identification number, your filing status, and the exact amount of your expected refund. Information is updated daily.
If your refund is delayed, take comfort in the silver lining: The IRS will pay interest on late refunds in most cases, typically after 45 days, using a complex formula, including the current interest rate of 7%. Watch out for a Form 1099-INT because the interest payments are taxable.
Taking back control of our food and farm system. This year we have a chance to break the hold of the few massive industrial agriculture corporations and take back control of the food and farm system so it works got everyone. Every five years Congress updates a piece of legislation called the Farm Bill and this legislation protects small and mid-size farmers—especially new farmers and farmers of color—and equips them with the tools to adopt and scale farming practices to produce nutritious food for communities everywhere and seeks to protect the climate.
Protecting the climate through agriculture legislation is critical as big agriculture has made our food and farm system a climate problem instead of a climate solution: 11% of US global warming emissions stem from agriculture. The industrialized practice of growing the same crop year after year on the same land depletes the soil of nutrients and industrial livestock production pollutes our air and water, leaving communities vulnerable to climate impacts.
Why does it matter to you? This system makes big corporations richer while producing foods that make people sicker and poorer but now there's the Agriculture Resilience Act. This bill could usher in a transformation, investing in science and incentives to help farmers trap carbon in the soil and produce nutritious, climate-friendly foods. Now is the time to tell your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Agriculture Resilience Act and make the food and farm system part of the climate solution in the next farm bill. Who doesn’t want more pesticide &, hormone free food that we can buy in our own, local, Farmer’s Markets?