Keeping Seniors’ Money Safe

July 24, 2017  
Filed under Money

Tori and Wanda in the truck CMYK By Victoria Lloyd

Did you know people over 50 years old hold 70 percent of our nation’s wealth? This wealth represents the hard work and savings of the baby boomers. It also provides the unscrupulous with an opportunity to part you or your parents from their wealth. Financial exploitation is a significant problem, with recent estimates indicating that seniors nationwide are losing more than $36 billion each year to this crime. Read more

Bank or Credit Union: Which is Right for You?

May 15, 2017  
Filed under Money

Two piggy banks with euro coins on whiteBy Teresa Iqbal

With ever-increasing examples of corruption associated with corporate-minded leaders who run large banks, many are on the hunt for a new way to bank.  Read more

Age Well Highlights Limited-Time Opportunity

April 26, 2017  
Filed under Money

For Equitable Relief to Eligible Medicare Beneficiaries

 

April 10, 2017 (Essex Junction, VT) – Age Well’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program highlights a limited-time opportunity for eligible Medicare Beneficiaries. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently offering equitable relief to individuals who did not receive the necessary information about Medicare and Vermont Health Connect. This relief would allow beneficiaries to reinstate Medicare Part B medical coverage or relieve their Medicare Part B late penalty in certain circumstances.

Read more

2017 Tax Filing Season Underway-Fraud Prevention a Focus

February 1, 2017  
Filed under Money, News

Last week, the Vermont Department of Taxes and the IRS began accepting tax returns for the 2016 tax year and there are a few changes the department would like taxpayers to know about.

 

The department continues to experience a rise in attempted tax refund fraud, an alarming trend that mirrors what is happening in other states and at the federal level. State revenue departments and the IRS are implementing procedures to help protect the taxpayer’s money. Vermont taxpayers will be asked to provide a Vermont driver’s license or state-issued identification card number when filing. If the information is not provided and the department cannot verify your identity, this may delay the processing of a refund.

 

In limited circumstances, the department will require identity confirmation before sending a refund, and will send verification letters to the physical address listed on the tax return. This letter will provide instructions on how to verify return information to complete the processing of a refund. To complete this request, taxpayers will not be asked to enter a social security number. Submitting the requested information over the phone or at www.myVTax.vermont.gov will verify the refund request and allow the department to proceed with processing the refund.

 

“One of the most concerning frauds we see is the filing of false tax returns in order to generate a refund. We have controls in place to identify suspicious refund requests and in some cases the department will need to take additional steps to ensure that the refunds we issue are going to the right person.  We ask that taxpayers work with us as we balance the goals of customer service, speedy refunds and fraud prevention.  Providing your Vermont Driver’s license number and responding to verification letters helps protect your refund and prevent fraud” says Commissioner Kaj Samsom.

 

The most efficient and secure way to file Vermont tax returns continues to be electronic filing and direct deposit to an existing bank account is the fastest way to receive a refund. Taxpayers who are eligible for free online filing will find more information about Free File, on the department’s website at www.tax.vermont.gov. Taxpayers who e-file generally receive their refunds more quickly than those who file paper returns.

 

New Online Services

The department has launched myVTax, a new IT system to modernize tax processing for all Vermonters. Taxpayers wishing to use these services may visit www.myVTax.vermont.gov.

  • New! File your Renter Rebate Claim on our website or through your software vendor
  • New! File an extension for Personal Income Tax
  • New! View your Form 1099G online
  • New! Respond to correspondence from the department
  • Check the status of your refund, including if more information is required
  • Make estimated payments and verify your payments from last year

 

Protect Yourself From Online Charity Scams

January 3, 2017  
Filed under Aging Parents, Money

Unfortunately, this time of year is prime time for charity scams. Many of us will be making our end of the year charity donations and scammers know this. Before you think your money is going towards a noble cause, make sure it isn’t going into the hands of a real-life Grinch. As the Internet is such a popular place for giving, it’s also a feeding ground for scammers. Many set up fake charities to collect donations for themselves from compassionate people who want to help others.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim to a charity scam: Read more

Fake emails containing an IRS tax bill

October 11, 2016  
Filed under Money, News

Be on guard against fake emails that contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act. Scammers have sent a fraudulent version of CP2000 notices for tax year 2015 to some taxpayers.

The scam involves an email that includes a fake CP2000 as an attachment.

However, the CP2000 is a notice commonly mailed to taxpayers through the United States Postal Service. It is never sent as part of an email.
The issue has been reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for investigation.

 

Vermont AARP Tax-Aide Program Seeks New Volunteers

September 16, 2016  
Filed under Money, News

BURLINGTON, VT, September 15, 2016 –   AARP Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax counseling and preparation service, is seeking volunteers to assist in tax preparation.  Tax season, AARP Tax-Aide volunteers help prepare federal and state tax returns for low and middle income taxpayers with special attention to those 60 and older. Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcome and some computer skills are an extra bonus.  You do not need to be an AARP member nor a retiree and no prior experience in tax preparation is necessary. All ages are welcome. Volunteers are needed not only to calculate taxes, but to greet taxpayers to keep the site running smoothly.

Tax counselors receive free tax training and become IRS certified by passing the IRS exam.  They help residents one-on-one at tax sites in their own communities across Vermont.  It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and help others in your community.

You’re invited ….

A special information and introductory training session is scheduled for October 24-25, 2016 at the AARP Offices at 199 Main Street, Suite 225 in Burlington.  Participants will learn how to use computers to prepare federal and state tax returns.  Sessions will run from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM.  To register or for more information, please email Dominic Di Cicco at domdi@yahoo.com or call 802-878-8091.  Or, for more information on how you can join the AARP Tax-Aide Program, you can also visit our web site at www.aarp.org/money/taxaide/.  To register as a volunteer for AARP-Tax Aide you can start and register on-line at www.aarp.org/apps/Volunteer_with_AARP_Tax_Aide/.

Tax-Aide volunteers are asked to give a minimum commitment of at least one four hour shift per week from February 1 through April 15 at a site close to home. Nationwide, more than 35,000 Tax Aide volunteers serve about 2.6 million taxpayers annually.   Last year in Vermont, some 170 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 10,000 Vermont taxpayers at 66 sites across the state.

“Many older, low-income taxpayers miss out on the credits and deductions they’ve earned because they can’t afford to pay for professional tax preparation,” said Dave Reville from AARP Vermont.  “AARP Foundation Tax-Aide addresses this community need with volunteers who are not only helping their neighbors, but also learning new skills and giving their mind a workout as well.”

 

Identity Theft

September 15, 2016  
Filed under Money

Protecting You and Your Aging Parents from Identity Thieves

While anyone can be a victim of identity theft, seniors may be at even more of a risk then the general population. According to the Department of Justice, the number of elderly victims of identity theft increased from 2.1 million in 2012 to 2.6 million in 2014. This increase is likely due to the fact that seniors often live alone and crave companionship, and may have fading memories, which makes them easy prey for identity thieves who take advantage of their loneliness and vulnerability.  Read more

Subcompact Mercedes GLA a Sly Beauty 

June 10, 2016  
Filed under Money

The Mercedes-Benz GLA offers beauty and function, including advanced driver-aid technology.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA offers beauty and function, including advanced driver-aid technology.

By Mark Maynard

In the fast-paced, urban landscape, the subcompact crossover has emerged as a gateway to a calm experience in heavy, workday traffic. These glorified wagons move at a tough pace to get through the mean and busy city streets. They then go home to fit into just about any legitimate parking space.

The luxury brands dangle these vehicles as entry points and then ease into the capability of the cars with features such as microsuede softness and advanced driver-aid technology. Among the choices are the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Lincoln MKC, the upcoming Infiniti QX30 and this story’s tester, the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The Mercedes-Benz is based on the entry level CLA sedan to create a European style weekend car that is more wagon than small SUV. I prefer the Mercedes treatment to the GLA over the CLA, which has cut some corners to meet the budget. Read more

Stupid at Saving? Try These Apps for Financial Planning

May 24, 2016  
Filed under Money

STUPID AT SAVING PIC _ 01BPBy Kristen Castillo

Hate balancing your budget and your checkbook? Do you struggle to keep up with your savings account or monitor your retirement accounts? Technology is making tracking personal finances easier than ever.

Streamline your finances and your life with the latest apps for your smartphone, tablet and computer. Many apps are free, too, making being money-savvy even more enticing.

Mint Read more

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