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As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Understand the Recovery Rebate Credit

by Luke Landes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 15 percent of 2008 income tax returns that have been filed already have errors involving the recovery rebate credit. Here is what the government wants you to know: Some tax returns erroneously claim the credit, do not claim the proper amount of recovery rebate credit or mistakenly enter the amount ... Continue reading this article…

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Senate Amendment to 2009 Stimulus Bill: First-Time Home Buyer Credit

by Luke Landes

This text refers to the original amendment to the stimulus bill, which has now been superseded in the final law. The first-time home buyer tax credit is now $8,000 and is available for people who purchase a house between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009. Here is how to claim the $8,000 home buyer ... Continue reading this article…

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Senate Amendment to 2009 Stimulus Bill: 4% Fixed-Rate Mortgage

by Luke Landes

Updated March 20, 2009: The stimulus bill is now a law. Read our roundup of the many ways you can benefit. Without any Republican support, the 2009 stimulus package pushed by President Obama passed the House of Representatives. The bill is now making its way through the Senate, and it won’t come up for a ... Continue reading this article…

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Most Popular on Consumerism Commentary: January 2009

by Luke Landes

Monthly subscription reminder One of the best methods of reading Consumerism Commentary and staying up-to-date with the latest articles and posts is through RSS subscription. By subscribing to the Consumerism Commentary RSS feed with feed-reading software such as Google Reader or aggregators such as My Yahoo, you’ll always be aware of new content here. If ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing Ethically

by Smithee

Last year we wrote an article about Ethical Consumerism, the practice of spending your money on businesses who support your ideas of a healthy community and environment. In addition to where you spend your money, you can also put a lot of thought into which investment vehicles agree with your personal ethics. This is something ... Continue reading this article…

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HSBC Direct Drops Interest Rate to 1.55% APY

by Luke Landes

The way banks are dropping interest rates on savings accounts, you would think they don’t want your money. Most “high-yield” savings accounts now offer rates well under 3 percent. HSBC Direct is the latest to announce an interest rate cut, from 2.6 percent to 2.45 percent APY and is currently at 1.55 percent as of May 2009. Obviously there ... Continue reading this article…

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8 Things Banks Can Do to Make Online Banking Safer

by Luke Landes

Banking online by visiting a bank’s website directly to perform typical transactions like checking your balance, reviewing and reconciling your recent transactions, paying bills, or transferring money, is generally safer than doing the same in person, whether at an ATM or a teller. Your information is encrypted and you can take care of your business ... Continue reading this article…

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How Obama’s 2009 Economic Stimulus Will Affect You

by Luke Landes

If President Obama’s economic stimulus plan is signed into law is it currently stands, individuals stand to receive a tax credit of $500 and couples stand to receive a tax credit of $1,000. Provided you’re not disqualified for earning too much money, $75,000 for an individual or $150,000 for a couple. Taxpayers might receive this ... Continue reading this article…

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How Will You File Your Taxes?

by Luke Landes

I’ve started receiving W2s, 1099s, and a variety of other tax-related documentation in the mail and online, which means one thing: It is time to get serious about determining my final tax liability. If I planned right, I will have paid just enough between estimated taxes and withholding to avoid an underpayment penalty, but it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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What Do I Know About Investing?

by Smithee

Flexo has often touted the benefits of using a real credit card (as opposed to a debit card) for daily spending, and paying off the balance each month. I guess this finally permeated my skull, since as soon as I saw the news about a credit card that deposits 2 percent cash back into a brokerage ... Continue reading this article…

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