The cost of e-filing
E-filing might make tax season more bearable for Americans and the IRS, but the convenience comes at a cost. The Treasury Department found that thanks to e-filing, tax-identity theft skyrocketed to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011, compared with 51,700 in 2008, costing the government more than $5.2 billion in bogus tax refunds.
The Wall Street Journal
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Dipping into nest eggs early
More than a quarter of Americans with 401(k) and other retirement accounts are dipping into their nest eggs early to pay for current expenses, exacerbating concerns that future retirees could be impoverished if the government cuts Medicare and Social Security benefits.
The Washington Post
What Americans are drinking
Got milk? Probably not. Americans today drink 30 percent less milk than they did in 1975. They’re also less thirsty for orange juice, soda, powdered drinks, and beer, while beverages such as tea, liquor, wine, and bottled water are gaining favor.
Planning for death
Many Americans aren’t planning for death. A legal services site found that in 2011, 57 percent of adults in the United States did not have a will. Even among adults between 45 and 64 years old, 44 percent had not drafted one.
The New York Times
How tax refunds are spent
Federal tax refunds, averaging $2,700 per household, are the single largest lump sum most Americans receive each year. Forty-two percent of Americans say they plan to use that windfall to pay down debt, while one in four say they’ll save it for a rainy day. Just 16 percent plan to splurge on vacations and shopping.
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