Why your tax refund might be late this spring

And more of the week's best financial advice

Delayed taxes will keep you diligently checking your mailbox.
(Image credit: iStock)

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

IRS to stall some tax refunds

"Some people may wait a little longer for their tax refunds next spring," said Darla Mercado at CNBC. Households that file early and claim the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit won't receive their refunds until after Feb. 15 because of a new anti-fraud regulation that takes effect in 2017. The rule gives the IRS "more time to sniff out phony returns and prevent refunds from going to scammers." But that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep filing early. Thieves rush to submit fake returns before actual taxpayers file documents. The two popular tax credits are among the most attractive to scammers, because they often result in a sizable refund.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Help with at-home care

Dependent-care flexible spending accounts "aren't just for children," said Kimberly Lankford at Kiplinger. "You can also use the money tax-free to cover care for other dependents while you work," such as an elderly parent. To qualify, the person must live with you and either be considered your dependent for tax purposes or receive more than 50 percent of his or her support from you during the year. They must also be mentally or physically incapable of self-care, "which the IRS defines as someone who cannot dress, clean, or feed themselves because of physical or mental impairments." You and your spouse can contribute a total of up to $5,000 annually to a dependent-care FSA.

Employers and your credit history

Despite what you may have heard, a low credit score won't cost you a job offer, said Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post. When employers request an applicant's credit history, what they receive is actually a "dressed down" version of the record used by lenders. That report does not include your credit score. The employer report usually includes public-record information on bankruptcies, liens, and judgments, but excludes a person's age and account numbers. Additionally, if an employment credit report contributes to any decision that negatively affects you, "federal law requires the company to give you a copy of the report along with a written description of your rights."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us