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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: Tax season

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Tax season

Hey there!
Lovin this weather!!!
This is the first week that many people start compiling paperwork for their federal income tax return. Over the next four weeks, those expecting refunds will get their returns done and sent off. The likely timeframe for returns is about 10 days if you file electronically and between 12 and 16 weeks if you file through the mail. But it’s not necessary to file through the mail for most taxpayers because electronic filing is free for nearly everyone now. That’s right! This is the third year that that IRS is offering free e-filing. To find out if you are eligible and which organizations you can choose, go to irs.gov. Each of them has different rules for when you can file, how old you have to be and what your income must be. Also, these companies are allowed to market products to you in return for giving you free e-filing. So, why pay if you can do it for nothing!
Recently, most of my family has had the flu. Bleh. Health care has definitely been on my brain (even if it eluded my body.) Health care in the United States is outrageously expensive, as you well know. Problems started in the '60s when companies offered to provide health coverage in lieu of pay raises and other benefits. The problem was people began not caring how much it cost because they weren’t paying. The whole thing has been upside down and backwards ever since. Well, fast forward to today when there is help on the way. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) will provide us with that alternative. These are tax-advantaged accounts that allow individuals to shop around and keep track of how much health care costs them. You can end up with a big pile of cash if you remain fairly healthy. Information is slowly trickling out about these accounts and now there is a site that lists opportunities by state. It is hsadecisions.org.
Several pharmaceutical companies are now offering a free discount card for prescription medicines that will save about 25 percent if you have no prescription related discount. They did this in part to relieve some of the pressure involving current prescription cards in the United States. But regardless, it’s still happening and it will be available to about 35 millions Americans. The card will be available sometime in February and you can find out more information at togetherrxaccess.com.You can also call
800-444-4106 to learn more. To be eligible, you must be under 65, receiving no prescription drug coverage from the government or an employer, and you must be under a certain income based on the number of people in your family.
If you’re single, you must make less than $30,000. If there are two people in your family, it moves up to $40,000. Add $10,000 for each additional household member. If you’re eligible, don’t assume the price is always the best in the marketplace. Continue to check the three warehouse clubs, Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s. You don't have to have a membership to get prescriptions from these places.
Be healthy this week!
CENTSerely,
Sister Thrifty

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