moneyhandshake

Great news! The Treasury Department said Thursday that the special economic stimulus rebates would be distributed five days earlier than first said. The first round of rebates are expected to be sent starting Monday, April 28 rather than May 2 as previously thought.

About 800,000 tax filers will receive rebates on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. An additional 5 million will be distributed on Friday. The economic stimulus plan signed in February by President Bush will distribute more than $110 billion to 130 million taxpayers.

So what are you going to do with the money? Most people I’ve talked to and read about seem like they aren’t spending it but rather paying down debt and/or boosting their emergency funds and not necessarily the economy. I’m doing the same.

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earthinhands

Happy Earth Day! Today is a day when we need to remember that God is the one who created the earth and we need to take care of it as much as possible. God has called us to be good stewards. Luke 12:42-44 (NKJV) says:

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.

Here are some ways to be good stewards of God’s creation:

1. Conserve energy by combining different errands into one trip, turning off lights and appliances when not in use (including electronics such as computers, etc.)

2. Recycle everything that you can including cans, paper, old electronics, etc.

3. Use compact fluorescent lights (CFL) throughout the house which uses less electricity and last longer than traditional bulbs.

4. Treat everything as if you own it…because God does.

5. Don’t litter and pick up trash on the ground if you see it.

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taxrefundpiggy

I just received my federal income tax refund yesterday! I filed on April 5th and my refund came exactly 13 days later. That was pretty quick! I’m glad I e-filed for the first time this year. I think I’m never going to mail in my tax return ever again. The benefits simply outweigh any of the negatives.

Here’s how to check the status of your refund. Just go to the official IRS “Where’s My Refund” page (can also be accessed from the main IRS website) and enter your social security number, filing status, and exact refund amount shown on your tax return. It showed that mine would be direct deposited on April 18th and it showed up exactly on April 18th in both accounts (I split my refund into two accounts). Most states also have a way to check the status of refunds. Check your particular state tax websites for more information.

Now I’m just waiting for the economic stimulus rebate to arrive. It will be direct deposited to the same account that I filed with (only the first one). Check out this post to find out when you can expect yours.

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april15deadline08

The tax deadline is fast approaching! If you’re like many Americans and have procrastinated so far, here are several ways to prepare and file your taxes for free! Nothing beats free!

All you have to do is go through the IRS Free File page. Generally, your adjusted gross income (AGI) needs to less than $54,000 for 2007 unless otherwise noted.

Here are some of the companies that provide this service and are recommended:

1. TurboTax Freedom Edition
The limitation here is that your adjusted gross income (AGI) needs to less than $30,000. If you qualify, this is a great way to do your federal as well as state taxes (AL, AR, AZ, GA, ID, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NY, ND, NC, OK, OR, RI, SC, VT, WV) for free!

2. H&R Block’s TaxCut
This is available as a free access to the TaxCut software. Adding a state return costs $24.95.

3. TaxAct
Available with a free federal return. A state return will cost $12.95.

4. CompleteTax
A state return will cost an additional $9.95.

5. Tax Engine
A state return will cost an extra $10.

6. TaxSlayer
This comes with a free state return if you prepare a federal return with it. Otherwise, a state return will cost an additional $9.95.

All of these can be accessed through the IRS Free File website. I filed my taxes last weekend and I’ve already received my state return direct deposited. My federal refund should arrive within a week or so. I’m glad that I e-filed this year and used direct deposit. I used the paid version of the TurboTax software. Just be aware that if you purchase the retail version, you’ll have to pay $17.95 each return to e-file. So if you file a federal and state return it will cost $35.90 in addition to the software cost. Just so you know. If you haven’t filed yet, get to it! This is the last weekend to file your taxes. Hope this helped.

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The IRS will begin to send approximately 130 million tax rebate payments to boost the economy starting on May 2. Most people will receive their rebates by July 11 if tax returns are filed by the April 15th deadline. The IRS takes about two weeks to process a return. Here’s a full schedule for the special rebate payments:

2008IRSrebatesch

You can use the IRS’s own online calculator to figure out exactly how much of a rebate you’ll get and whether or not you’re eligible.

I’ve written about this special stimulus rebate here and here.

Source: IRS

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   holy-bible.png

20 Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the LORD is finished correctly.

1 Chronicles 28:20 (NLT)

From the Life Application Bible:

David advised Solomon not to be frightened about the size of his task as king and builder of the Temple. Fear can immobilize us. The size of a job, its risks, or the pressure of the situation can cause us to freeze and do nothing. One remedy for fear is found here: Don’t focus on the fear; instead, get to work. Getting started is often the most difficult and frightening part of a job.