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Back-to-School Strategies for Staying Out of Debt

Will Changes in Credit Reporting Affect You?

What to do if your medical bills are turned over to collections

What to do if your spouse can't pay his or her bills

What to do when a family member ruins your credit

Homeownership is possible

What you need to know about the IRS and collection agencies

Will being turned down for a store credit card hurt my credit?

Beware of credit repair

Debt Management versus Debt Settlement

How to get ahead of late fees

Is There a Service That Helps You Not Pay Bills

Is a Debt Owed

Patience is the key to furnishing a new home

How to split expenses with your partner

Will my boyfriend's bad credit affect me?

Tax filing options to consider

What to do if your account is turned over to collections

Celebrating Valentine's Day on a budget

Personal Credit and Starting a Business

Finding Money to Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Simple Keys to Personal Finance

Be vigilant to avoid telephone and internet scams

Debt Settlement

Understanding credit utilization

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

The pros and cons of skipping a payment

Strategies for Financially Surviving the Holidays

Creating a fun and memorable holiday on a budget

Keep an open line of communication with parents about their finances.

Make a Choice to Get Ahead Financially

What to do when a relative asks you for money

Should You Buy a Home Now or Wait?

The difference between debt settlement and debt management

Tax Refund Delays for some in 2017

The negative impact of paying a payment 30 days late

Stressed by Finances

How to navigate two significant financial decisions: starting a family and buying a home

How to advise someone close to you who is coming into a significant amount of money

Make a Conscious Decision on How to Spend Your Money

Tips for Back-to-School Shopping

How do you know if you have a good credit score?

Americans spend more money eating out than on groceries

Having Good Credit Saves You Money

Developing good money habits with your first job

How to save for a home

How to Know if you are Ready for Home Ownership

When is the right time to buy a home?

You can improve your credit to buy a home

Plan a Memorable Vacation Without Incurring Debt

The Hidden Costs of Payday Loans

Be Wary of Credit Repair Services

Use Caution when playing the credit card game

What does it mean to say bankruptcy gives you a clean slate?

How your credit is affected by various debt options

Be wary of predatory small business loans

What to do if you fall behind on mortgage payments

Financing a College Education

Money, Credit and Relationships

Should you be concerned with your date's credit scores?

Best options for a small, short-term loan

How to help a relative who is always borrowing money from you

Setting New Year's goals that you can keep

Making the holidays memorable for families on a tight budget.

Skipping a Payment over the Holidays

What to do if you are overwhelmed by medical bills

Make your financial intention a financial goal you can achieve

Should Consumers Use the New EMV Cards?

What to do when a collector calls you

The difference between paying bills and managing your money

My wife and I have gone through some tough financial times, which eventually led us to file for bankruptcy.  Following this experience, I don’t ever want to use credit again, but my wife

What do I need to know to pay ahead on my mortgage?

What to do if you get an unsolicited credit card in the mail

What to do when moving in to share expenses doesn't work out

Tax Refund Delays for some in 2017

Q. My family qualifies for the Earned Income Tax Credit. I try to file my taxes as soon as possible, because I like getting a large refund at the beginning of the year. My father-in-law told me that I should be changing my W-4 and getting that money back sooner. I’m not sure what he means. Can you explain this to me?

A. With the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), qualifying families receive a substantial refund, often between $2,000 and $5,000. If you wait to claim this money when you file your taxes, then the government is holding your money for the entire year and not paying you interest.

If you adjust your W-4 exemptions, you will see an additional credit with each paycheck, which will increase your take-home pay. For example, if you normally receive a refund of $3600 a year, by changing your exemptions, you could actually receive $300 more a month in your paycheck. An extra $300 a month can go a long way to helping families make ends meet, rather than waiting for a refund in February.

In addition, the IRS has recently announced that there will be a delay in some refunds in 2017. Under a new law, the IRS is now required to hold refunds on returns that are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit until after February 15, 2017. This will affect you and thousands of other families in the coming year.

The IRS is also stepping up its efforts to fight identity theft and tax refund fraud. This could cause a delay in refunds for all tax payers. 

Due to delays in refunds, it makes more sense to update your W-4 now for your Earned Income Tax Credit. This means you will see less withholding and gain more money in your paycheck. You can use this money as part of your monthly budget or put it in your savings account. 

The IRS offers a withholding calculator on its website. It’s a simple tool that you can use to ensure you’re on track for the year ahead. You can go to: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator?_ga=1.235273793.1150670162.1473190109. Given the changes in the coming year, now is a good time to check your withholding and make any necessary changes.

Bonnie Spain is the executive director of the American Center for Credit Education and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills. For more information, email acce@acce-online.com.

The material in this transmission is provided for personal, non-commercial, educational, and informational purposes only. ACCE makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this transmission and assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistency herein. You should consult a professional where appropriate.