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Yes, It’s That Season: Tips for Tax Time

February 19, 2016

TaxTip_LR.jpgAs tax season rolls along, remember that as a First Source Member, you can file with Turbo Tax for free if you go through our website, since we are a Turbo Tax preferred partner. There are two versions of the software—a free version, and a paid version—and as a Member, you can also get $5 off the paid version price. If you choose to have your refund directly deposited into your account, we have a few helpful tips.

Every year some people’s tax returns end up in others’ accounts, due to errors in submitted account numbers. Should this happen, you’ll have to call the IRS at 800-829-1040, and have them file an IRS form 3911 to trace the check. To minimize problems, follow the easy steps below:

  1. Use caution when setting up the direct deposit of your tax refunds. Refunds are deposited solely based on account number, not by name.
  2. Make sure you use your full 9-digit routing number and 14-digit account number.
  3. Make sure you submit an active checking or savings account.
  4. Do not add or delete any zeros.
  5. Double- and triple-check all information and numbers before submitting your account information.

Of course, the best way to plan for tax season every year is to build your own savings year round! If you have a good-sized buffer in your checking account, consider earning more with a Money Market account or Term Share Certificate. Call or make an appointment online, and we can help you make a plan.

We wish you a stress-free tax experience!

Posted in: Blog, Posts, Taxes, Tips

Be Wary of Tax Return Scams

February 25, 2015

As we all know, unfortunately there are some not-so-nice people out there. Tax season seems to be a time they come out. Looking to steal money or account information, please be wary of scams. Trust your gut if something doesn’t seem right.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from tax fraud:

During a tax scam, usually an individual calls on the phone or sends an email presenting themselves as an employee of the IRS or your state’s tax authority, under the guise of wanting to “help” with your tax filing. Usually this type of tax scam involves an unsolicited, bogus email regarding your tax refund or bill, or threatens an audit if you do not pay. These tax fraud emails also typically include the tax service’s name and official seal, and often link to a phony website in order to appear to be more official.

Please be wary of ANY emails or phone calls you receive from someone claiming to be an employee of the IRS or State, especially those that demand you pay immediately.

The Internal Revenue Service and your state’s tax authority will NEVER:

  • Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text, or through social media outlets to ask for your personal or financial information.
  • Require that you pay your taxes with a certain payment type, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Call you and demand immediate payment. (The IRS or State will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.)

If you receive an email about your federal or state taxes:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov and then delete the email.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links, as they may contain a malicious code or virus that will infect your computer.
  • Check the website of your state’s tax return office to see how they recommend you report an attempted scam involving your state tax filing.

If you receive a call about your federal or state taxes:

  • Ask for a contact number and an employee badge number and then call back to verify its legitimacy
  • Call the IRS or the office of your state’s tax authority to inquire further.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the incident.
  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission through the FTC Complaint Assistant on their website (add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report).

For more in depth information on how to detect or report tax scams, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing.

Posted in: Tips

Actual Balance versus Available Balance

February 4, 2014

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Ever catch yourself overdrawing your account and you could have sworn that money was in there? Here’s what may have happened. If you made a check deposit after 2:00 p.m. at many financial institutions that money is actually not available until the next business day. If it’s a Friday, you’re not seeing it until Monday! This means if you had $40 in your account and deposited $100 (after 2:00 p.m.), your actual balance is $140, but your available balance is still only $40. If you go grocery shopping that night and spend $75, you’ve just overdrawn your account.

If you’re depositing a check for a large amount, or from an unfamiliar business, there may be a hold placed on the check. On average this can be from 3 – 5 days. While it may seem unfair at first, this is actually done to protect you. You would not want to go spending that money and have the check not clear. Then you would be on the hook to pay overdraft fees on the money you spent that never actually made it into your account. The good news is we will notify you if a check is being held so you should be aware that those funds are not yet available.

With First Source, here are some instances that this will not happen. 1. If you deposit cash versus a check. Cash will always be available immediately, including Saturdays. 2. If you deposit a payroll check. These funds are always available immediately.

What about an ATM deposit? No matter how much you deposit through an ATM, (check or cash) only $200 is available immediately per day. The full amount is available after 2 days. So if you deposit $500 on Wednesday, you’re actual balance is $500. But your available balance is only $200 on Wednesday and Thursday. Your available balance will jump up to $500 on Friday.

Sometimes the actual date a transaction happened can vary from the date when the place you’ve spent the money pulls those funds. You may go to dinner on a Saturday night and spend $50. That $50 may not actually be withdrawn from your account until Tuesday. It’s up to you to know that you’ve already spent it. The best thing you can do is keep your register current and check your balance frequently online.

Posted in: Tips

Credit Card Tip #3: Check both perks and penalties

November 12, 2013

If you travel, make sure the card is accepted worldwide and can give you cash advances if you need them. And check the policy on international purchases—some charge extra fees. Sometimes your agreed-upon APR (variable or fixed) is only as good as your timely payments. If you’re late, that agreement may be void—percentages can get tacked on, and fees added. See how long you have to make a payment. How is the minimum payment due calculated? Some are flat fees and some are percentage-based. What’s the grace period? Do they offer purchase/fraud protection? If you have an issue, can you make a local phone call to easily get it resolved? Don’t take anything for granted.

Want to learn about our First Source Platinum Visa®?
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Posted in: Tips

Credit Card Tip #2: Read the fine print

November 5, 2013

Credit card promotions definitely have their benefits, but remember to check the fine print. Balance transfers at 0% are great, but check to see how long you have to pay it off at that rate (it could be only a few months). Also note that 0% is only on the amount transferred; any new purchases fall under the card’s normal APR. And pay attention: find out which purchases get paid off first if you make a payment—the 0% or the standard APR ones.

Posted in: Card, Credit, Tips

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