Where’s My Refund? Discussing Taxes, Human Resource Issues, Investing, and the IRS On ESPN Radio – Podcast & Transcript – May 27, 2016 Show
1. Interview with Ms. CJ Westrick, SPHR the Founder and Primary Consultant of HR Jungle – what you need to know about running your human resources.
2. What Would Mom Buy?
3. Where’s My Refund?
4. Questions from our listeners: What does it cost to invest in a fund – and do I need to understand stock, bond or money markets before I invest? What types of mutual funds are available?
Windus states: Yes sometimes we just have to take the money and run!
Good afternoon! Welcome to Inside Advantage – Your Financial And Tax Radio Show.
This is Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord, Senior Vice President Of Investments at Trilogy Financial Services.
My co-host, Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn, is out on assignment and so I will be leading today’s show.
You are listening to our weekly radio show where we talk everything about finances and taxes from the ESPN 1700 AM Studio in San Diego, California.
When it comes to knowing tax laws and paying taxes, let’s face it — everyone in the U.S. is either in tax trouble, on their way to tax trouble, or trying to avoid tax trouble!
And whether you are on the rebound or flying high, we have the information you need to make sound financial decisions and map out your strategy for success.
Our show is broadcasted each Friday at 2:00PM Pacific Time and replays are available on demand by logging into the KahnTaxLaw website at www.kahntaxlaw.com.
For today’s show we have coming up:
Segment 2 material: What Would Mom Buy??
Also coming up is:
Segment 3 material: Where’s My Refund?
And of course towards the end of our show, we will be answering some of your questions.
Windus states: Let’s introduce you to today’s guest:
Ms. CJ Westrick, SPHR the Founder and Primary Consultant of HR Jungle. Questions:
a. How do I apply for a FEIN?
b. What other types of business licenses or paperwork would a first time employer recruiting their initial employees need before hiring?
c. How do I make my business Compliance friendly with Employment laws?
d. What type of training is mandatory to new employees in the state of California?
e. When promoting current employees to Supervisory or Management positions, is there additional mandatory training? Or is their primary employee training enough?
f. How do you motivate employees to work harder without pressuring or over-stressing your staff?
g. An employee just isn’t working out, and you have to let them go. What type of documentation do you need to terminate? Paper trail? How do you terminate properly?
h. What is the minimum hourly wage in California? Is there a minimum exempt salary?
i. What are some examples of the top perks of working for companies that supplement on-the-job happiness factors in lieu of pay increases?
j. What are the updates to the Fair Employment and Housing Act? How does this affect Pregnancy Disability Leave?
Well it’s time for a break but stay tuned because we are going to tell you An Investor’s Credo to Live By: What Would Mom Buy?
You are listening to Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn, and Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord on Inside Advantage on ESPN.
Welcome back. This is Inside Advantage – Your Financial And Tax Radio Show on ESPN and you are listening to Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn, and Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord.
An Investor’s Credo to Live By: What Would Mom Buy?
Windus: Don’t you think its high time individual investors had their own equivalent of a Bill of Rights?
Windus states: Earlier this month in a full page Wall Street Journal ad, eight pension funds requested that asset management firms sign a code of conduct, committing them to treating clients fairly.
This effort is already ten years in the making, but it still has a substantial way to go. First introduced in 2006, and sponsored by the CFA Institute (a not for profit association of financial analysts), the Asset Management Code of Professional Conduct asks investment firms to be ‘prudent, honest and ethical’.
Windus states: Think that’s not a lot to ask for? While 1,300 firms worldwide have adopted the code, tens of thousands more have not.
Probably the biggest reason investment firms tend to opt out of adhering to the voluntary code, is the long list of mandatory disclosures and other requirements already enforced by regulators.
Windus replies: Even still, some of the leading investors in the world are unimpressed with current regulations and believe that standards should be raised.
Michael McCauley is the senior officer for investment programs at the $170 billion Florida State Board of Administration and signatory of the conduct code. He agrees that, “if you have a firm that is adhering to the code, all else being equal, you’re less likely to have ethical missteps and systematic problems there.”
Windus continues: Furthermore, if half of all investors are not confident enough in a firm to recommend them to another, there is a substantial deficiency in ethical standards. A recent survey polling more than 3,800 investors in North America, Europe and Asia shows that only 51% of private investors and 41% of institutional investors were “very” or “extremely” likely to recommend an investment firm to another.
Even Paul Smith, the president of the CFA Institutes feels “the underlying reason is that the person on Main Street does not believe in the pit of their stomach that the industry is set up to benefit them.”
Windus continues: When it comes down to it though, what should this individual investor’s Bill of Rights look like??
To begin with: Asset Managers Shouldn’t Over Charge. These days, asset management companies are reaping net profit margins in excess of 25%. The investment research firm, Morningstar has reported only 7.3% of US stock funds charge 0.5% or less in annual expenses, whereas 56.7% charge more than 1%.
Windus replies: Greater than three-quarters of all stock funds charged no more than 0.5% in annual expenses, back in 1960. Even less than one-tenth charged more than 1%.
More surprising yet, asset-management companies ran an average of 18% net profit margin back then. Don’t you think we can afford to cut fees at today’s level?
Windus replies: The fact is, cutting fees may not only be the responsible thing to do, but may also be a matter of survival for asset managers. Running from high fees, investors continue to pull money from high-cost mutual funds in order to save a buck in cheap, market-tracking index funds.
In addition to cutting fees: Asset Managers Shouldn’t Outgrow Their Capacity to Do a Good Job.
Windus replies: Firms tend to lay focus on funds that are at their hottest returns. The influx of investments in areas such as small stocks, high-yield bonds and emerging-market securities, with high trading costs and hard to find bargain-investments, the sudden jump in activity sometimes makes it impossible for the manager to match past performance.
Then what are you supposed to do? An investment does well, you spread word to promote it and make your clients money, and then the rush of popularity comes too fast for the firms to manage. What are you supposed to do, stop taking new investments?
Windus replies: The best way to put it is, “it’s like running a clothing store and locking the doors as soon as word finally gets out among all the customers in town that your stuff is really good!” Or at least that’s how John Montgomery see it, chairman of Bridgeway Capital Management, a $6 billion investment firm in Houston. He’s had to close several funds to new investors over the years.
Realistically speaking, a firm shouldn’t launch a new portfolio without notification of how much money they can efficiently manage in that strategy, beforehand. Which entails, when they do reach that predesigned level, they need to refrain from taking in any additional business.
Windus states: Number three of four of the investors’ Bill of Rights: Firms Shouldn’t “Backtest” With Abandon.
“Backtesting” is when asset managers try various different strategies to see what would have worked best in the past.
Windus replies: In this case, asset managers would act with this data and introduce said prevailing strategy without any regard to disclosing how many others they tried.
Without this disclosure, a client would have no way of knowing how many other approaches a manager considered before making their decision. In other words, no way of knowing if the strategy was a “statistical fluke”.
Windus states: Plainly speaking, without listing the number of other strategies they’ve considered before rejecting, a firm should never offer backtested portfolios. This includes information regarding which data and time periods they’ve used for running tests.
Finally: Asset Managers Shouldn’t Market Portfolios They Wouldn’t Invest In Themselves.
Windus states: Mom always said, “Treat other’s the way you want to be treated.” Words to live by in my opinion. Now what we’re inferring, runs along the lines of the acronym “WWJD”, but instead reads “WWMB” (what would mom buy?).
The Wall Street Journal put it best with the statement, “If an investment manager wouldn’t want his or her mother to buy a new portfolio, then it has no business being sold to the investing public, either.”
Windus states: Granted, we’re not looking at the investment appeal of the past, just the acting ethically. The investment world is still looking toward the future and its appeal to millennials. Whether it be exchange-traded funds specializing in organic food producers, developers of drone technology or marketers or products with special appeal to the nest generation. What to learn more?? Give me a call and…
Windus PLUG: Trilogy Financial Services will provide you with a retirement cash flow analysis which is a $600.00 value for free as long as you mention the Inside Advantage Radio Show when you call to make an appointment. Call my office to make an appointment to meet with me, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord. The number to call is 858.314.5169. That is 858.314.5169. Or visit www.guideyourstory.com.
Have you been asking where’s my refund? Stay tuned because after the break we are going to tell you how to find the answer.
You are listening to Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn, and Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord on Inside Advantage on ESPN.
Windus states: Welcome back. This is Inside Advantage – Your Financial And Tax Radio Show on ESPN and you are listening to Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord and Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn.
Calling into the studio from Walnut Creek is Jeff’s associate attorney, Amy Spivey.
Chit chat with Amy
Windus states: And to remind our listeners of Jeff’s offer: PLUG: The Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. will provide you with a Tax Resolution Plan which is a $500.00 value for free as long as you mention the Inside Advantage Radio Show when you call to make an appointment. Call Jeff’s office to make an appointment to meet with him right here in downtown San Diego or at one of his other offices close to you. The number to call is 866.494.6829. That is 866.494.6829.
Where’s My Refund?
Windus states: So you filed your income tax return which showed an overpayment and you requested a refund. Most people knowing that they have money coming back to them have probably figured how they are going to spend that money.
Amy states: The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. The IRS has a tool on its website called Where’s My Refund? This link has the most up to date information available about your refund. The tool is updated no more than once a day so you don’t need to check more often.
Amy continues: You can use “Where’s My Refund?” to start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS has received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. “Where’s My Refund?” has a tracker that displays progress through 3 stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.
Amy continues: You will get personalized refund information based on the processing of your tax return. The tool will provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund.
Windus asks: Will calling the IRS help a taxpayer get his refund any faster?
Amy replies: Calling the IRS will not speed up your refund. The IRS phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your refund if it has been 21 days or more since you filed electronically, more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return, or “Where’s My Refund?” directs you to contact the IRS. If the IRS needs more information to process your tax return, the IRS will contact you by mail.
Windus asks: Will ordering a transcript help you determine when you’ll get your refund?
Amy replies: No, a tax transcript will not help you determine when you will get your refund. This is among the common myths and misconceptions that are often repeated in social media. The codes listed on tax transcripts do not provide any early insight into when a refund will be issued. The best way to check on your refund is by visiting “Where’s My Refund?” While transcripts include a lot of detailed information regarding actions taken on your account, the codes do not mean the same thing for everyone and they do not necessarily reflect how any of these actions do or do not impact the amount or timing of your refund. IRS transcripts are best and most often used to validate past income and tax filing status for mortgage, student and small business loan applications and to help with tax preparation.
Windus asks: What if the refund is different than the amount reflected on the tax return that was filed?
Amy replies: If you owe past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or certain federal nontax debts, such as student loans, all or part of your refund may be used (offset) to pay the past-due amount. Offsets for federal taxes are made by the IRS. All other offsets are made by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS). For federal tax offsets, you will receive a notice from the IRS. For all other offsets, you will receive a notice from BFS. To find out if you may have an offset or if you have any questions about it, contact the agency to which you owe the debt. Another reason your refund amount may be different is if the IRS made changes to your tax return that changed your refund amount. In this case you will get a notice in the mail from the IRS explaining the changes.
Windus asks: What if you filed a joint return and you are not responsible for your spouse’s debt, are you entitled to request a portion of the refund back from the IRS.
Amy replies: Yes, you may file a claim for this amount by filing Form 8379 (PDF), Injured Spouse Allocation. The IRS can process your Form 8379 before an offset occurs. If you file Form 8379 with your original return, it may take 11 weeks to process an electronically-filed return or 14 weeks if you filed a paper return. If you file the Form 8379 by itself after a joint return has been processed, then processing will take about 8 weeks.
Amy continues: When filing Form 8379 by itself, you must show both spouses’ social security numbers in the same order as they appeared on your joint income tax return. You, the injured spouse, must sign the form. Follow the instructions on Form 8379 carefully and be sure to attach the required Forms W-2 and 1099 showing federal income tax withholding to avoid delays. Do not attach the previously filed joint tax return to the Form 8379 when filing it by itself. Send Form 8379 to the Service Center where you filed your original return and allow at least 8 weeks for the IRS to process your request. The IRS will compute the injured spouse’s share of the joint refund. If you lived in a community property state during the tax year, the IRS will divide the joint refund based upon state community property law. Not all debts are subject to a tax refund offset. So to determine whether an offset will occur on a debt owed you should check with a tax professional.
Windus asks: What if one is counting on my refund for something important? Can he or she expect to receive it on time?
Amy replies: Be careful not to count on getting your refund by a certain date to make major purchases or pay other financial obligations. Many different factors can affect the timing of your refund after the IRS receives it for processing. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. Also, if you are anticipating a refund, take into consideration the time it takes for your financial institution to post the refund to your account, or for mail delivery.
Windus asks: What if my return included a request for a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding. When can I expect my refund?
Amy replies: If you requested a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding by filing a Form 1040NR U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, we will need additional time to process the return. Please allow up to 6 months from the original due date of the 1040NR return or the date you actually filed the 1040NR, whichever is later to receive any refund due.
Windus asks: Is direct deposit of your refund the best option?
Amy replies: Eight in 10 taxpayers get their refunds faster by using e-file and direct deposit. The IRS claims it is the safest, fastest way to receive your refund and is also easy to use. Just select it as your refund method through your tax software and type in the account number and routing number. Or, tell your tax preparer you want direct deposit. You can even use direct deposit if you are one of the few people still filing by paper. Be sure to double check your entry to avoid errors.
Amy continues: Your refund should only be deposited directly into accounts that are in your own name; your spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account. No more than three electronic refunds can be deposited into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will receive an IRS notice and a paper refund. Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check.
Windus states: PLUG: The Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. will provide you with a Tax Resolution Plan which is a $500.00 value for free as long as you mention the Inside Advantage Radio Show when you call to make an appointment. Call Jeff’s office to make an appointment to meet with him right here in downtown San Diego or at one of his other offices close to you. The number to call is 866.494.6829. That is 866.494.6829.
Windus states: Thanks Amy for calling into the show. Amy says Thanks for having me.
Windus states: Stay tuned as we will be taking some of your questions. You are listening to Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord and Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn, on Inside Advantage on ESPN.
Windus states: Welcome back. This is Inside Advantage – Your Financial And Tax Radio Show on ESPN and you are listening to Board Certified Tax Attorney, Jeffrey B. Kahn, and Licensed Financial Planner, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord.
PLUG: The Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. will provide you with a Tax Resolution Plan which is a $500.00 value for free as long as you mention the Inside Advantage Radio Show when you call to make an appointment. Call Jeff’s office to make an appointment to meet with him right here in downtown San Diego or at one of his other offices close to you. The number to call is 866.494.6829. That is 866.494.6829.
Windus states: Windus PLUG: Trilogy Financial Services will provide you with a retirement cash flow analysis which is a $600.00 value for free as long as you mention the Inside Advantage Radio Show when you call to make an appointment. Call my office to make an appointment to meet with me, Windus A. Fernandez Brinkkord. The number to call is 858.314.5169. That is 858.314.5169. Or visit www.guideyourstory.com.
You should also know that the securities and advisory services are offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC) Member FINRA, SIPC, and a Registered Investment Advisor. Trilogy Financial Services and NPC are separate and unrelated Entities.
If you would like to post a question for us to answer, you can go to Jeff’s website at www.kahntaxlaw.com and click on “Radio Show”. You can then enter your question and maybe it will be selected for our show.
Sandy from San Diego asks: What does it cost to invest in a fund – and do I need to understand stock, bond or money markets before I invest? What types of mutual funds are available?
Well we are reaching the end of our show.
Remember you can send us your questions by visiting the kahntaxlaw website at www.kahntaxlaw.com.
Windus states: Have a great day everyone!