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Newsletters & Special Reports

Paper or digital? (Winter 2018-2019) Paper or digital, that is the question—and the focus of the Winter 2018-2019 issue of Consumer Action News. Companies and government agencies are (in some cases aggressively) switching consumers from paper to electronic communications, but is that what consumers want or need? Read the newsletter to learn about consumers’ rights regarding paper statements, what a Consumer Action survey on the topic revealed, and how groups are pushing back on paperless in support of consumer choice. (Tuesday, January 15, 2019)

Consumer Action INSIDER - January 2019 The January issue features a Hotline Chronicles article on how to best return unwanted holiday gifts; our updated Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) guide to help you get the biggest refund possible this tax season; our work fighting for immigrant rights; a campaign we've joined to protect consumer access to printed communications; our latest annual report; and more. (Tuesday, January 01, 2019)

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Recent Publications

Tax Basics for Earners in the ‘Sharing Economy’ (Spanish)

Library: Spanish | Tax Basics for Earners in the ‘Sharing Economy’ (Spanish)  

La economía colaborativa podría permitirle poner un poco de dinero extra en su bolsillo en su tiempo libre, o podría ser su ingreso principal. De cualquier manera, el ganar dinero adicional tendrá un impacto en su situación fiscal. Esta publicación, aunque no representa asesoría fiscal, le ayudará a entender cómo reportar sus ingresos y gastos, por qué debe aprovechar todas las deducciones a las que tiene derecho, cómo evitar una desagradable sorpresa cuando presente su declaración de impuestos, y dónde conseguir más información y ayuda.

Filed Under: Money Management Taxes on Jan 04, 2019

Tax Basics for Earners in the ‘Sharing Economy’

Library: English | Tax Basics for Earners in the ‘Sharing Economy’  

The sharing economy might enable you to put a little extra cash in your pockets in your spare time, or it could be your primary source of income. Either way, earning money will have an impact on your tax situation. This publication, while not tax advice, will help you understand how to report your income and expenses accurately, why you should take advantage of all the deductions you’re entitled to, how to avoid an unpleasant surprise when you file your tax return, and where to get more information and assistance.

Category: Money Management Taxes on Jan 02, 2019

Get Credit for Your Hard Work (2018 Tax Year)

Library: English | Get Credit for Your Hard Work (2018 Tax Year) Low-income working taxpayers may qualify for the federal EITC  

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps low-income working taxpayers and families get more money back when they file their federal income tax return. This publication contains EITC guidelines for the 2018 tax year.

Category: Money Management Taxes on Nov 20, 2018

Freeze Your Credit File

Library: English | Freeze Your Credit File Leave ID thieves out in the cold  

A credit file “security freeze” is a preventive tool to help you avoid identity theft and to block impostors from using your personal information to establish credit. This publication explains how to “freeze” your credit file, which prevents new credit from being established in your name until you temporarily or permanently lift the freeze.

Category: Credit Reports/Scores ID Theft on Oct 12, 2018

Security Freeze Backgrounder

Library: English | Security Freeze Backgrounder Questions and Answers About Placing, Lifting and Removing a Credit Report Security Freeze  

This publication answers common questions about how a credit report security freeze can protect you from ID theft, the pros and cons of a security freeze, and how to place, lift and remove a freeze. (It has been updated to reflect changes implemented on Sept. 21, 2018, under new federal law.)

Category: Credit Credit Reports/Scores Fraud/Scams Privacy Rights on Oct 10, 2018

Low-income Broadband Plans

Library: English | Low-income Broadband Plans  

The flyers in this package describe programs that offer low-income households more affordable access to the internet. A companion brochure, Getting up to speed: Broadband internet for low-income households, explains the benefits of internet access.

Category: Internet Money Management on Aug 30, 2018

Improving your financial health with FinTech

Library: English | Improving your financial health with FinTech A beginner’s guide to personal finance apps  

Financial technology (FinTech) is the use of modern technology, such as the internet and apps (downloadable mobile software), to develop powerful financial services tools for consumers and businesses. For those who are motivated to improve their finances and dedicated to working toward their goals, FinTech can make the process more convenient, efficient and even rewarding. This guide will introduce you to the types of FinTech tools available and how they can help you. It will also tell you what to consider when choosing an app and how to stay safe when using FinTech.

Category: Banking on Jun 28, 2018

Homeowners and renters insurance

Library: English | Homeowners and renters insurance What you need to know before and after a natural disaster  

With the majority of U.S. residents living in areas at risk of a natural disaster, most households need to seriously consider how they would recover from the loss of their home and possessions. This publication explains which disaster losses are—and are not—covered under a standard homeowners or renters insurance policy, how to make sure you are adequately insured, what steps to take to recover your losses after disaster strikes, and what your options are if your insurance falls short.

Category: Credit Scores Housing Housing Insurance Insurance Mortgages on Jun 26, 2018

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