Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

Money and finance | News summary for 4 February

Tax season is here as inflation continues to keep prices high and the market struggles to stabilize after the Omicron variant. Here is the latest news you need.


- Unemployment rate increases slightly to 4.0 percent in January.

- Highly anticipated January non-farm payrolls reports 467,000 new jobs, over three times expectations.

- Tax season is here, how do you know if your return was accepted by the IRS?

- Many students struggle to cover basic costs like those related to housing and food, in addition to tuition.

- With the stock market on rocky terrain, many wonder if tax season will have a further impact.

- Parents can expect larger tax refunds thanks to the child tax credit payments.

- How is cryptocurrency taxed?

Helpful information & links

Tax season

- To avoid delays in receiving tax refund, file early says the Internal Revenue Service

- What is the Letter 6419?

- How to get a copy of your W-2

Child Tax Credit

- Can the refund per child  be higher than last year?

Read more from AS USA

Does social security count as income?

With tax season here, many on social security are wondering if their benefits are taxable. The answer depends on your combined annual income..

Social security benefits are received by millions in the United States and for many it is their only source of income. Once retirees begin to claim benefits, they will not be able to work at the same levels they had or they risk jeopardizing their benefit amount. However, if beneficiaries make over a certain amount of money each year from investments or work, they may have to pay taxes on their benefits.

Read more.


Federal minimum wage for federal contractors

Based on the FY2021 figures, the order could affect $262 billion in federal government construction contracting and improve job quality for near — for the nearly 200,000 workers on federal construction contracts. 
Additionally, as directly in the previous executive order, starting January 30th, federal contractors will be paid a $15 minimum wage.

Jen Pskai, White House Press Secretary
How can I get a W-2 form from a previous employer?

With tax season here and many workers having quit their jobs this year, they may have to report their income through more than one W-2.

If your employer still has your address on file they may mail you your W-2. The IRS says that collecting your W-2 through your employer is the easiest way to receiving it because they submit "Form W-2 to SSA; after SSA processes it, they transmit the federal tax information to the IRS.

Read more.


Department of Labor calls attention to racial disparities in the unemployment rate

In January, the unemployment rate increased to 4 percent, with racial miniroties seeing the highest levels of unemployment. The Departmet of Labor took to social media to say "We can’t achieve a full and inclusive recovery until we tackle longstanding and persistent systemic inequities."


Elizabeth Warren calls on Congress to pass the Build Back Better bill

Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted her support for the Build Back Better bill to help parents access affordable childcare. While the bill in its entirety might not pass, Demcorats are thinking about breaking the trillon dollar proposal into smaller pieces of legislation.

Unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.0 percent in January

How did unemployment change in January? The rate increased slightly to 4.0 percent. While the the rate did increase, the economy still added 467,000 jobs, a number nearly three times higher than what was expected. From December to January, the number of workers experiencing unemployment held steady at 6.5 million, still higher than the 5.7 million figure seen in February 2020. Read more.


Unemployment increases slighty in January

The BLS has reported that from December to January, the unemployment rate increase 0.1 percent to 4.0 percent. The economy still added 467,000 jobs, but around 6.5 million people still remain unemployed. The agency tracked job growth in the "leisure and hospitality, in professional and business services, in retail trade, and in transportation and warehousing" sectors.

How much does a TikToker earn in the USA: the accounts with the most TikTok followers

TikTok was launched in the US in 2018 and can now boast nearly 80 million users, with over a billion worldwide, making it one of the fastest growing social media platforms. To help keep short-form video creators on its app, the company set up a Creator Fund in 2020 that distributes money based on certain conditions. Creators can also accept virtual gifts from fans during TikTok LIVE videos. But the influencers on the site make far more through sponsorships.

In December, TikTok announced an additional way that creators could monetize their content on the site, receiving money directly from viewers even when they are not livestreaming. The company has created a new “Creator Next” portal which will organize all money-making avenues in one place.

Full details


January jobs report beats expectations with 476,000 new payrolls

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January job report on Friday with better than expected non-farm payroll growth. Economists had expected 150,000 new hires last month, instead over three times that many were reported with 476,000.

However, on the other side almost twice as many people, 6 million, said they were unable to work at some point during the last month either due to covid-19 infection or their business closed or reduced hours because of the virus. The data was collected on 12 January, during the Omicron surge.


Manchin says Build Back Better is "dead" but Pelosi won't give up on it

Two days after Senator Joe Manchin pronounced President Biden's sweeping social and climate policy proposal, the Build Back Better Act,  "dead" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is refusing to give up.

“There's so much in there that is really important. In terms of Child Tax Credit, in terms of family, health care for families … not just children, but seniors or siblings with disabilities and the rest with universal pre-K,” Pelosi said. “This about lowering costs for the American people.”

“I’m never giving up on BBB.”

How do I buy NFTs? Where do I buy NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs are the latest trend in the cryptocurrency or digital assets sphere. Many believe that it is the latest trend that could help them increase their wealth.

As celebrities announce that they are getting into the NFT market, many people are considering whether it could be a good investment.

However, while the idea may be attractive to young people, experts warn that buying an NFT may be closer to entering a lottery than making a targeted investment.

Full details


Amazon sees fortunes rise while Facebook has worst day ever

Amazon Prime customers will see their subscription fee rise 18 February with annual membership jumping $20 and monthly rates increasing by $2. The company expects to lose some of its subscribers, as it did the last time members got hit with a bigger bill four year ago, but not that many. 

Increased costs of hiring to attract workers and disruptions to operations due to the pandemic resulted in higher shipping expenses were cited as the reason behind the fee hike of 17 percent. None of that phased investors though who pushed up the value of shares in the company by a similar percentage. Should the trend continue into Friday, Amazon could have its best showing since October 2009.

At the other end of the spectrum was Facebook parent company Meta, which missed its earnings targets. Shares had dropped by 26 percent at the end of trading Thursday losing more than $230 billion in market capitalization, the largest one-day loss in stock market history.

How much money do you have to make to file taxes in the US?

All Americans that exceed a certain threshold depending on their filing status must file a 2021 tax return. Even if you may not have to submit a tax return, it may be in your best interest to do so in order to get a potential tax refund.

In March 2021, Democrats passed a sweeping covid-19 relief and stimulus bill, the American Rescue Plan which enhanced several tax provisions for the 2021 fiscal year. Those changes could benefit a large swath of the American public, especially those who struggle to make ends meet.

Full details


2022 tax filing season underway

The 2022 tax season kicked off 24 January and US taxpayers have until 18 April to get their 2021 tax returns submitted or file for an extension. The IRS is advising filers to get their information in early and send it electroically to receive their tax refund sooner.

You can begin to check on your refund's status 24 hours after the agnecy has confirmed receipt of your tax return.


Economist expect 150,000 new jobs reported in January

The US Bureau of Labor Statistic released data on unemployment and wages ahead of a highly anticipated non-farm payrolls report on Friday. The new jobs data could affect how the Federal Reserve proceeds with its fiscal tightening.

Intial claims were slightly lower than the 245,000 Dow Jones estimated at 238,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the prior week. Compensation costs grew by 4 percent between December 2020 and December 2021 with wages rising 4.5 percent.

Economist are expecting to see 150,000 jobs added in January in Friday's report.

How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?

The US is in the throes of another wave of covid-19 infections with case numbers surpassing all previous peaks. In the past this led to the federal government stepping up to help Americans left struggling in the disruption the pandemic has wrought on livelihoods and household finances. However, this time despite workers out sick or quarantining no new federal stimulus checks look set to be sent out.

In a recent press release the Internal Revenue Service put out its annual report highlighting the efforts of its employees in 2021. One of the accomplishments touted by the agency has been successfully delivering “more than $1.5 trillion to people across the nation through Economic Impact Payments, tax refunds and advance Child Tax Credit payments.”

Here's a look at the three Economic Impact Payments, better known as stimulus checks.

Why won't there be a fourth stimulus check?

While previous waves of the virus, have been associated with a discussion of another round of stimulus checks, a fourth one will not be coming. This comes as many households feel with the effects of historic inflation and the vast majority of economic programs to support households have expired.

There has been no noise out of the Biden administration on the matter for some time as the president's hopes are pinned upon passing his Build Back Better legislation. That was supposed to include lots of support for families affected by covid-19, but is no closer to being passed than when it was first mooted in March 2021.

Full details


Two members of Congress introduce bill to end child poverty

Representatives Mondaire Jones and Rashida Talib have introduced a new bill, called the End Child Poverty Act to tackle the issue. This comes as negotiations over the Build Back Better bill collapse, leaving little chance of the child tax credit being extended through that avenue.

The bill includes a universal monthly child allowance that would be "set equal to the difference between the one-person poverty line and the two-person poverty line, which is currently $393 per month." Unlike the current version of the child tax credit, this program would be distributed by the Social Security Administration and children would be enrolled at birth.

The two other measures are tax credits. The first would be an "annual $600 fully refundable credit for adult dependents. This replaces the current non-refundable $500 credit for adult dependents." The second is a fully refundable tax credit for single/married filers worth $600/$1,200 that "phases out at $20,000/$40,000 of income."


Senator Joe Manchin says Build Back Better bill is dead

Just about a month after Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia broke off negotiations with the White House over the Build Back Better bill, he told reporters on Capitol Hill this week that the bill was dead.

The White House and other Democrats had alluded to the fact that the parties were still meeting, but the Senator's comments this week show that there is little hope that an agreement will be reached.

What does it mean when the IRS accepts your taxes?

Once your taxes have been filed for this year, you will receive confirmation that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has checked the return and everything is in order. This will include checking for things such as any outstanding capital gains, or if the correct dependents have been listed.

This confirmation is crucial for you to receive your tax refund.

Full details

Do 16-year-olds have to pay taxes? How old do you have to be to start filing taxes?

It doesn’t matter your age, if your income exceeds certain thresholds you will need to file a tax return. This is applicable to children of all ages as well, unless their income, earned and unearned, is below a limit and another taxpayer can claim them as a dependent on their return.

However, if the dependent has earned income, they may want to file a tax return in order to get a tax refund or take advantage of tax provisions. Additionally, a parent will want to make sure that adding a child’s income onto their tax return doesn’t push them into a higher tax bracket.

Read more.


Good Morning and Welcome to AS USA's live blog to help you sort through today's financial, labor, and economic policy news in the United States for 4 February.

We will be bringing you the latest on the cryptocurrency market, Build Back Better, important tax information, the status of the Child Tax Credit, and Social Security.