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USA finance and payments live updates: Gas stimulus check, tax deadline 2022, Social Security payments, Child Tax Credit portal, tax refunds… – AS USA

Personal Finance and News: Latest Updates

How inequal is the US?

According to a December 2020 analysis of data from the Economic Policy Institute, US income inequality is worsening, as the earnings of the top 1% nearly doubled from 7.3% in 1979 to 13.2% in 2019 while over the same time period the average annual wages for the bottom 90% have stayed within the $30,000 range.

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Gas stimulus check: is there a chance that the proposal will reach Congress?

With gas prices surging across the country, various proposals have been introduced on Capitol Hill. What do they include and could they become law?

As consumers pay more at the pump and many voters are supportive of the government taking action to reduce costs. Over seventy percent of respondents to a poll conducted by Morning Consult said they would support tax holidays at the federal and state level. This would mean that the governments could reduce gasoline taxes over a period of time to cut costs for consumers.

Read more for other proposals introduced by congressional leaders.

New poll shows 70 percent of Americans report the economy is in “bad shape”

A new poll conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that while seven in ten respondents do not see that the economy is going well, they do not necessarily hold President Biden accountable for its current shape. Around six in ten do hold President Biden accountable, but at a more general level. Less than half of the respondents believed that Biden was responsible for the surge in gas prices across the county, throwing the blame at the feet of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

How long does it take to receive a tax refund?

The IRS has stated that typically once an electronic taxreturn is received, a tax payer will see their refund within twenty-one days. A status update can be found using the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? online tool.

On 23 March, the tax agency reported on a few reasons why a tax payer may see delays in their refund. These include, submitting a paper return or not providing the IRS with direct deposit information when submitting. However, for all taxpayers, the agency “cautions taxpayers not to rely on receiving a refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills. Some returns may require additional review and may take longer.” Read more.

How does one sign up to receive their Social Security check through direct deposit?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that checks be paid through direct deposit. Periodically the SSA will provide guidance on how recipients can edit or update their banking details. It is quite easy and only requires recipients sign up for a My Social Security Account.

Expanded unemployment programs saved lives

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that after the covid-19 pandemic led more than 22 million workers to lose their jobs, expanded unemployment insurance became a “lifeline.” The organization now believes that  temporary unemployment programs saved around 27,000 lives because of the economic vulnerabliteis caused by  high level of unemployment.

Unemployment claims continue to fall

The Department of Labor has reported that initial unemployment claims dropped to 28,000, for the week ending on 19 March. This brought to the total first time claims to 187,000. The St. Louis Federal Reserve has reported this as the lowest rate captured since September 1969.

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Where in Chicago can you get free Gas and why?

The price of gasoline has been easing slightly but is still over fifty percent more than it was a year ago. Motorists in the Chicago area are paying above the national average reaching a high of nearly $4.85 according to AAA last week.

Chicago millionaire businessman, philanthropist and constant political contender, Willie Wilson, decided he could “alleviate some of the pain that Chicagoans are experiencing” at the pump through a gas giveaway on 17 March. Read more.

US deficit grew in 2021

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has reported that the US deficit increased by more then $205 billion in 2021, reaching a total of $821 billion.

Unemployment continues its downward trend

Just over two years into the pandemic, unemployment rates are finally starting to reach their levels seen in early 2020. This comes as inflation leads to a rapid ncrease in consumer prices throughout the country, and is expected to increase as the Russian invasion of Ukraine places further strain on global supply chains as oil production decreases.

Car shortages reported around the country

For those interested in purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle, they are getting harder to find, reports NPR. Chip shortages caused by the pandemic have placed incredible strain on the car market.  As gas prices rise and many are now looking for a low-fuel alternatives are having an even harder time finding their new ride as demand rises rapidly.

Good morning and welcome to AS USA’s daily live blog on US financial news for Friday 25 March.

Gas prices in the country have again fallen marginally since the Russian invasion in Ukraine sent prices surging.  As Americans’ wallets are hit by higher costs for gas and rocketing inflation in general, congressional lawmakers have put forward a number of proposals to get money back into people’s pockets.

Meanwhile, with just over three weeks to go until the 18 April tax-filing deadline, we’ll bring you news and information on tax season 2022 in the US.

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