Could Your Tax Refund Be Late?

Do you rush to get your tax return done early? Did you know that some IRS refunds will be later than usual this year? If you get the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) you may have to wait longer than usual to get your return.

I have a few friends that every year rush to file their taxes in the middle of January, banking on getting their return in time to pay their February rent. But starting this year certain refunds will not be released until Feb. 15th.

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What’s the reason for the change? It’s actually to help prevent fraud. In the past few years there has been a sharp increase in tax fraud, especially in cases with the EITC and ACTC since those refunds can be a sizeable amount. Someone files using another person’s name in January or February and gets several thousand dollars back. Then the actual individual files their taxes (not knowing anything about the fraud) and they are surprised when they get a notification from the IRS saying their taxes were already filed and their refund check was cashed.

So, here’s the details:

In general, the IRS sends refunds within 21 days. Starting this year they are mandated to hold all refunds with either Earned Income or Additional Child Tax Credits. Here’s the other important part, February 15th is when they can START to release these refunds. “However, the IRS cautions taxpayers that these refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of February 27 (assuming there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit).” See the IRS website for more information.

Wondering what the status of your refund is? Use the Where’s My Refund page on Or check out the IRS2go app.

If you’re not an early filer, or aren’t counting on your refund showing up before the end of February, this shouldn’t impact you at all. In fact if you always wait until the last day, you actually get some extra time. Tax day is extended to April 18th, 2017 because of a holiday in Washington DC.

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Battle Against the Flu

School, work, shopping — the flu is out there this time of year and nobody wants it.

Almost all of my co-workers have been out at some point in the last month or so and with about 200 people on my floor, I have no plans for being the next one sick. But if I start feeling a bit off I have quite a list of flu remedies that I’ve gathered over the years.

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Do you have a go-to list? Most of mine are herbal or home remedies and are usually rather affordable.

Some of these I really think help fight bugs off, others just make me feel better, maybe more of a ‘comfort’ thing. And no, I don’t use all of them within the first 15 min of a scratchy throat, it all depends on where I am, what my schedule is, and what I have on hand.

What’s the number one weapon for you to keep always ready? Echinacea can boost your immune system and fight off that cold or flu faster than you ever thought. If you take it several times within the first 24-48 hours of the slightest feeling of illness you can greatly increase your chances of either not fully getting sick, or having a much milder case. *I am NOT a Dr. please do your own research and consult your physician regarding any particular health concerns you have. Also, not everyone responds the same way to the same herbs, so you’ll have to give it a try to see how well it helps you.

I have used various brands depending on whether I plan ahead and order it online, or get caught in a fix and run to whichever store is closest. The top choice is to get a tincture, it absorbs quickly and often can be found with another complementary herb or two. Just mix it with a couple ounces of water or juice. Then double down with some echinacea tea as well, this not only feels good on a sore throat but it also gets you some of those needed liquids.
How to fight off the Flu

Suggested Liquids

Green Tea
Throat Coat Tea
ANY other tea you like (Chamomile, Peppermint, Chai…)
Fruit Juice (fresh if you can make it)
Ginger ale
Make a tea out of lemon, honey, ginger or add any of these to the choices above
Broth or clear soup

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Are you aware of a common food that is a natural antibiotic? Raw garlic is a superfood. Yes, raw. Once it’s cooked it still maintains some great health benefits but to help with a cold or flu try to eat some raw garlic. How? Well, some people cut up a few pieces and swallow it whole. I’ve been know to chop it up in some salsa with chips. When my daughter was little, I’d put it through a garlic press and spread it on some bread with ketchup. Sounds terrible? Maybe, but it works great and just follow it up with some juice.

Need something with a bit more substance? How about a smoothie? Get some fresh and frozen fruits and veggies to give your body a healthy boost of good stuff. Though I will admit I often crave a cup ‘o noodles when I’m not feeling well.

Full up? Take a hot bath with some epsom salts and relax, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils if you like.

Now, lest you think I’m absolutely against any over the counter medications, my husband Norrin, swears by taking some Nyquil and Mucinex and heading to bed. I have been know to use those as well when things get bad, nothing wrong with doing what you need to do to get through.

Here’s hoping you all stay healthy, one last reminder of what my grandpa always said “Just gargle with some salt water.”

How do you and your family stay healthy?