The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that Social Security statements may now be viewed online at www.ssa.gov/mystatement. The statements provide workers with an estimate of benefits under current law and an earnings record with Social Security and Medicare for taxes paid over their working career. A printable version of the Social Security statement is available. To get an online statement, a person must be 18 or older and able to provide information that matches their SSA file. After verification, an account is created with a unique user name and password to access the online statement.
Unemployment benefits. The new law changes several unemployment benefit provisions, including the following:
? Temporarily extends benefits for up to 99 weeks, depending on the state.
? Requires an unemployment insurance beneficiary to be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work.
? Under certain circumstances, states may enact legislation to require an applicant to submit to and pass a drug test for the unlawful use of controlled substances.
? Allows states to create self-employment assistance programs to help unemployed workers while they are establishing businesses.
In the event the government shuts down after midnight on Friday, April 8, all taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns and paying their taxes as normal. The April 18 deadline remains in effect.
The IRS plans to continue accepting all tax returns -- both electronic and paper. Refunds will continue to be processed normally for electronically filed tax returns, and most taxpayers will not see delays for e-filed returns. However, taxpayers should expect delays for paper tax refunds.
Taxpayers can still expect to receive refunds in less than two weeks with direct deposit.
If people have already filed their return and the IRS has started processing their tax return, they generally will see no delays in their refunds being issued. The best source for information will be checking "Where's My Refund" at www.IRS.gov.