USA finance and payments news summary: Friday 15 April 2022 – AS USA

– Shareholders mull Elon Musk's offer to buy Twitter and take it public.
– Joint Economic Forecast from German financial institutions predicts a European recession if Russia cuts off gas supply
Consumer prices increased on average 1.2 percent in March, for a year over year 8.5 percent surge in prices, shattering records
California leaders propose a 32-hour workweek, what would be the impact of a four-day week?
Various cities offer cash incentives worth up to $10,000 for workers to move there.
– Pilot scheme studies the benefits of universal basic income for low-income mothers worth up to $1,000 a month
Working to lower gas prices, President Biden plans to announce a waiver on a summer E15 ban
– Could a $2,753 monthly check be coming to those on Social Security?
Tax Deadline: 18 April 2022
– When is the last day to file the documentation?
– If taxpayers miss the deadline,what happens?
Housing Market
–  Institutional investors helped to drive housing prices upeighteen percent in 2021
Mortgage rates set to increase to five percent this year, effectively ending the low-rate era
Tax Deadline 2022: when is the last day to file the documentation?
$1,000 monthly payments for mothers: can I request it with an extension after the deadline day?
32-hour workweek in California: who is for and against?
Latest News
What are the cryptocurrencies with the highest market cap?
Tax season 2022: why is Tax Day on 18 April this year?
$1,000 monthly payments for mothers: what are the requirements to request it?
What is E15 gasoline and why will Biden authorize its use this summer?
File your taxes online, IRS urges Americans
As the 18 April deadline approaches for most Americans to file their 2021 federal taxes, the IRS is urging US taxpayers to submit their return electronically. Those who do so are likely to avoid the delays associated with filing a paper return, the agency says.
Find out more about your options for filing online
The IRS has put together this video detailing why you should file online:
Tax season 2022: why is Tax Day on 18 April this year?
Emancipation Day is usually held on 16 April in D.C., but because that date is a Saturday in 2022, it has been moved to the nearest working day.
Although the holiday is not observed nationwide, the IRS explained in a statement in January: “By law, Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do.”
The tax agency therefore shifted Tax Day back to the next working day, meaning that the majority of filers have until the following Monday to get their 2021 federal return in.
Read more
Latest News
What are the cryptocurrencies with the highest market cap?
Market caps, or capitalization, refer to each cryptocurrency’s total value in dollars.
Stuck at home during the pandemic, many moved towards e-commerce, and cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity. However, since reaching a high in the fall of last year, many coins have seen significant decreases in their value.
In March, the total value of the cryptocurrency market reached two trillion dollars
Read more
What is E15 gasoline and why will Biden authorize its use this summer?
The US and the world have been dealing with high inflation caused by supply issues brought about by covid-19 pandemic disruptions. Upward pressure on prices has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and one place where Americans have seen that most clearly is at the gas pump.
President Biden on Thursday announced that “to bring down the prices and address the Putin price hike,” his administration was taking new steps to address the situation. In particular to deal with high gas prices, in addition to the previously stated release of 180 million barrels of oil from the US strategic reserve over the next six months, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a waiver for the use of E15 gasoline this summer.
Full details

When industries become concentrated, all of the power sits in the hands of only a few players. The result? They drive up prices, drive down workers’ wages, and threaten our democracy. We need to bring back real competition.
How a lack of competition lets companies hold down workers' wages
The Treasury Department released a report in March detailing how the deck is stacked against workers when it comes to attaining higher wages. Concentration of employers makes jumping from one job to another seeking better pay.
This has meant that wages are around 20 percent below where they would otherwise be. It is also a drag on the economy as a whole. Dr Ali Bustamente and Anna Smith at the Roosevelt Institute give an explainer on the issue and just how pervasive it is aross industries and location.
Millions of tax payers still haven't filed 2021 tax returns, time's running out…
At the end of the 2021 tax season over 148 million, which fell on 17 May, Americans filed a 2020 tax return. Last year, taxpayers were given extra time as the covid-19 pandemic was still gumming up the works which left the IRS with a staggering backlog of tax declarations to process.
This year there is no extension and tax returns need to be filed by 18 April, or an extension requested.
At the start of April this year, fewer Americans had submitted their 2021 paperwork than last year at the same time despite calls from the agency to get 2021 tax returns in early, and file electronically, to avoid delays in receiving tax refunds which could help boost household finances in light of the current high inflation. As of 1 April only 91 million people had sent in a tax return compared to the total of over 169 million the IRS received by the end of tax season the previous two years.
Of those filers, 8.5 million in 2020 were not required to file a return, but did so to get their Economic Impact Payment, better known as stimulus check. Another quarter million did the same in 2021 to get the advance Child Tax Credit payments.
The IRS sent out only the first half of the credit last year, in order to receive the rest and other tax credits for childrenworth thousands of dollars, Americans must file a 2021 tax return. The deadline is just three days away to submit your declaration or file for an extension.
$1,000 monthly payments for mothers: what are the requirements to request it?
Providing people with guaranteed income, no strings attached, to alleviate poverty came to the spotlight in the US with a 2018 experiment in Stockton, California. Since then, dozens of programs have sprung up across the nation, The Bridge Project is one of them helping mothers of newborns in New York City.
In April, The Bridge Project began a two-week window for accepting applications for the second phase of its program. This time five times as many mothers will participate in the guaranteed income project which the organization wants to scale “as an innovative, simple, and empowering solution to poverty and inequality.”
Full details:
$2,753 monthly check: who has to approve it for the payment to be effective?
The US Social Security Administration announced a historic increase for the 2022 COLA that will see certain beneficiaries receive up to $2,753 on average.
Full story
Why is Tax Day on 18 April this year?
The IRS federal tax return deadline tends to be on 15 April, but this year most US taxpayers have an extra three days, until 18 April, to file.
Why? Because of Emancipation Day, a District of Columbia holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery, is to be held on Friday 15th this year.
That led the IRS to shift Tax Day back to the next working day, Monday 18th.
What are the states that approve higher payments for Child Support?
Although the federal government mandates there be guidelines to avoid disparities when awarding child support, they are different in each state.
AS USA's Greg Heilman has the full lowdown
Avoiding common errors on your IRS tax return
As the 18 April tax deadline approaches for most taxpayers in the US, the IRS has put together a fact sheet listing ways to avoid common errors when filing your 2021 federal tax return.
These tips include reminding taxpayers to check ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question asking them if they have “received, sold, exchanged or otherwise disposed of any financial interest in any virtual currency”.
Take a look at the IRS’ advice for avoiding common errors
Mortgage interest rises 5%. What is this rise due to and how does it affect buyers?
Prices of houses have been increasing throughout the pandemic and the recent changes to interest rates are pushing up the price of mortgages.
AS USA's Oli Povey has the full story
Not enough time to meet 2021 tax return deadline, request an extension
The federal income tax deadline filing deadline is fast approaching, with just over one week to go. If you won't have your 1040 Form ready by 18 April, you'll need to ask for an extension by then. That will give you an extra six months to submit your 2021 tax return, but you'll need to pay any taxes you may owe by 18 April to avoid penalties.
You may have to file a 2021 state income tax return as well. The District of Columbia and 41 states require residents to submit an income tax declaration. While the deadline to file in most is 18 April, six states have later filing dates.
19 April: Maine & Massachussetts
30 April: Iowa
2 May: Delaware & Virginia
15 May: Louisiana
Europe prepares to wean itself of Russian oil
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been calling on European nations to stop oil and gas imports from Russia, calling economic benefits "blood money." European officials are now taking steps to put an embargo on Russian oil imports.
The flow would not stop immediately but would be phased out, similar to how the EU is winding down coal imports, to allow countries to secure new suppliers. The soonest the embargo would begin is after 24 April, so that rising fuel prices will not affect the final round of the French presidential election.

How much has Elon Musk offered to pay for Twitter?
Elon Musk has made a massive offer to buy Twitter in details make public by the site, just days after the billionaire was revealed as a key shareholder in the social media giant. Musk has offered to purchase the entirety of shares in Twitter at a price well above the current share price. 
But how much will Musk be required to pay, and how would it affect his position within the company if he is refused?
Read more
32-hour workweek in California: who is for and against?
During the pandemic more than 47 million American have taken the opportunity to re-evaluate their working situation, choosing to quit their jobs and seek greener pastures elsewhere. This mass upheaval in the workforce prompted two California lawmakers to propose a change to the Golden State’s workweek.
The idea is to reduce the current 40-hour workweek by eight hours for companies with over 500 employees. They and supporters say that it will increase productivity and profits while opponents call it a “job killer” creating an “untenable” situation for many businesses.
Read more
$1,000 monthly payments for mothers: can I request it with an extension after the deadline day?
A pilot program in New York City is offering monthly payments worth up to $1,000 per person for first-time mothers in the city. The initiative was introduced by The Bridge Project which is aiming to study the effects of universal basic income on low-income families.
The program began in July 2021 with 100 participants and on 1 April it was announced that another 500 expectant mothers would be added to the scheme.
Full details

Our economy has gone from being on the mend, to being on the move
Biden visits North Carolina to pitch solution to inflation
President Biden traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina on Thursday to tout the economic pogress under his administration and pitch the Bipartisan Innovation Act. The legislation pending in Congress seeks to increase investments in STEM education and boost US manufacturing which the White House says will help fight inflation. 
The most recent data from the US Bureau of Statistics on consumer prices put year-on-year inflation at 8.5 percent in March, the highest since 1981.
Tax Deadline 2022: when is the last day to file the documentation?
The 2022 tax season is wrapping up with the Monday 18 April deadline just days away. Most filers will need to submit their 2021 tax returns or request an extension, which would give them six more months to get their fiscal declaration in order.
Similarly, the deadlines in most states that tax income fall on 18 April. The filing date is slightly later than normal due to the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia falling on the typically 15 April deadline.
There won’t be any extension like the past two years, except for some taxpayers in areas that were affected by natural disasters. Those that do ask for extra time will still need to pay any outstanding taxes they may owe to avoid additional penalties.
Full details
How can I check my first, second and third stimulus payment history?
AS USA's Will Gittins explains how to check how much you've received as part of three rounds of federal stimulus checks paid out in the US since early 2020.
How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?
Worth a total of $3,200, plus additional credits for qualifying dependents, three federal stimulus checks have been paid out to qualifying Americans since the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.
In this article, AS USA takes a look at each of the payments: how much, who was eligible, when did they go out?
Welcome to AS USA financial news blog
Good morning, hello, and welcome to out dedicated financial news live feed. We'll be bringing you all the latest on tax season 2022 as we approach the 18 April deadline. With just a few days remaining until 2021 tax returns or request for a six month extension must be submitted, we'll keep you informed on the EITC, Child Tax Credit and other programs that could help with high inflation.
There will also be the latest from around the US and Washington as President Biden looks to address the high price of gasoline. 
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