News You Can Use

Your IRS tax refund might be delayed: Here's how the headlines could affect your money

Plus, how much money it costs to live in Texas.


Markets were mixed, how much it costs to live in Texas, and why your tax refund might be delayed. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets mixed

Stocks bounced back Thursday: The Dow ended the session up 0.7%, the Nasdaq gained 0.2%, and the S&P 500 gained 0.7% to close at a new high. All three indexes opened lower Friday morning.

Delays on tax refunds

Taxpayers who file their taxes electronically typically get their refunds in 21 days or less. But this year, some people are reporting 6-to-8 week waits.

The IRS is dealing with staffing setbacks from the pandemic and a backlog of paper returns to process. Plus, last month's passage of the American Rescue Plan changed the tax code during tax season.

Calling the IRS probably won't get you answers. To check your refund's status, try the "Where's My Refund?" tool online or download the IRS2Go app.

The most common tax mistake side hustlers make

Video by Courtney Stith

How much it costs to live in Texas

Americans flocked to Texas during the Covid pandemic: called it the No. 2 most moved-to state in 2020, and moving company Atlas Van Lines deemed it an "inbound state," where a greater share of total moves were coming instead of going.

Housing there is pretty affordable: The national average rent is $1,460, according to RentCafe. The average rent in Dallas is about $1,260 per month and $1,100 in Houston. The median Texas home value is $231,384, according to Zillow, which is lower than the national median of $276,717.

If you're tempted to make a move, "research the place you are looking to move, and start estimating how cost of living might change," says Autumn Lax, CFP in the Wealth Builder division of Drucker Wealth Management. "Set aside the [amount of] money you anticipate you will be paying each month, so you get a feel for what that's like before the move."

Words you've heard: Step-up in basis

When you sell a taxable asset, you pay capital gains tax on the difference between the asset's value at purchase (your cost basis) and what it's worth on the date you sell. When you inherit such an asset, that basis may be adjusted (i.e., "stepped") up or down to reflect its value at the previous owner's date of death. That can provide a tax break. A proposal in the American Families Plan seeks to curtail the step-up in basis exemption.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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