It has been a strange week for money, with the IRS recalling erroneous forms, California retailers organizing a debit card protest—and more. Keep reading for the best DW news you can use.
Wrong Forms Confuse Tax Payers
A printing error on 1040 forms was discovered by a librarian in Grand Rapids, MI, this week, sparking a nationwide recall of some five million forms found in libraries and post offices. Downloadable forms did not contain the error, an IRS spokesperson said.
"I had taken the form home to do my taxes—my sister was coming over and everything—but when we started to fill them out, the whole thing was in Chinese," said Becky Halperin, the librarian.
The IRS expressed regret that the 25 million taxpayers who already filed their returns—somehow using the Chinese printed forms—would have to refile in English.
Amex Gets Old-Fashioned
Just when you thought American Express couldn't possibly have a new card up its sleeve, the company announced a new pay-as-you-go card.
For a yearly fee of $29.95, people who don't qualify for any other Amex card can apply for the new Pago™ card, which allows you to spend whatever you want—as long as you pay for it the minute you get home.
"Or sooner," said Maira Keffe, director of Pago™ card services, noting that many smart phones allow you to make payments from anywhere.
Consumer advocates raised a ruckus, saying that it would be smarter to just use cash. "It is a cash-like system," agreed Ms. Keffe, "but with a modern upgrade to plastic, and, of course, the Amex logo."
California Retailers on Strike
Several thousand retailers in the Golden State shut their doors this week, vowing not to re-open "until the folks who invented those debit card swipe machines fix the damn graphics," said a frustrated Best Buy manager.
At issue is the inconsistency of debit card swipe graphics, which make it impossible for shoppers to know which way to swipe their cards.
"All we ask is that manufacturers of those machines agree on a single-swipe system," said Bert Jarvis, head of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. "The backup at the cash registers is crazy because customers make multiple swipe attempts—and we're losing business."