SC business notebook, March 15

March 15, 2013 

IRS has $917 million in unclaimed tax refunds

The Internal Revenue Service says 660,000 taxpayers will have their refunds delayed by up to six weeks because of a problem with the software they used to file their tax returns. The delay affects people claiming education tax credits who filed returns between Feb. 14 and Feb. 22. About 6.6 million taxpayers are expected to claim the credits. The IRS says about 10 percent of their returns are affected. Meanwhile, the IRS says it has $917 million in unclaimed tax refunds from 2009, and time is running out to claim them. The refunds are owed to nearly 1 million people who failed to file returns that year. Taxpayers must file their 2009 returns by April 15 to claim their refunds. After that, the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury. The IRS says there is no penalty for filing a late return that qualifies for a refund.

TSA chief defends letting knives back on planes

The head of the Transportation Security Administration says the agency will allow passengers to carry small knives onto planes despite a backlash against the proposal. TSA administrator John Pistole told a House committee on Thursday that he doesn’t believe small folding knives would enable a terrorist to take over a plane and that finding and eliminating them is time-consuming. Pistole says that screeners find 2,000 small knives a day on passengers or in their carry-on bags, with each incident requiring two to three minutes to deal with. Several lawmakers at the hearing say they don’t see much difference between the knives and the box cutters used by 9/11 terrorists.

Fed orders JPMorgan, Goldman to fix capital planning

The Federal Reserve is telling JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs that their plans for maintaining proper capital levels are weak. It ordered both banks to revise their plans by the end of September. The Fed’s order is part of the results of the so-called stress tests. The tests are annual check-ups in which the government determines whether big banks can raise dividends for shareholders and buy back their own shares. The tests are meant to make sure the banks can withstand a severe recession. The Fed says it will allow JPMorgan and Goldman to go through with any dividend increases or share buybacks they may have requested. The Fed didn’t say what the banks had asked for. The Fed turned down similar requests from Ally Financial and BB&T.

CBS launches app for watching full episodes

CBS Corp. launched an app for iPhones and iPads that allows viewers to watch full episodes of prime-time TV shows like “NCIS,” “Survivor” and “The Good Wife” on the eighth day after their debut on air. The app, released Thursday, allows users to catch up on their favorite shows in the hopes they’ll return to TV when new episodes air. It also helps CBS earn advertising revenue, since mobile episodes will contain just as many commercials as regular TV. ABC and NBC offer apps that provide next-day viewing. A Fox app offers new episodes on the eighth day after airing on TV.

The Associated Press contributed.

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