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David Muhlbaum: Did you know there’s someone at the IRS whose sole purpose is to help taxpayers deal with the agency? If that sounds like an oxymoron, that’s just because you haven’t met Erin Collins, the current taxpayer advocate. She’ll join us to explain what her office does, how it can help you, and why the IRS is struggling to get refunds out. Also, Amazon is raising prices; what can you do? All coming up on this episode of Your Money’s Worth.
David Muhlbaum: Welcome to Your Money’s Worth. I’m kiplinger.com senior editor David Muhlbaum, joined by my co-host, senior editor Sandy Block. How are you doing, Sandy?
Sandy Block: I’m doing great. Welcome back from whatever wilderness you were in the last few days.
David Muhlbaum: I was in Utah, experiencing the rising cost of rental cars. So yeah, that’s an inflation story, you know. Everyone’s got an inflation story these days. Have you seen the price of milk, gas? Oh my God, whatever. But now we have a price increase for the way we live now, and that is to say by ordering things online.
Sandy Block: You mean Amazon?
David Muhlbaum: Yeah, exactly. That’s a shorthand. I mean, the price of Amazon Prime is going up from $119 to $139. So that’s a 17% increase if you’re paying annually. And that covers a lot of people. I don’t know that it’s more people then who buy milk or gas, but it’s 150 million or so here in the United States. That’s a lot of people who are going to be affected.
Sandy Block: Right. And I mean, I know the headline definitely caught my attention because 17% sounds pretty steep. But since we brought inflation into this, we need to be careful about our statistics. That’s not a year-over-year increase like we talk about with the price of milk or gas, which seem to go up every month or whatever. The last Amazon Prime increase was quite a while ago.
David Muhlbaum: Yeah. Yeah. It was 2018. So our editor Bob Niedt, he knows Amazon backward and forward. And in fact, he forecast this increase a few weeks ago. So, Amazon has operated on a four-year cycle for price increases. And the last one was …….