Sunday, April 12, 2015

Have You Filed Yet? Tax Tips and Sweeps from Master Lock

That deadline is almost upon us. Have you filed your taxes yet? As a reminder to do so, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some tips from Master Lock. Master Lock is not only committed to keeping customers safe, but they have some great tax tips and details on a chance to win $1,000!


Five Master Lock Vault® users will win $1,000 each in Tax Relief Reward Sweepstakes

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (March XX, 2015) – Approximately 1 in 5 Americans who file their own tax return leave an average of $450 on the table each year – adding up to more than $5 billion in the U.S. – due largely to unnoticed deductions and credits*. This tax season, Master Lock is offering advice for maximizing returns during key life stages with credit opportunities and organization tips, and is also providing financial relief to consumers via the Master Lock Tax Relief Reward Sweepstakes.

Now through April 16, any registered user of the Master Lock Vault is eligible to enter for a chance to win one of five $1,000 prizes. The Master Lock Vault is a free, digital safe deposit box that provides a safe and secure solution for storing copies of important tax documents for easy access from any smart phone or computer.

“Each new stage of life brings with it new considerations during tax time,” said Rebecca Smith, vice president, marketing for Master Lock. “Whether it’s your first year doing your own taxes, or first year with a dependent on your tax forms, we’re here to help you feel more confident about the process and your results, and maybe even take home some extra cash.”

No matter which life stage you are in this tax season, pay close attention to possible deductions and credits you may qualify for as you reach each new milestone**:

1. Recent College Graduates: Graduating from college is a great accomplishment, but many graduates face a mountain of debt owed on their student loans. Luckily, there are credits that could provide a tax break for young professionals this season:

Graduates who begin repaying their student loans may qualify for the Student Loan Interest Deduction, which would deduct up to $2,500 of qualified student loan interest. If you plan to continue your education, you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit which can provide eligible students with a tax credit toward undergraduate, graduate or professional degree courses at an eligible educational institution.

2. Newlyweds: After exchanging rings and tossing the bouquet, newlyweds’ lives – and taxes – merge into one. Filing jointly with your spouse offers many advantages, and the IRS gives joint filers one of the largest deductions each year.

With a new marital status comes significant changes that could affect your taxes. It’s imperative for the names and Social Security numbers on your tax return to reflect your Social Security Administration (SSA) records. If you made changes to your name (Form SS-5) or address (Form 8822), you need to file the proper forms to notify the SSA and IRS. You should also notify your workplace to ensure your receive your W-2.

3. Parents: Raising a child to the age of 18 costs approximately $245,000 in today’s economy, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Parents can ease their burden by taking advantage of the Child Tax Credit, which offers a tax credit up to $1,000 per qualifying child. Additionally, parents who paid for child care in order to work may qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which reduces federal income tax.

4. Seniors (65+): As we age, it’s even more important to correctly prepare tax returns in order to receive the proper deductions and credits. Storing personal expenses and documentation in a secure location, such as the Master Lock Vault, will keep seniors’ personal information organized and eliminate the worry of lost or stolen paper documents that contain confidential information. If you want or need to store physical copies, keep them protected in a locking fire- and water-resistant Sentry Safe storage chest or safe.

Based on filing status, seniors may qualify for the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled (Forms 1040 or 1040A), and seniors who do not itemize their deductions receive a higher deduction amount. Seniors should also take advantage of free tax services, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides income tax preparation and electronic filing services, and Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, which focuses on pensions and retirement-related concerns.

Master Lock Tax Relief Rewards Sweepstakes

An added bonus of utilizing the Master Lock Vault to organize the variety of forms and online passwords needed for your tax-filing process this year is the chance to win $1,000, which can be used to supplement your tax refund, or help ease the burden of additional taxes owed. To enter, new users can register for a Master Lock Vault account at Once the account has been activated, users will receive an email containing the sweepstakes entry form. Existing Master Lock Vault users who have opted in for brand communications will receive an email with the sweepstakes entry form once the sweepstakes kicks off March 16. One entry will be accepted per person through April 16.

Master Lock Vault

Benefits of the Master Lock Vault extend well beyond the tax season. Use the system year-round, via the website or by installing one of the free mobile apps for your Apple®, Android®, Kindle® or Nook® devices. Securely store and organize lock combinations, digital copies of your passport and social security card and other confidential data such as debit or PIN card numbers or online credit card account log-in information. Offering a high level of online security, the Master Lock Vault serves as a digital safe deposit box for quick and easy access to valuable information anytime, anywhere.

For more safety tips and products, visit the Master Lock website at or the Master Lock Facebook page at

About Master Lock

Master Lock is the world's largest manufacturer of padlocks and related security products providing innovative security solutions for home, automotive, campus, power sports, bike and storage security needs for consumers and industry alike. Master Lock Company LLC is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS) is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index. For more information about Master Lock, visit

About the Sweepstakes

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Entry into the Master Lock “Tax Relief Rewards” Sweepstakes is open to permanent lawful residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia (“D.C.”) and Canada, excluding Quebec, who are 18 years or older at time of entry. Limit one (1) entry per person. Sweepstakes begins at 07:00:01 a.m. CDT on March 16, 2015 and ends on April 16, 2015 at 6:59:59 a.m. CDT. Entrants can access and follow the on-screen instructions to create a Master Lock Vault account, which will generate a confirmation message containing a link to the Sweepstakes entry form. Existing, opt-in subscribers will receive an email containing a link to the Sweepstakes entry form.

Sponsor: Master Lock Company LLC, 137 W. Forest Hill Avenue, Oak Creek, WI 53154.

*H&R Block study

**Master Lock is not a legal, tax or accounting advisor, and the information in this press release should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. Master Lock recommends that consumers consult a professional advisor for advice concerning specific tax or other matters.


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Thanks for the great tax tips.

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