There seems to be a general belief around this time of the year that if you're getting a refund, then you should spend it on something fun. All the ads urging us to go out and splurge certainly seem to think so. But is that really the case?
If you ordinarily receive large tax refunds, consider withholding less and instead putting the money to work for you, by either saving or investing a comparable amount throughout the year, or using it to pay down debt. Your goal should be to receive little or no refund.
In the country's airports and at its cruise terminals, there can be no further room for intolerant officials. They must be held to the highest standards if the country is to achieve the position it hopes to command on the world tourist map.
Each year about half the country gets to experience a "sudden wealth" event in the form of a tax refund. While not necessarily a financial windfall for most, this annual occurrence can create some awfully strange and counterproductive behavior.
We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving. But what if the Pilgrims had to concern themselves with filing a federal income tax return as we do today? What would they be able to claim as deductible expenses?
Many Americans will be getting tax refunds from the government, and tax refunds are "found money" -- money you forgot was yours. It's as if the government lifted up your couch cushions and found a few hundred dollars.
Your goal should be to receive little or no tax refund next year. Better to use that money throughout the year to pay down credit card balances or other debt, build emergency savings, beef up your retirement plan contributions or invest it.
If you're like me, and putting off finishing your taxes until the last minute, you can at least be thankful that we have until April 17th this year to file. I turned to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA and the Turbotax Blog Manager, for advice.
If you carry balances on multiple cards, always make at least the minimum payments to avoid penalties. Paying down the highest-rate card first will save the most money overall, but some people find that paying off smaller-balanced accounts first is a better motivator.