It’s just a little over a week until the Tax Man Cometh here in the US.
Have you filed yet? With the delay of the filing season caused by the Congressional Shenanigans of earlier this year, more and more people are filing later in the season. While the IRS doesn’t begin processing returns until January 30, a 2012 survey by Intuit found that 82% of taxpayers who filed by the end of February (just 28 days) got a refund.
What are you going to do with your refund?
If you’ve read this blog before, you can probably guess what I’m going to suggest. It’s something our family had done up until last year.
Pay off Debt.
Big surprise here, right? Use some (or all) of you refund to pay down some debt. If you’re still building up an initial Emergency Fund, use this money to help fund it.
Add to IRA
If you’re Debt Free (Congrats!) and you have a good Emergency Fund, add to your IRA. While this may seem boring today, Future You will thank this step. Take a look at this Compound Interest Spreadsheet from the Financial Resource Page to see how $2000 over time can add up.
Got Kids? The same Compound Interest Spreadsheet can work wonders on a 529 plan!
Have Some Fun
Enough of Mr. Scrooge here. Take some of the refund and treat yourself to something nice. I know from experience that working to Get Outta Debt can be a rough road. Depriving yourself and your family of some ‘fun’ things can make life difficult. Take some (some) of the refund and go have some fun. A nice dinner, a weekend getaway or a theme park day trip can be a great way to recharge your batteries.
Watch out for these IRS Tax Scams
This article from the IRS lists their ‘Dirty Dozen’ scams.
- Identity Theft
- Return Preparer Fraud
- Hiding Income Offshore
- “Free Money” from the IRS & Tax Scams Involving Social Security
- Impersonation of Charitable Organizations
- False/Inflated Income and Expenses
- False Form 1099 Refund Claims
- Frivolous Arguments
- Falsely Claiming Zero Wages
- Disguised Corporate Ownership
- Misuse of Trusts
If you think you’ve been a victim or intended victim of one of this scams, follow the link and contact the appropriate IRS resource.