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Money health 2014: Say 'no' to a tax refund

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Many in the Capital Region, as elsewhere, have been told all their lives that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

That's generally true, but not when it comes to your tax situation. In this case, it's better not to receive a tax refund.

"When I get a tax refund, I'm going to pay off some bills," is a common phrase heard often. People pray for a tax refund. Take the advice of experts: Don't do it and here's why:

  1. If you get a tax refund, you have overpaid your taxes and lent your money to the government at no interest.
  2. The financially smart thing to do is to adjust your W-4 form so that you receive more money in each paycheck. (The average overpayment per family, per month is $260).
  3. Redo your W-4 form, the form you completed on your first day on the job.
  4. Consult with your tax advisor or visit www.irs.gov, to learn how many exemptions you need to take in order not to overpay your taxes.

If you want the "windfall" of a refund check, have your extra money deducted regularly from your checking account into a mutual fund account. Earn a decent rate of return for yourself, not for the government.

Want to learn more, subscribe (above) to future articles. For a free book on your money, contact Dave Balog at 355-0967 or 646-667-4254 (cell). dbalog99@gmail.com

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