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CHEAP: Tax Refund? No thanks.

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CHEAP: Tax Refund? No thanks.

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I’ve been doing some research on this pesky tax refund and I’ve decided I’d really rather not get one at all next year. Thanks, but no thanks, Uncle Sam. I’m trying to figure out how to maneuver my withholdings so I don’t end up overpaying during the year. Here are three reasons:

1. It’s my money to begin with! I didn’t claim enough allowances on my W4, which really means I let the government borrow my precious dollars (interest-free, of course) until now.

2. I want to save my money my way. People argue that the tax refund is a nice forced saving mechanism. But again, while I am “saving,” my dollars aren’t working for me, so they aren’t collecting any interest as they would in say, a high-yield savings account.

3. There are far better ways to spend that money than lending it to Uncle Sam. Whether it’s contributing to one of my long-term savings goal (like a vacation with the girls) or donating to a charity, some financial advisors say that for every additional (and legitimate) allowance I claim on my W4, I’ll get between $25 to $90 more in my monthly paycheck.

But it turns out that the IRS is and isn’t trying to scam me. Check out their withholding calculator

This way you can try to get it just right—don’t have too much or too little taken out (because then you’ll owe them money next year at tax time). And now is definitely the best time to do it. Take a look at the taxes you just filed and if next year is going to be much of the same (ie. You aren’t expecting any big raises or Aunt Nana’s inheritance) you can make accurate guesses as to the taxes that will be withheld in 2008. I want more of my money now, not later.
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