Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Last week, one of my clients forwarded me a letter he received from the IRS. It said that the agency was holding his refund and reviewing his account. As it turns out, the IRS found an extra $40,000 payment he had not included, and his refund was more than $100,000.
Can you imagine getting a refund like that? If you did, you could pay off your mortgage, buy a vacation property, or take a trip around the world.
For most people, though, tax refunds are smaller. Refunds average around $3,000, and while you probably can’t buy a house with that money, there is plenty you can do with your refund check.
1. Have all or part of your refund deposited directly into your savings account.
2. Have the money deposited directly into your IRA. If you allocate the contribution to 2013, you may still take a deduction for it as long as you file your tax return before April 15. (Be sure to contact your IRA provider and alert it to expect the contribution.)
3. Use the refund to buy U.S. savings bonds and to name your beneficiaries or co-owners. You can use your refund to buy bonds for yourself or your loved ones.
4. If your state allows you to do so, donate part of your state tax refund directly to a number of different charities.
Once you have the tax refund in your hands, use it to:
5. Make an IRA or Roth IRA contribution for 2014.
6. Pay down a credit card or pay off a debt—especially if it has a high interest rate.
7. Take care of much-needed repairs you’ve been putting off, such as replacing deteriorating tires on your car or upgrading some home appliances.
8. Get your children started with braces or other necessary dental or medical care.
9. Invest at least part of the money into a stock or mutual fund.
10. Sign up for an auto club membership. There are several options to choose from, including AAA, Good Sam RV Club, and the National Automobile Club.
11. Buy an annual pass, for two or for the family, to your favorite amusement park or to another place you regularly frequent, such as a theater, museum, or zoo.
12. Take a trip. Online, you can find excellent prices for travel packages that include airfare, hotel, and perhaps a rental car. Take your vacation during the off-season for additional discounts.
13. Do something special to brighten someone’s day. Remind an elderly parent, relative, or friend how much you love him or her by sharing a day of your time. Treat the person to a special experience, such as tea time at a nearby hotel or a spa day for two.
14. Find something you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t squeeze into your schedule. Try something new and fun with someone you love—or by yourself if you’re feeling adventurous.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com, where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.