Did you know you have until April 18th, 2016 to claim your 2012 tax refund?
If you didn’t know, then this information might feel a little like finding a $5 bill in an old winter coat. With that in mind, you’re probably thinking about how you can spend it, right? Before I get into the great things you could put that extra money towards, it’s important to remember that your tax refund is still money that you earned. You’re receiving a refund because more tax was withheld throughout the year than was needed to cover the taxes you owed to the IRS. So depending how your 2012 tax situation shakes out, you might be owed a refund, or you might owe back tax if not enough money was withheld. Given that, you should file any past due tax returns ASAP – especially with the chance to get an unclaimed 2012 refund slipping away soon.
Whether you’re saving or spending, make sure you do it right!
1. Catch up on bills.
Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make the biggest impact. Using your tax refund to stay up to date on monthly bills and avoid late fees and interest is such a great way to eliminate stress. Then you can save up the remainder and put it towards that oh-so-necessary vacation you’ve been meaning to take.
2. Start an emergency fund.
Suppose your car breaks down and insurance won’t cover it. Maybe your boss crunches the numbers and realizes that he can’t afford to fund your position anymore. In a world so surprising, you should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This is why setting aside a cushion of savings might be a good idea. Financial experts suggest maintaining a savings large enough to cover three to six months’ worth of household spending. You may be thinking that there’s no way that your tax refund will cover that. Maybe not, but you have to start somewhere. (more…)