- Days left

Don't wait for next year's tax refund... you can have it now!

No, this isn't one of those dumb headlines that's a lie and just meant to get you to read. It's actually true. Every year you wait for that nice fat tax refund from the government, right? Well why wait, when you can have that money in your hand now? Start filling your piggy bank right away instead of waiting until April.

If you're getting a big refund each year, you're having too much money withheld from your paycheck. So the government is taking extra money from you every two weeks, using it for whatever it wants, and giving it back to you in April without paying you any interest. How much sense does that make? Why are you letting the government use your money for free all year?

You need to reduce your withholding, and that's easy. All you have to do is go to your payroll department and ask to fill out a new W-4. You should also ask how many "withholding allowances" you're currently claiming. (This is easy for them to find out and they shouldn't have any objection to telling you.)

The more allowances you claim, the less money is withheld from each check. So you want to increase that number in order to take home more pay each week. Try it out and see how you like it. This isn't a permanent thing... if you need to change your allowances in the future, you can. Your employer cannot stop you.

Just remember that if you do this, you won't be getting that big refund in April. But if you're getting more money each paycheck, why not set up an automatic savings plan and have $50 or $100 automatically set aside into a savings account for you? Then you can start building an emergency fund and earn interest on your money at the same time. See? You really don't have to wait for your refund!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

5 Hidden Ways to Boost Your Tax Refund

Most of us are looking for ways to pay no more than we owe in taxes, or even boost our tax refunds. Here are five strategies that go beyond the obvious with tried-and-true ways to reduce your tax liability.

What, Me Worry? Last Minute Taxes

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 20-25% of all Americans wait until the last two weeks before the deadline to prepare their tax returns. At that late date, there are only two things you can do: File your taxes pronto, or request a tax extension.

Can't File by the Deadline? Top 3 Reasons to File a Tax Extension

The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to file for a 6-month extension if they need more time to prepare their tax return. You can obtain a tax extension for any reason; the IRS grants them automatically as long as you complete the proper form on time. Check your state tax laws; some states accept IRS extensions while others require you to file a separate state extension form.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum