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For years, my wife and I have treated our tax refund as a savings account, using it to fund travel or house projects. (Yes, I know how dumb I am to allow the IRS to rake off more than my fare share of income and hold it for months, but for undisciplined savers like me, 0% interest on some money is better than 5% interest on no money.)
Most Americans, have treated their rebate similarly. This year, however, the trend seems to be shifting away from splurging with tax refunds. More and more of us are using the money to pay down debt. According to the AP, 35 % of us are using of refunds this way, up 7% over last year. If you have a moment, why not add your intentions to the AOL poll?

This is, of course, of concern to the government in light of the upcoming one-time rebate coming next month. If we use this money to pay down debt or to build savings, it may not boost the economy as much as if we take it to Target or spend it on a Princess cruise.

Nonetheless, I can't in good conscience suggest our readers ignore credit card debt just to stimulate the economy. Paying down that 20+% interest is going to help your economy, and isn't the the central tenet of capitalism that acting in our own self-interest also benefits the larger community?

Still, I might allocate a small portion to a nice dinner and a movie. Just to do my part as a good citizen.

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Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

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Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

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