Improve Your Future Finances by Making SMART Decisions with Your Tax Refund Today NYS Tax Department and the Department of State highlight financially sound ways to use your tax refund
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The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection, are highlighting five ways that the seven million New Yorkers who receive tax refunds can make smart decisions with their money.
- Save–Use your tax refund to bolster your emergency savings. This could help you avoid credit card debt and resulting interest payments if something unforeseen happens. Financial experts suggest having at least three months’ worth of savings to cover all your fixed expenses, such as mortgage or rent, utilities, food, and insurance.
- Maintenance–If you’ve never had the extra money to build that new deck or put in those new kitchen cabinets that you’ve always wanted, now might be the time. In addition to improving the look and functionality—and possibly increasing the overall value—of your home, many home improvements qualify for tax benefits as well. Any project considered a capital improvement is exempt from sales tax.
- Avoid debt–Your tax refund can put a sizable dent in—or even erase—your credit card debt. If you pay it off now, you won’t continue to pay interest charges. Your tax refund can also help to pay off your student loans earlier.
- Retirement planning–Investing your tax refund now for the future is smart financial planning. There are many ways to save for retirement, including adding your refund money to your 401(k). If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) option, then consider opening an IRA. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow.
- Training–To earn that promotion or switch career paths you often need additional training and education. You can spend your tax refund on college courses to help you in your career. You could also invest in a 529 College Savings Plan to help pay for your child’s future education.
“There’s no harm in treating yourself, of course—you’ve earned it!” says New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “But making a smart decision now can help pave the way to a better financial situation down the road.”
“Foresight and education are keys to being a smart consumer,” said Acting Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “These suggestions provide New Yorkers with some of the options available to help them secure a better financial future.”
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