Sponsor spotlight: Ideas for a great tax refund

Three of every four Americans got a refund check last year according to IRS statistics. With a little planning, you can maximize the benefit of your refund. Here are some ideas:

Pay off debt. If you have debt, a great spending priority can be to reduce or eliminate it. This is especially true if you have any credit card debt. With rate increases, credit card interest can cripple you financially. Start by paying down debts with the highest interest rates and work your way down the list until you bring your debt burden down to a manageable level.

Save for retirement. Saving for retirement works like debt, but in reverse. The longer you set aside money for retirement, the more time you give the power of compound earnings to work for you. This money can even continue working for you long after you retire. Consider depositing some or all of your refund check into a Traditional or Roth IRA. You can contribute a total of $7,000 to an IRA in 2024, or $8,000 if you’re 50 years old or older.

Save for a home. Home ownership is a source of wealth and stability for many Americans. If you don’t own a home yet, consider building up a down payment fund using some of your refund. If you already own a home, consider using your refund to start paying your mortgage off early. This is especially important if you have a recent mortgage with higher interest rates.

Invest in yourself. Sometimes the best investment isn’t financial, but personal. If there’s a course of study or conference that would improve your skills or knowledge, that could be a wise use of your money in the long run.

Give some of it away. Helping people, and being able to deduct gifts and charity from your next tax return, isn’t the only benefit of giving to a good cause

— By Nancy J. Ekrem, CPA
Managing Shareholder
Certified Public Accountants & Business Consultants



  1. There is lots of good advice in here that should be listened to and acted on but shooting for a big tax return isn’t necessarily a great idea. You have loaned that money to Uncle Sam for a year for free. Ideally you would have paid in exactly what you owe as you go and get no return or owe a small amount perhaps. Contrary to popular belief this is not a good form of saving money but a great gimmick for the tax preparation industry to make you feel a little better about the whole business. It is patriotic to get a big return at least. The Fed. Gov. loves it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.