If you just got – or are expecting – a large tax refund, you need to make a change right away. Basically, you just got repaid for an interest-free loan to the Federal government. And I know you have better uses for your money than that!
Consider this: The average tax refund (for tax year 2015, according to the IRS) was a whopping $3,120. That’s $260 a month, every month, all year, taken out of your paycheck and handed over to the Federal government for no reason.
So, it’s time to stop letting them use your money, because there’s so much that you could do with it instead. For example, you could turn that $3,120 a year into $315,000 if you put it in a Roth IRA – and that’s just one of the many ways you put your money to work for you.
All it takes is a call (or an email) to the payroll department, asking them to adjust your withholding. They’ll ask you to fill out a new Form W-4.
When you fill out the new form, add an extra allowance or two … or five. If you’re not sure how many allowances you’re taking now, ask the payroll department. To estimate how many more allowances you could take based on last year’s refund, try this simple, 3-step withholding calculator.
If you want a more accurate picture, and are willing to put in some time, the IRS has a very long comprehensive worksheet for figuring out the right withholding for you, then add at least one extra allowance.
Remember: More allowances means less income taxes withheld … and that means a bigger paycheck every time you get paid.