04.22.20164 min read

5 Things You Need to Read: The Tax Refund Edition

It’s that magical time of year when the IRS suddenly hands you a few grand. For some Americans, getting a tax refund means only one thing:

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But for a small business owner, a tax refund can represent an opportunity to get ahead financially or to invest in improvements to the business. (Remember that a tax refund is not a benevolent gift from the government: It’s the withheld income you earned last year.) 

If you’re looking for a smarter way to treat yourself, here are five articles that explore how a tax refund can boost your personal or business finances. 

How Small Businesses Can Reinvest Their Tax Refunds to Drive Results (via @HuffPoSmBiz)

One approach to spending your tax refund on your business: Treat the people who work for you.

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Turnover can cost the company more than half of the employee’s annual salary. This Huffington Post article explores ideas for using a tax refund to boost employee morale, like investing in training, outsourcing projects, or adding tax-credit-worthy employee perks.

How Small Business Owners are Spending Their Tax Refunds (via @AmexOPEN)

Using your tax refund to invest in your business may sound like a good idea in theory, but do business owners really follow that advice? American Express OPEN Forum talked to a few who do—in ways like stocking up on inventory and purchasing software that allows the business to scale.

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9 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund (via @NerdWallet)

Smart financial decisions aren’t much very much fun. This article from NerdWallet lists tax-refund spending ideas in ascending order of the fun level: from starting an emergency fund to playing the lottery (as long as it’s the Save Your Refund lottery) to splurging on an experience you’ll remember long after next April.

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7 Slightly Original Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund (via @Forbes)

As the title of this post suggests, the best ways to use your tax refund aren’t very original (Pay off debt! Save for retirement!) Here, Forbes contributor Rob Berger comes up with a few other ideas, like hiring a financial planner and consciously saving small amounts of money (Assuming an 8 percent return, $50 will be more than $175,000 in 40 years.)

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10 Ways to Waste Your Tax Refund (via @Kiplinger)

And now for what not to do with your tax refund, like blowing it on an expensive purse or making a down payment on a boat. 

Obvious stuff, we know. That’s why this article from Kiplinger also explores savvier alternatives to splurges, like investing in a college savings account instead of spending lavishly on a child.

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