It's income tax season. As taxpayers prepare for filing, we've got some practical advice on how you should prepare your taxes and what you should do with your refund (if you get one). We also took a closer look at the psychology behind filing tax returns.
Most taxpayers fill out their forms early to get their money back quicker. However, if you're writing a check and not collecting one, you'll probably want to wait as long as possible before filing your taxes. But how does a person decide how to set up their tax withholdings? It's nice to get a big refund once a year, but wouldn't you rather get more money from each paycheck?Do you like your tax refund to be...
Kelly Phillips Erb is a contributor at Forbes and runs the blog Taxgirl.com. She said it really all depends on where a person is at financially. Erb said that conventional wisdom tells us that we shouldn't get a big refund, because you don't get interest with it. Erb says that historically, if someone received a big refund they were looked at as doing something wrong. She said now, more taxpayers are under the gun financially and are looking at a refund as a forced savings account.
"A lot of taxpayers are now holding onto this big hope that they're going to get a big check and they're going to use it to pay off credit cards or they're going to use it to pay rent," said Erb.
Erb said she has always advised against getting a big refund, but she says that given the current economic climate it makes to sense to bank on that big chunk of money.
But once you get your refund, what should you actually do with it? CNBC personal finance correspondent Sharon Epperson said it should go towards retirement first.
"That might seem really kind of crazy. Especially if you're in your twenties and you've got this money and you really just want to go to Cabo and you really just want to have a great vacation and get out of this weather," said Epperson.
Epperson said the best advice she can give is to put it in a Roth IRA, since contributions you put into it can be taken out free of penalty.
Epperson said that paying off long term and high interest debt is also a priority.
"I'm just hoping that people are not getting this huge refund and getting a ton of credit card debt," said Epperson.
We asked folks on Twitter how they're going to spend their tax returns. Here's what we got:[&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="//storify.com/Ketchcast/how-will-you-spend-your-income-tax-refund" target="_blank"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;View the story "How will you spend your income tax refund?" on Storify&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;]
Follow Sharon Epperson on Twitter @sharon_epperson. Kelly Phillip Erb is on Twitter as @taxgirl.
The IOC says it's pleased with how the games have turned out so far. Meanwhile, Sandro Viletta of Switzerland took gold Friday in men's super-combined slalom, a sport American Ted Ligety had been expected to dominate.
Officials say about 100 vehicles were involved in a number of accidents along a stretch of the tollway near Bensalem. At least 30 people were treated for injuries.
Menswear seller Jos. A. Bank is buying Eddie Bauer. If you're keeping score at home, last year, Jos. A. Bank tried to buy Men's Wearhouse. Then Men's Wearhouse said no, we wanna buy you. Now Jos. A. Bank is buying Eddie Bauer, in part to make it harder for Men's Wearhouse to buy Joseph A Bank.
Harvard Law and Business professor Guhan Subramanian joins Marketplace's Mark Garrison to explain.
There's a treatment for insomnia that's safe, effective and pill-free. The Veterans Administration is embracing it to help returning soldiers with PTSD. There's even an app. But many people don't know that cognitive behavioral therapy is an option for insomnia. Proponents are trying to change that.
Valentine's Day is usually seen as a day for the couples, the romantics, and the folks who are in love. But it seems more like Valentine's Day 2014 is for the lovelorn and the currently single. Popular dating app Tinder even took home the "Best New Startup" award at this week’s Crunchies, an awards show honoring the best in the tech industry. Once thought to be an app just for the young, Tinder has seen their user base expand from being 90 percent in the 18-24 year-old demographic when they started, to only half of Tinderers being of the young-twenty-something persuasion now.
From quizzes, to twitter trends, Google’s doodle, and corporate promotions, Valentine's Day this year seems to be as much a day about being in love as it is the timeless question... What is Love?
Buzzfeed, the online chronicler of human desires, isn't just celebrating singleness, it's downright advocating the down-with-love sentiment:
Brands were all over it – the branding, that is. Yet, they don't seem to be encouraging much outside of playing with food…
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) February 14, 2014
Pancake love means never having to say you're hungry.
— IHOP (@IHOP) February 13, 2014
— HERSHEY'S KISSES (@HersheysKisses) February 12, 2014
Harvard Business Review took a dire look at how finding love is like a marketplace (as if singles needed to be reminded?).
"Creative" e-cards that don’t seem to inspire affection are popping up everywhere.
Vanity Fair even put together this list of valentines from TV villains.
Dating apps tell you to just get yourself out there…
Don't let Valentines Day's proximity discourage you, put yourself out there and make it your goal to find that special someone in time!
— OkCupid (@okcupid) February 10, 2014
…even though just 5 percent of Americans in a committed relationship say they met their significant other online (Pew Research).
The trending Valentine’s Day related hashtags on Twitter are quite unromantic:
I just met you and this is crazy. Here's a restraining order, sign it maybe? #HarsherLoveSongs
— James M-Theory (@JamesMinock) February 14, 2014
— Harlan Kadish (@MathMusicMole) February 14, 2014
— Nintendo Glass (@amanicdroid) February 12, 2014
And then Pope Francis urged young people to get married:
Dear young people, don’t be afraid to marry. A faithful and fruitful marriage will bring you happiness.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 14, 2014
Policy wonks are writing pieces on “how to save marriage,” which should encourage concern in any person looking to get married for the first time (or again).
Finally, no one really knows if St. Valentine himself was married. There is little written about him in his lifetime, outside of reports of his acts to marry others.
So whether you're looking for love, or doing just fine all by yourself, Valentine’s Day 2014 seems to be for the unattached. Here's to you, single people: reclaiming Valentine’s Day one hashtag at a time.