That time of year has arrived where Uncle Sam determines how much of my earnings will be restored back into my eager little paws. I took a certified tax preparation course last year and am getting pretty decent at completing these buggers. After helping friends and family file these past few weeks, I’m officially taxed out!
I felt like the Mother Hen as they fluttered around and oohed and aahed over their refund amounts. (“Ok, where is your 1099-INT, dear? Whaaa..? You’re only receiving .25% interest on your savings account?? Dear god. And of course you have records of your dividend amounts. I need that documentation!”) I raised my eyebrow a few times at the thousand dollar plus refunds as they squealed in elation. They don’t want to know you can adjust the size of your refund. (“Here you are, hon. But why are you giving the government such a large interest-free loan over the year?” – blank stare- “Sigh, never mind. Congratulations. But use it wisely!”)
I’m astounded by how many friends have no clue what interest rates are attached to their bank accounts, especially when their rates are so extremely low. As they deliriously indulged in the ‘happy money tax refund’ dance, I showed them how to access Bank Rate to compare more competitive rates for savings and money market accounts. At least I tried, although I’m not sure it did a lick of good.