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Tax Refund Reminder: Review Funds First

Southeast Alaskas Island News of Thorne Bay, Alaska

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Spend or Save Wisely

Consumers with newly acquired tax refund checks might notice numerous offers and incentives to spend cash right away; Better Business Bureau says to save funds for further review.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average 2012 tax refund is roughly $3,000.

BBB warns refund recipients

& big spenders to be wary of: 1. Check-cashing businesses that offer special discounts for cashing refunds.

2. "Bring in your tax refund" incentives for deposits or guaranteed credit approval.

3. Conveniently-timed "buy now" advertisements on high-end merchandise, luxury items & other expensive services, such as: furniture; electronics; cars; clothing; jewelry; cosmetic services; and vacations gerated or misleading. In worst case scenarios, buyers end up in financial hot-water with no recourse for voiding contracts or returning purchases they can't afford," says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon & Western Washington. "In other cases, tax refund checks are lower than anticipated, but consumers have already committed to certain deals or savings plans before knowing exactly how much money they'll receive."

After taxes, BBB offers eight smart spending and savings reminders:

Budget Wait until returns are received to evaluate how assets will be allocated.

Spend wisely. Compare deals, review purchase policies and thoroughly research companies before buying.

Acknowledge asterisks in ads. Make sure to read contracts and fine print carefully. Get verbal promises in writing.

Track accounts. Make sure deposited checks are applied to accounts. Use credit cards on more expensive merchandise; monitor account activity and contest unauthorized post-transactional charges.

Dodge debts. Consider using refund cash to cover bills, loans or student expenses.

Copyright 2012 Southeast Alaska's Island News, Thorne Bay, Alaska. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: April 25, 2012

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