How will you spend your tax refund?

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Tax season is upon us and many have either filed or have yet to file. As some taxpayers await their refunds, many Air Force Global Strike Command members may have a good idea on how they will put their dollars to use while others are still undecided.

"Your situation may depend on what you will do with your return," said R.D. "Smitty" Smith, 509th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant. "Each person's situation differs, so there is no 'one way' we can advise customers on how to spend their funds."

The Airmen and Family Readiness Center staff offers the following tips:

- Pay down credit card(s)
Those credit card bills will inevitably keep arriving in your mail box if the balance doesn't get paid. This may be the perfect opportunity to put money towards eliminating it. The A&FRC has tools available to assist and can help customers through questions.

- Make a rainy-day fund
Since the future is not predictable, it is a good idea to create an emergency fund for the unexpected Mr. Smith said. If that day comes and you are prepared, then you will have something to fall back on.

- Invest in your future
Finances should be planned out and if done correctly, will benefit one's future according to Mr. Smith. "It is never too late to start a retirement fund or save for your dependents' education," he said. If people want to invest, the consultants at the A&FRC can help explore options according to Mr. Smith.

- Make a memory
If your refund includes a larger sum that you were not anticipating and you can afford to purchase that big-ticket item you have been wanting, then do so, but without going overboard Mr. Smith said.

- Christmas from January through November
It's been said that Christmas sneaks up way too soon and in order for this year to go smoothly, Mr. Smith suggests starting a holiday fund now because it will help eliminate financial stress in 11 months.

- Make a home investment
Homeowners should channel refunds towards expenses, making sure the money is applied to the principle of the mortgage, said Mr. Smith.

Saving strategies vary from person-to-person and situation-to-situation, he said. In order to choose what works best for you, consult the A&FRC and we can help guide you through your financial questions.

Beginning Jan. 24, active-duty Air Force can access their W-2s by logging onto the Air Force Portal. Active-duty, Guard and Reserve on title 10 orders, dependents and retirees who need assistance preparing their taxes can contact the base legal office at (660) 687-6807 until further information is announced. The tax office will open Feb. 1, but the location is yet to be determined.

Items to bring to the tax center are:
-W-2 and/or 1099R, social security card, dependent care information (employee's identification number, address and total amount paid per dependent).
-1099 INT (bank interest or other type of interest earned).
-Bank check (used to get routing number and account information for direct deposit).
-Last year's tax return.
-Power of attorney, general or both, (if both members cannot be there to sign the return).
-Those needing a copy of a current or previous year's W-2 and do not have access to, may contact base finance for assistance.