How to Make the Most of Your Tax Refund This Year

It’s pretty rare to end up with an extra hundred (or thousand) bucks in your bank account — unless it’s tax-refund season. While it may be tempting to blow that dough on a massive TV, there are ways to stretch your tax refund further so you can reap financial benefits throughout the year, even if you do throw down on that flatscreen. To help explain how to do it, we leveraged the advice of H&R Block Tax Expert Lynn Ebel, who broke down the best ways to get on better financial footing or treat yourself (wisely) this upcoming tax season.

Side note: Getting a massive tax refund isn’t necessarily a good thing; it probably means you’re withholding money you could otherwise use during the year, Ebel says. If you’re unsure how some new life changes, like marriage or a baby, will affect your tax withholding, go over your W4 through your employer to ensure you’re withholding the correct tax amount. “An H&R Block survey found 47% of respondents didn’t know they could update their W4 at any time,” Ebel says. “In your 20s and 30s, the most important thing is to pay attention.”

Because doing your taxes can be incredibly confusing, H&R Block has several different ways to file, whether you want to go the DIY route or bring it in to a professional. They even offer virtual tax help from a real professional via their Tax Pro Go service, so you can have an expert prepare your taxes while you stay in your pajamas this year.