It’s tax season! Here’s how to get the most out of your tax return

Are you all set to file your 2022 income taxes?

According to the Census Bureau, New Jersey is the fifth “highest taxed state” in the country and the average tax return this year will be 11% lower than it was last year. Your return is a great opportunity to get your money to work for you.

The average individual tax refund for individuals in New Jersey this year will be just a few dollars short of $3,000. That money could go a long way toward paying down credit card debt or establishing a rainy-day fund.

Mary Pucciarelli, of Reilly Financial Group in Metuchen, says there are opportunities to grow your money. Money market funds offered by mutual fund companies are at the top of Pucciarelli’s picks right now.

Looking for FDIC protection? CDs are a great option if you don’t mind locking your money up for 3-6 or 18 months. Government securities like treasury bills, are strong right now. All of these options are currently yielding between 4 and 5% annually.

“There are some nice opportunities out there that are being offered by say insurance companies. They’re called Fixed annuities, and you can lock in at 4 to 5% over the next three to seven years,” Pucciarelli said.

“No such thing as a tax return. I’ll be working hard to pay it all back. So always owing, always owing,” Barbara from Metuchen said.

If you’re always owing, a great option is to pay down that credit card debt. If you have that under control, think about boosting your personal emergency fund. Pucciarelli says the rule of thumb is to have three months stashed away at first, and then work up to one year. And you can always put that refund money toward online college courses.

So, invest that refund and think positive!

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