Brace yourselves; I have an announcement. Not surprisingly, I managed to completely fail at paying quarterly estimated taxes again. And just like last year, I paid in more than necessary and am set to get a sizable refund.

But just like last year, I don’t really care. It’s just another day in the life of an overachiever. {Relax, I’m being sarcastic} Not only am I a workaholic, but I tend to over-plan, overanalyze, and overprepare. That means that, when I think I owe X number of dollars, I just round that shit up.

Part of the reason I do this is because I don’t have a lot of free time to ponder these sorts of things, but the rest of my excuse is centered around the fact that we owed $1,200 at tax time once….and I hated it.

But…Isn’t Giving the Government a Tax-Free Loan Pretty Stupid?

I know what you’re thinking: a) I should just break out some snazzy software program that would tell me how much I owe, or b) I should just figure out how much I overpaid as a percentage and pay that much less in 2015, or c) I should be really, really mad at myself.

The thing is, our taxes have become insanely complicated. Not only do we have three separate businesses now, but we also have rental properties, different tax-advantaged investments to plan for, and a fluctuating income that is hard for most people to grasp.

4 Reasons I Don’t Mind Getting a Tax Refund

So, instead of freaking out because I gave the government an interest-free loan, I have resumed not caring. The only difference is, I plan to pay in around 10% less each quarter than I paid in 2014. That way, I should still get a refund, though it won’t be quite as big. Here are four reasons I can still live with myself:

My Savings Earn Practically Nothing

Most of my extra dough sits in my business account until I stash it away in retirement accounts and various investments. And even though I have this super-duper special high interest savings account, it still only earns around 1%. Even if I were getting a $5,000 tax refund, I would have only earned an extra $50 had I let that money sit in my account all year long. That’s pretty sad, and quite frankly barely worth my time to pursue.

I Am a Rockstar at Saving for Retirement

Of course, $50 is still $50, right? And if I weren’t saving so heavily for retirement and my kid’s college, it might mean a world of difference. However, I maxed out my SEP IRA and Roth IRA last year, along with putting some cash in other boring things like index funds. Earning an extra $50 wouldn’t have done much for me.

I’m Not Going to Blow It

Part of the problem with tax refunds is that people get this idea that they are “free money.” It’s as if they think tax time is one giant birthday party where we all get points we can trade in for a flat screen TV, hot tub, or weekend getaway to Cancun. Oh, how I wish. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, and I’m well aware that I’m just getting my own stupid money back in the first place. Sadly, since my next quarterly tax payment is due April 15th, I will basically just send my refund back in a few short weeks.  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….

I Have Other Things to Feel Guilty About

I was talking with a friend about our tax refunds the other day when she asked, “Don’t you feel guilty?” “Guilty for what?” I asked. Then she launched into a whole thing about giving our greedy government a tax-free loan and all that. Let me answer that real quick. Of course I don’t feel guilty. After all, I have real things to feel guilty about, like the fact that I live in the richest country in the world and was born to fairly affluent parents who truly had my best interest in mind. Or the fact that I can walk into a grocery store any buy any type of food I want while other people die because they don’t have access to food or water elsewhere on the globe. Do I feel guilty for getting a tax refund? No. Let me rephrase that. Hell no.

Getting a Tax Refund Isn’t the End of the World

Getting a tax refund isn’t ideal, but it certainly isn’t the end of the world either. I know people who have trouble saving so they treat their tax refund as their savings account for the entire year, and that’s okay. If it is truly the only way you can save, then it’s certainly better than nothing. The key is, what will you do with it? Are you saving to build an emergency fund, or will you run out and buy the next entertainment center, smartphone, or four-wheeler you see?

Where you are at financially also makes a difference. For example, if you are carrying high interest debt or barely meeting your monthly obligations, you should try to keep your refund as small as possible. When you’re in debt, the extra money you get back at the end of the year would be much better off going towards debt repayment. So keep that in mind going forward. And as always, make sure every decision you make is an informed one.

Are you okay with getting a tax refund? How much are you getting back this year? What do you plan to do with it?

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