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Will you be among the millions of taxpayers who will receive a federal income tax refund this year? If you got a refund last year, did you treat it like found money and run out to buy a bunch of things? Or were you part of the majority of Americans in a 2017 Credit Karma survey1 who expected to use their 2018 tax refunds to improve their financial well-being?

Just as you would spend your regular paycheck wisely, you should also spend your tax refund wisely. This year, commit to putting your refund to work. Instead of going on a shopping spree, consider taking your refunded “paycheck” and:

The important thing to keep in mind is a tax refund is not a gift from the government. It’s money that you earned but which was withheld from your paychecks. Getting a refund simply means you paid too much in taxes throughout the year. Think of it as loaning money to the government. But when they give your hard-earned money back to you as a tax refund, they don’t pay you interest.

Even if you don’t expect a refund this year, you can make a smart tax move simply by saving more on a pre-tax basis in your ABA Retirement Funds Program account.

Here’s how it works:

Your pre-tax contributions come out of your paycheck before taxes. Every dollar you contribute on a pre-tax basis reduces your current taxable income by a dollar. As your contributions go up, your tax bill for the year typically goes down.3

As your tax liability goes down, there’s less of a chance you’ll over pay your taxes and have to wait for a refund. This strategy may help you keep more of your earned money in your pocket (or your ABA Retirement Funds Program account) instead of temporarily loaning it to the IRS.

Talk with your tax advisor to see if you should make adjustments to your IRS Form W-4 to make your withholding amounts closer to your actual tax liability, which may reduce any future refunds. And contact your Plan Administrator to increase your pre-tax contribution rate today.

Taxes are due on withdrawals from your account.

This information is provided by Voya for your education only. Neither Voya nor its representatives offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor before making a tax-related investment/insurance decision.