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Not everything is quite back to how things were pre-COVID, but filing taxes seems to be getting closer to how it was before the pandemic. The filing system this year looks more like 2019 and before, than in 2020 and even 2021.

While early taxpayers may already have their refund in hand, some are still waiting to receive it (or even file it before the April 15 deadline). Those with the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit might have a month-long wait period while the IRS confirms their eligibility.

What to do with your 2022 tax refund
Maybe you have already filed your taxes, or you are waiting until the last possible second; either way, if you received or plan to receive a tax return, now might be a suitable time to think about what you’re going to do with it. Save or splurge? There’s no wrong answer, but here are some of the smartest uses for your 2022 tax return, according to TurboTax:

Create an emergency fund – Give yourself a little breathing room by starting or adding to an emergency fund with your tax return money. You never know when or even if you are going to need it but having it to fall back on will give you peace of mind.

Pay off debt – It is not the most exciting option but using your tax return to pay down debt will leave you breathing easier and feeling accomplished all at once.

Save for college – Use your tax return money to start saving for your kids’ or grandkids’ futures: Seed their college fund by setting up a 529 plan to help them afford rising education costs.

Invest in the stock market – Although a riskier option, if you do not have an immediate need for your tax return money, investing it could see a greater return long term. Pick individual stocks or choose an index fund that moves up and down with the market.

Start a business or take your career to the next level – Use the money from your tax return to start a business or invest in your career by paying for classes or special training.

Make renovations to your home – Whether you have repairs you have been putting off or renovations you would like to make, your tax return money is a good place to start.

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