There has been a lot of reporting lately about reductions in tax refunds and, in many cases, taxes being owed.

The main reason for this problem is the failure of individuals to adjust their withholding information (IRS form W-4). It is each taxpayer’s responsibility to file this form as it relates to any changes in tax laws. You should consult a tax professional if there is any doubt about how much should be withheld.

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would ever want an income tax refund. As has been noted by numerous finance professionals, it simply means that you have given the government a free loan of your money.

I realize many people use higher withholding rates and subsequent tax refunds as a sort of savings plan. But this makes no economic sense. Why not plan your withholding with the goal of no refund (or perhaps a small tax liability) and put that extra money in a savings account? That way, it will already be available instead of waiting for a refund.

Michael Chiarito

Palmetto Walk Drive