6 Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund this year

Written by Laura Gayle, Business Woman Guide

Spring is here, and if you’re one of the roughly 112 million taxpayers eagerly awaiting a tax refund from the IRS, you might be thinking about using it to go on vacation, upgrade your home, or just put it in your savings account. All of these choices are worthwhile, but if you run a business, consider doing something constructive for the company with your refund.

The following six tips are great ways you can use your tax refund this season to make your business even better. Each of these minor investments comes with many benefits, including tax deductions that make them more than worth the extra money you may spend to implement them.

1. Improve Your Website

Do you spend enough time upgrading your website every year? Not enough businesses do. You might think that you can create a site and keep it up for years without updating it at all. This mistake is a common one, and it presents a serious issue. For example, static websites don’t draw in enough internet traffic because their SEO ratings drop exponentially behind interactive sites, leaving your company in a tight spot.

Therefore, you should be smart and invest some of your tax cash on your website. The nice thing about this investment is that it shouldn’t cost you too much. Even a $500 to $1,000 investment can give your site a little more spunk and make it more accessible and relatable for your customers. Make sure to add new content throughout the year, too, to keep SEO ratings high for your business.

2. Present at a Trade Show

Have you ever represented your business at a trade show? If not, you should seriously consider doing so as soon as possible. Trade shows put you in a unique position to sell yourself, reach new potential business partners, and market your company. Beyond that, most trade shows are a lot of fun, often introducing you to exciting new developments in your field or industry.

Fortunately, there are plenty of trade shows available for businesses around the nation. Do some research to identify the ones that will give your company the best exposure. Then make sure to put aside some of your tax money for registration and prepare for the trade show well in advance. You can also use some of that money to book a hotel room and pay for travel expenses. And don’t forget: Many costs of attending these events are tax-deductible.

Trade shows put you in a unique position to sell yourself, reach new potential business partners, and market your company.

3.Donate to Charity

Charitable donations are a great way to use your tax refund. Contributions provide many great benefits that go beyond what you might think. First of all, donations are tax-deductible, which means you can write them off every year. Even better, contributing funds to an organization you believe in allows you to make a difference in your community on a very personal level. Done considerately, donations can provide a great marketing opportunity for your business.

Note: It’s generally accepted that you should never use a donation primarily as a way to promote yourself or your business; this seems callous or gauche. That doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge yourself as a philanthropist, though — just do so without revealing the extent of your donations. In this way, you can let people know that you help out in your community without coming across like you’re trying to weaponize this fact for business success.

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4. INVEST IN BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS

If you have a decent-sized tax refund and you’re looking to expand your business seriously, consider investing in another person’s company. You can often write off these expenses and may even be able to leverage the move into a better partnership. For example, you might be able to find a company that is willing to merge with yours and expand both of your operating capabilities beyond your initial investment level.

5. EXPAND YOUR INVENTORY

Inventory is the lifeblood of many businesses, and it’s always cheaper to buy larger lots. Depending on your business, if you can source new goods or get them at a better price, but have limited space for inventory, consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit. These spaces are usually very affordable and can be really helpful for small businesses that are expanding.
REINVESTING TO UPGRADE ANY OF THESE FACETS OF YOUR OPERATIONS CAN REINVIGORATE YOUR COMMITMENT, REVITALIZE YOUR COMPANY, AND REMIND YOU WHAT YOU LOVED ABOUT IT IN THE FIRST PLACE

6. PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR’S TAXES

You got money back from the IRS because you paid more than was due. That’s a nice situation to be in, but it’s not guaranteed from year to year. Even minor changes to the tax code can have a huge impact on your year-end tallies. Reevaluate your withholding allowances every year, and if you make quarterly payments, make sure they’re big enough. Use an online tax calculator to get a ballpark estimate and ensure that you continue to get money back at the end of each year. If you’re making more money and your situation is changing, you might want to use some of this year’s refund to pay toward next year’s taxes. You undoubtedly started your business with a passion, which may have cooled as you faced the day-to-day realities of running it. Reinvesting to upgrade any of these facets of your operations can reinvigorate your commitment, revitalize your company, and remind you what you loved about it in the first place, setting you and your company up for greater success in the future. About Laura: Laura Gayle is a full-time blogger passionate about e-commerce and the ways technology is helping to rejuvenate the American dream. The Internet is amazing. Today, anyone with a good idea, some practical knowledge, and a strong work ethic can start a business. These lowered barriers are especially game-changing for women, who traditionally haven’t been encouraged to strike out on their own. I created this guide to be a trusted resource for women trying to start or grow businesses on their own terms. For many of us, entrepreneurship is the key to true work-life balance.