Money Talks: How to Supercharge Your Tax Refund

There are lots of things to do with the average $3,000 tax refund, from having fun to paying down debt.

But if you want to supercharge your refund this year, use it make another refund next year. How? By using to generate a tax credit, or at least a deduction.

For example, things like solar water heaters qualify for a 30% federal tax credit.

That means if you spend $5,000 to buy one, you're going to reduce next year's tax bill by 30% of that - or $1,500. Plus, the water heater will pay for itself in energy savings.

So go to energy star website, see what qualifies, and if it makes sense for you.

And if you can't use your refund to create a credit, use it to create a deduction. How? By putting it in an IRA.

If you're eligible to deduct an IRA contribution, socking away 3 grand will lower your taxable income by that much, which, depending on your tax bracket, could save you up to $1,000 on your 2012 taxes.

And invested properly, it will also make you richer over time.

One more idea: donate part of your refund to charity. Now you've done a good deed for others and created a deduction for yourself.

Bottom line? Getting a tax refund is nice. Supercharging that refund by using it to create another one next year? Very nice.

More details and other ideas at