April 14 - The average IRS tax refund check is $3,000 prompting a personal finance expert to ponder some unconventional and fun ways tax payers could use the money the government has been sitting on this year. Jill Bennett reports.
Tax day is fast approaching....and the overwhelming majority of Americans will receive a refund check, averaging $3,000 from the government. Most taxpayers seem to have plans for every last cent of it. SOUNDBITE: BETH SHEVITZ, TAXPAYER, MARYLAND (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm going to buy an iPad." SOUNDBITE: PAMELA DAVIS, TAXPAYER, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I had wanted to go on a cruise but I needed a sofa." Personal finance experts, including Gary Schatsky, President of ObjectiveAdvice.com, urge taxpayers to use their refund checks towards retirement savings and high interest debt. We urged Schatsky to ditch the rational advice and come up instead with some fun splurges: SOUNDBITE: GARY SCHATSKY, PRESIDENT, OBJECTIVEADVICE.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you had $3,000 you could buy 5 shares of Apple, a year ago you'd probably be able to buy 10, when Facebook comes out you might be able to purchase it but we don't know the price yet." While Facebook may be risky, the Apple advice may pay off. According to Thomson Reuters data, Wall Street has a high price target of $910 a share, at current levels that would make a 50 percent return. SOUNDBITE: GARY SCHATSKY, PRESIDENT, OBJECTIVEADVICE.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The only thing that's truly fun might be a trip, a vacation, some clothing, something you've denied yourself." Other options: splurge for 2 VIP tickets to a Madonna concert at Yankee stadium for 3-grand....buy 600 Mocha Frappuchinos at Starbucks, or pick up 3,000 Mega Millions tickets and cross your fingers. STANDUP: JILL BENNETT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If you are looking to spend that $3,000 tax refund check in a matter of hours you can rent a 250 seat theater at AMC Empire Theater in New York City. The seats are $13 a pop." You will pay extra for the popcorn, but you may need it if you are watching the blockbuster hit "Hunger Games" in your private theater, or if a trio of knuckleheads is more your speed - the "Three Stooges" movie opens this weekend. If you need transportation to get to the movie theater...the Nano from Tata Motors, one of the smallest and cheapest cars in the world, will set you back about 3-grand. But, you'll need next year's tax refund to ship it back from India. Jill Bennett, Reuters