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Invest That Tax Refund In Yourself

BOSTON (CBS) - What is your largest asset? It's your ability to earn a living!

Let’s say you earn an average of $50,000 a year over your working career and you start at age 20 and work until you are age 67.

Think about this for a minute. That’s $2.35 million! That is a lot of money! Increase that by 30% and you could earn over $3 million! You just don’t get to have it all at once.

The more education and skills you have the more money you will be able to earn. So take the refund and invest in yourself.

What new skills will you need in your career? Where can you attend classes? Online? At one of the great schools in your area? Does your company help by reimbursing for some of the costs?

Do you want to change careers? Go to culinary school? Get an MBA on the weekends?

Consider the refund seed money to start your own business. Have you always thought your cheese cake or spice rub was better than anything you have tasted in the stores? Try selling the product at farmers markets or flea markets, take it around to the local stores and restaurants and give it away until you generate some interest.

Are your computer skills lagging? Consider some place like New Horizons to get updated. Computer skills are so important in today’s job market.

There is the Lifetime Learning Credit that you can use for yourself or your kids. It is a credit for 20% of tuition and fees paid up to $2,000.

The limit here is $2,000 per tax return. The credit can be claimed as long as the student is in school. So this credit is especially useful if it takes you a while to get your degree.

The IRS offers some incentives for returning to school. You can deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as business expenses. But it must meet the IRS’ criteria.

Click here for more tax tips and advice from CBS Boston’s Dee Lee.

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