Getting a big tax refund this year? How to make your money go further

Pay down debt, start a college savings account for your child -- there are so many options

It's tax season!
It's tax season! (Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels)

You work hard for your money, going to work day after day and week after week.

When tax season rolls around, you fill out the paperwork, collect the documents and hope for a decent refund.

If you’re expecting a generous refund this season, you’ll want to make that money work as hard as you do -- and with a few strategic investments, you can maximize the value of your tax refund, lowering your future taxes, boosting the value of your home and improving your finances in many different ways.

Here are some smart ways to put your tax refund to work:

Contribute to an IRA or Health Savings Account

If you want to use your tax refund effectively and lower your taxes for next year, contributing to an IRA or health savings account will make your money do double duty. Contributing to an IRA today will jump start your retirement savings later, and potentially lower your taxable income in the process.

Contributing to an HSA will accomplish the same goal, helping you save for the future while providing real protection. The money you contribute to a health savings account is fully tax deductible, and you can use it to pay for qualified health care expenses now and in the future.