**This is an excerpt from an in-app article from Thrive Rewards partner SmartDollar**

It’s a story as old as time itself. You go to the mall and buy a nice pair of jeans, but when you put them on at home, they don’t quite fit as great as you imagined. It happens to all of us. 

So, what do you do? You go back to the store and return the jeans, and they give you a refund. Then you get on with the rest of your day without giving it a second thought.  

Did you bust out a victory dance after getting that refund? Did you throw a party with all your friends to celebrate? No, of course not. That would be silly. The store was just giving you your money back. That’s what a refund is, after all. 

So, why do we act like kids on Christmas morning when the IRS gives us a refund? Think about it: When the IRS sends you that refund check, they’re just giving you your money back. That’s why it’s called a tax refund. We hate to break it to you, but Santa Claus doesn’t live in Washington, D.C.!

And the reality is that big fat refund you’ve been getting from Uncle Sam every spring could be costing you a lot more than the price of a nice pair of jeans.

What Your Tax Refund Is Costing You

Here’s the bottom line: When you get a tax refund, that just means you’ve been loaning the government money interest-free throughout the year—and they’re just returning money to you that was already yours. So, from now on, whenever you get a tax refund, I want you to imagine Uncle Sam saying, “Whoops, sorry about that! Here’s your money back.” 

During the 2019 tax season, more than 111 million taxpayers received a tax refund and the average refund was $2,860. That means the average taxpayer had almost $3,000 sitting there doing nothing in the IRS’s coffers all year! They could have put that money toward…

The Rest of the Story

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