If you don't yet have your tax refund to spend on a nice Valentine's Day gift for your true love, don't despair. Here are few other, tax- related ways to say "I love you."
Take charge of the tax chores. Even when you get money back from Uncle Sam, this is a task that most of us hate. So take the burden off your sweetheart, advises David Bergstein, a CPA and tax analyst for CCH CompleteTax. Track down all forms, get all the information in order and prepare the taxes yourself.
Decide together how to spend your refund. Money is the biggest cause of stress in a relationship. One way to avoid money problems is to talk openly about the issue. And there's no better place to start than in making a joint decision on how to spend your refund money.
One possibility for your tax cash: retirement planning. Bergstein recommends investing your refund equally in his and her IRAs. It's a perfect way to show that you're thinking about each other for the long term. Depending upon your income level and other retirement investments, you and your spouse can invest as much as $4,000 each to an IRA account, Roth or traditional. Don't forget about the extra $1,000 each you can contribute if you're both 50 or older.
Always keep in mind why you love him or her. If it turns out you owe the IRS because your spouse messed up on his or her paycheck withholdings, erroneously decided to sell stocks that triggered big year-end taxable gains or managed to lose all the receipts for the charitable deductions you made last year, don't sweat it.
Remember, it's just money, and really just a small price to pay for true love.