The 2014 tax season is officially under way and if you’ve already filed your taxes, you are on the ball. More than 48 million tax refunds have been issued thus far, according to the IRS. This is an increase of 5.6 percent compared to this time last year. As of Feb. 28, the average refund is $3,034, which is also up 3 percent over the same period in 2013.


Unfortunately, not everyone receives a refund, but if you’re fortunate enough to qualify for one this year, the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants offers some sound advice on how to use the money wisely:


Think about your future. It’s never too early to think about funding for college. Will you or another family member be attending college in the fall? Do you usually have a lot of people on your holiday gift list? If you know that you have some big expenditures ahead of you — such as books or other college supplies or expensive presents or holiday entertaining — it may be a good idea to earmark your tax refund for these outlays. You might even consider hitting the sales and doing some of your seasonal gift buying now, which could not only satisfy the shopping urge, but also net considerable savings for buying in the off-season.