Now that you have filed your tax return, and before you put away your tax files for another year, it's a good idea to check your withholding for 2012 - especially if you expect a large refund or owe a lot of tax.

Neither getting a big tax refund nor writing a huge check to the IRS or the state makes a lot of sense. Getting a refund means you've been lending the government money - your money - interest free.

But a situation in which you owe big money to the IRS or the state is not good either. In fact, having a large balance due with your return can subject you to unnecessary financial penalties.

If either of these scenarios applies to you, it may be time to adjust your withholding. Check with the payroll department where you work to see about completing a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. It should take you only about 10 minutes to put your 2012 withholding back on track.

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