(CBSMoneyWatch) The best part of paying your taxes is probably getting your refund check.

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According to the IRS, the average tax return last year was $2,899. According to a 2012 survey by TurboTax, many people say they are being responsible with their tax refunds: 42 percent plan to use the money to pay down debt and cover bills, and 25 percent plan to save it. But others are splurging: 15 percent of taxpayers plan to treat themselves to a vacation or shopping.

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If you’re one of the people lucky enough to get a substantial tax refund this year, be smart about how you spend it. Remember, even though it may feel like “found” money from an unexpected windfall, you earned that check by working hard — the same as you do every other paycheck, so don’t blow it on 2,899 lottery tickets.

Top priority: Pay off your credit card. It’s far and away the smartest thing you can do.

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