Are you giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan?

Getting a tax refund? For most Americans it's the biggest financial pay day of the year. The average refund was $2,700 last year.

"Surveys show the majority of the people who receive a tax refund will do smart things with it, such as pay down debt, make planned purchases or build up an emergency savings account," said Paul Golden, media relations manager at the National Endowment for Financial Education.

"So having that tax refund can be a useful financial planning tool for some."

But is this really the smart way to save, overpaying your taxes?

It might make sense if you pay your bills on time, don't have credit card debt and have the discipline to use that refund wisely.

If you're scrimping to get by and piling up debt throughout the year, but getting a large tax refund - you'd be better off adjusting your withholding to get more money in each paycheck.

Rather than giving Uncle Sam a tax-free loan, you'll have that money throughout the year to pay bills and reduce credit card balances.

For more information

Tax refunds are 'windfall' for most American families