Make the most of your tax refund this year by taking a PADI course and exploring the world beneath the waves. Whether you’re a new or experienced diver, find out where your scuba certification can take you. Scuba diving is a great way to turn your refund from Uncle Sam into a “reef fund” for Mother Nature!

Turn your tax refund into a reef fund

“Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin.

Ben Franklin was wise beyond his day, especially when it came to time and money management. Death might be a certainty, but even Ben knew it’s what we do with our time that really matters. The same holds true with our tax refunds. Studies have shown that spending on life experiences can contribute more to our overall happiness than purchasing material items. Despite this, however, we often pick material things due to their immediate, tangible value. Think about it for a minute: What are you going to remember and treasure more 10 years from now — that new smart watch or a shark-diving expedition? As most divers already know, scuba diving is a great way to add depth to our life experiences and log books.


Time to Itemize

According to the IRS, the average tax refund for 2014 was $2,689, and $2,851 for those with direct deposit. For North American divers, the timing of tax refunds couldn’t be better. The water is warming in most places, and it’s a great opportunity to reward yourself with a new PADI course or to brush up on your certification with PADI’s ReActivate, or to refer a friend to the sport. Always dreamed of diving the Kittiwake? Maybe now it’s time to book that PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course and take a trip to Grand Cayman or the next place on your must-dive bucket list.

Uncle Sam to Mother Nature

Another option for a tax refund is to donate to your favorite cause and, in effect, divert your tax refund from Uncle Sam to Mother Nature. Love turtles or sharks? Support a species-specific charity or ocean-related one, like Project AWARE. Want to live vicariously through other divers? The women divers of the SEDNA Expedition need help funding their epic 3,000-kilometer journey across the Northwest Passage (sednaepic .com). These are just a few ways to support the sport and help the environment.

Whether it’s a trip to Palau or a PADI trimix course, reward yourself this year with something you’ll remember forever, instead of another piece of plastic you’ll rarely use or quickly forget.

For more ideas on making the most of your tax refund, please visit

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