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Unfortunately, your wife is not alone in her thinking. Ask any ten people about the taxes they paid and and nine will reply the amount that they had to pay in addition to the amount that was withheld from wages or brag about the amount of refund that they received. Very few will think of taxes in regard to the total amount they paid for the year.
The only argument I can think of is to show how much interest that the desired refund money would gain if it had been in a savings account for the year rather than having the government hold it for the year. Unfortunately, this will probably only be enough for a dinner out so perhaps the bragging rights is worth more to her.

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