47% Will Save Their Tax Refunds

Playing it safe and planning ahead, Americans plan to stash their tax refunds into savings this year. According to NRF‰Ûªs annual Tax Returns Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, 47% of those expecting a refund plan to put the money into savings, the highest percentage in the survey‰Ûªs history. Nearly 2/​3 of those surveyed are expecting a refund.

‰ÛÏAmericans are thinking of the future, and remaining financially secure is a big part of that,‰Û NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. ‰ÛÏA check from Uncle Sam gives consumers the ability to pay down debt, add a cushion to their savings or splurge on a vacation or big-​ticket item.‰Û

Consumers have a plan for how they will use their refunds: 39.1% will pay down debt and 25.1% plan to use it for daily expenses. While 13% say they will splurge on a vacation, 10.5% plan to spend on a major purchase like a television or car.

Young adults are making wise decisions for their future as 54.9% plan to put refunds into savings. But not all young adults are headed to the bank ‰ÛÒ 32.2% will spend on everyday expenses and 15.4% will make a major purchase. More than half of Americans ages 25–34 (53.2%) plan to tuck away their refunds in savings or use their refunds to pay down debt (47.6%).

‰ÛÏPerhaps having learned a few financial lessons from their parents during the economic downturn, it appears that millennials are looking for ways to get ahead,‰Û Prosper Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said. ‰ÛÏLess likely to be saddled with mortgages and accumulated debt, tax refunds represent the perfect opportunity for younger consumers to invest in their future.‰Û

According to the survey, 64% plan to file their taxes online. Additionally, 37.4% will use computer software to prepare their taxes on their own, while 12.5% will do so manually. Others plan to have a spouse, friend or relative help (9.5%) and 22.2% will use an accountant.

With most consumers planning to file in February (35.8%), 23.8% have already filed or plan to file in March (24.9%), with 15.5% waiting until the last minute in April.

According to AudienceSCAN data, 45% of consumers set personal goals to reduce debt or increase savings in the next year. 55% of these goal-​setters are women. 36% are renting. 28% live in rural regions.

These Americans could be saving up for home improvements: 30% enjoy yard work/​landscaping and another 32% enjoy doing home improvements and restorations. 31% celebrated Mother's Day at a restaurant. And they're 30% more likely than average to start an online search after reading a news article.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.