Big Plans for your Tax Refund? Think Again


If you’re planning to go hog wild with your tax refund this year, you’re in the minority.

Surprisingly, just 6 percent of U.S. adults who expect to receive a tax refund this year plan to splurge on something such as a vacation or shopping spree, according to a report. Taxpayers appear to have much more practical designs in mind such as: save or invest it (34 percent), spend it on necessities such as food or utility bills (29 percent) and pay down debt (27 percent).

The “save/invest” and “spend it on necessities” percentages are the highest among the four surveys has conducted (in the years 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2017). “Pay down debt” hit a new low and has declined seven percentage points over the past two years.

Approximately half (47 percent) of all taxpayers anticipate a refund this year. The percentage is highest among millennials (66 percent) and drops considerably with age. Forty-nine percent of Gen Xers expect a refund, as do 34 percent of baby boomers and 26 percent of the Silent Generation.

Interestingly, millennials represented the age group that was most likely to have filed their 2016 returns early, and the age group most likely to save or invest their refund, showing a sense of responsibility and overall financial savviness.


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