Tax Refund Survey: Reports Most Taxpayers Plan to Sock Away Their Payouts

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Four in 10 Americans predict they’ll spend their refund, and women are more likely to spend it than men, says survey.

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Taxpayers are more cautious this year

A new survey reveals 56% of taxpayers plan to save their tax refund this tax season, as Americans continue to act carefully with their money following several years of economic uncertainty. In fact, the survey, by credit card comparison website, found half of those savers will put their refunds toward an emergency fund.

"Taxpayers are more cautious this year," says Charles Tran, founder of "Most plan to save their tax refund toward an emergency fund, a reasonable decision with the Great Recession barely behind us."

Among the savers, another 25% plan to save toward a big purchase, 17% plan to save toward a college fund, and 8% plan to save toward retirement.

Survey Findings:

Of the nearly 1,000 respondents who expect a refund this year, most predict they will get $500 or less, while 8% expect a refund of over $3,000.

Among spenders, 54% plan to pay down debt, 24% plan to make a big purchase, and 14% plan to take a vacation. Women spenders are more likely to pay down debt than men (62.3% vs. 49.5%). But men are more likely than women to save their tax refund.

"With most Americans expecting a small refund, it's no surprise that sneakers are hot selling items during tax season," says Tran. "Sometimes the mind can justify spending a small one-time windfall as free money. Of course, the prudent step is to save toward a rainy day fund."

To read the full survey finding, visit surveyed 1,109 Americans, age 18 and over between January 15 and January 22, 2013. Results and analysis are based on the 987 Americans who plan to receive a refund. provides information on the credit issues, news, and trends facing Americans through proprietary market research and analysis. Visit our newsroom at to stay informed with credit card news, deals, reviews, and tips from

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Charles Tran
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