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How people are spending their tax refunds

3 min read

3 min read

April 09, 2015

H&R Block survey reveals more tax refunds go into savings, while consumers confess they would rather cash in on vacations

Tax Day is less than a week away, and as some Americans scramble to file returns before the April 15 deadline, early filers are turning their attention toward the best part of taxes – celebrating Refund Season. The IRS reports the approximate average refund is $2,800 so the big question for many is save or splurge?

According to a nationwide H&R Block/Nielsen poll, the majority of Americans are in fact more practical than indulgent. Nearly half of consumers who receive tax refunds said they typically put a portion of their refund in savings. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they spend some of their refund on something practical, such as paying utility bills, buying groceries or funding home repairs. Thirty-one percent of consumers surveyed use refund money to pay off debt. Only 11 percent of those surveyed actually use their refund to splurge on something for their family and friends. In the survey, consumers were able to select more than one response if they typically spend their refunds on multiple items.

The data shows that men are slightly more inclined to save their refunds than women, and Americans aged 55-64 tend to save their refunds more than those aged 18-34. The results also show that married couples are more conservative with their tax refunds, as exactly half of them are more inclined to save the money they get back from the IRS, and half use their refunds to either pay off debt or fund practical purchases.

The survey also asked consumers about how they wish they could spend their refunds, providing them with a variety of luxury purchases as options. Thirty-five percent of consumers said they would prefer to spend refunds on a vacation for them and their families. Fifteen percent of consumers would like to spend it on a new electronic device, while others said they’d prefer to spend their refunds on new cars, a surprise gift for a family member or friend, a new outfit or accessory or tickets to a concert or sporting event.

A similar survey was fielded during stops on H&R Block’s nationwide consumer activation tour, which made its way to Cleveland, Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Kansas City, San Antonio and Atlanta. The results were clear – 55 percent of consumers surveyed during the tour wished they could spend their refunds on vacations. After consumers visited the interactive kiosk and completed the survey, they left with a little extra cash in their pockets to help them get started on celebrating their Refund Season dreams.

For more information about how H&R Block can get taxpayers the most money back guaranteed, contact a local H&R Block tax professional. To find the nearest H&R Block office or choose an H&R Block DIY online product to best meet their tax needs, consumers can visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 650 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2014, H&R Block had annual revenues over $3.0 billion with 24.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide by professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block Tax Software products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable financial services products. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/newsroom.