For a short time each spring, millions of Americans have a fleeting sensation of being rich. They have their tax return in hand and must decide how best to use it. More than ever, according to Prosper Insights, they are opting to put it in the bank.
Refunds Used To Improve Financial Health
“Americans this year see refund season as a time to improve their financial health. Money saved is spending potential down the road,” said Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation, which sponsors the survey.
Plans For Return
The NRF’s annual Tax Returns Survey indicated that 65.5 percent of those contacted expected a return and some 49.2 percent of those had plans to tuck the return into their savings as a means to improve their overall financial health. That is the highest percentage who are of that mindset since the NRF began conducting the survey. Other options include paying down debt or making large necessary purchases. Some 22.4 percent said they would use the return for everyday expenses and 8.3 percent looked forward to an annual splurge that they have had to bypass for the major part of the year.
Young Adults More Likely To Save
In the 18-24-year age group, the percentage of those wanting to save the return is even higher at 57.3 percent. The percentage dips to 52.3 percent in the 25-34-year age group, but that’s still more than half. These younger workers apparently see the tax windfall as a chance to build savings without diminishing their usual income.
Plans For Filing
With the mid-April deadline fast approaching, it is evident that the majority of Americans, 66.9 percent, are filing online. Almost 40 percent are preparing their own with the help of computer software. Only 14.2 percent said they have filed manually or plan to do so. Only 21.4 percent have hired or will hire a professional to get the job done, while 16.1 percent have called on a friend or relative to help with the job.