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What You'll Do With the Money the IRS Gives Back

Eighty percent of Americans surveyed by Experian said they expect to receive a tax refund this year. Here's where that money will go.

Modern Americans might be hiring strangers to do more chores than ever before — from driving them around to delivering their dinner — but when it comes to taxes, the majority of people still go it alone.

According to a survey by Experian, 50 percent of Americans are planning to file their own taxes electronically this year, while another 13 percent are planning to file themselves by mail. That's up from last year, when 46 percent filed their own taxes electronically and 10 percent filed their own by mail. ("Filing yourself" can mean either using tax software or doing all the math by hand like a show-off.)

To be fair, the survey, which talked to 1,000 American adults between Jan. 1-5, captured what Americans say they plan to do. Come deadline, some of those ambitious filers hoping to go it alone could end up in their accountant's office nonetheless. (Luckily, we all have until April 18 this year to file because of a Washington, D.C. holiday on April 15. And if you're a Maine or a Massachusetts resident, that deadline has been extended to April 19.)

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Source: Experian

Eighty percent of Americans surveyed said they expect to receive a tax refund this year, with more than a quarter of total respondents expecting a refund of between $1,001 and $2,000. That's a little less optimistic than last year, when 83 percent of Americans surveyed thought they'd be getting a refund, the survey found.

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Source: Experian

For those expecting a refund, most are hoping to put it to good use paying down debt or boosting their savings, rather than splurging on a one-time treat, the survey found.

Note: Numbers to not add up to 100% since some tax payers may have more than one use in mind.
Note: Numbers to not add up to 100% since some tax payers may have more than one use in mind.
Source: Experian

This interactive StoryChart originally ran in Bloomberg Brief's Economics newsletter.

 

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