With the year nearing its end, many Americans are already thinking about their tax returns — more specifically, how they will spend their refunds. Credit Karma Tax, in conjunction with research company Qualtrics, recently conducted a survey of 2,094 people and found some encouraging results when it comes to saving money.
With the new year comes new attitudes and resolutions — a perfect time to add some money-saving goals into your tax season strategy. And there’s good news: More people are thinking about using that money to clean up their finances, according to the survey.
Here’s how people say they will use their tax returns
“It’s a great idea to think ahead about what you want to achieve with your tax refund,” Bethy Hardeman, chief consumer advocate for Credit Karma, said about the survey. “If you have a plan in place, you might be less tempted to splurge with the money when it lands in your account.”
More than 60% of taxpayers surveyed said that they were expecting to get money back in 2018 from the previous tax year. More than 60% of them also said that they would use the money in responsible ways.
- 22% said they were going to increase their savings
- 6% said they would use the money to pay off their debts
- 13% said they would use it to pay down credit cards
“Refund season is one of the most anticipated times of year for many Americans,” Hardeman said. “It’s really uplifting to see that while a majority of people expecting refunds already ‘have them spent,’ they’re planning on spending their refunds to improve their financial well-being. It may be easy to use their refunds to splurge, but many Americans are choosing to put their refunds toward building long-term financial health instead.”
While the IRS has yet to announce the exact date that returns can be filed, tax season generally begins in the middle of January, culminating on April 15.
Money expert Clark Howard says that for many taxpayers who do have to pay, blowing off the filing deadline is a bad idea.
“The key rule here is don’t hide under a rock if you can’t pay. Instead, file your return on time,” he writes. “Here’s why: The IRS penalty for failure to pay is not nearly as punitive as the penalty for failure to file.”