Survey Finds Half of Americans Planned Holiday Spending Around Their Anticipated Tax Refunds

Staff Report

Monday, January 14th, 2019

A new study reveals that many Americans, especially Millennials and Gen Xers, anticipate how much their tax refund will be to help plan what's under the tree. 

A recent online survey fielded by Toluna on behalf of TaxSlayer reported that 50 percent of Americans have used their anticipated IRS tax refund to influence how much they spend on holiday shopping or a major purchase.

Within that group, Millennials (72 percent) and Gen Xers (58 percent) are significantly more likely than Baby Boomers (22 percent) and the Greatest Generation (14 percent) to plan this way, and men outnumber women at 60 and 40 percent respectively. Moreover, the study also showed that one-third of Americans are already thinking about filing their taxes as the year ends.

"There's no doubt that knowing you're getting money back gets people excited about the holiday season," said Chris Moloney, Chief Marketing Officer at TaxSlayer. "Planning ahead and estimating your refund today can take the stress out of the holidays and allow you to bolster your savings, pay down debt or spend it on something fun."

Even without a W-2 form, estimating your 2018 federal refund is easy and free with TaxSlayer's refund calculator. Users can select the options that apply to them and enter basic information such as filing status, family situation, number of dependents, household income and withholdings. TaxSlayer has updated the calculator to account for the significant tax law changes that will take effect this season.

With tax reform this year, estimated refunds could look very different than what filers received last year. Moloney says tax reform is one of the reasons many Americans are curious to find resources and tools to prepare their taxes and get the biggest possible refund. According to the survey, the most popular way to file taxes is through an online tax service, with almost two in five (38 percent) using this method. In addition, 80 percent of Americans say they wish they knew how they could get more money back when they file their taxes.   

"Americans always want to know more information that helps them get a bigger refund, and we anticipate that many TaxSlayer customers will see an increase this season," said Moloney.