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NRF: Americans filing taxes early in hopes of faster refunds


WASHINGTON Americans expecting a tax return will be filing early this year, according to NRF’s Tax Returns Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch. Of those expecting a refund, 71% will have filed by the end of February, compared to 37.5% of people who are not expecting a refund.

In addition to filing earlier, people who expect a refund are much more likely to file online (59.9% vs. 38.9%); another indication that taxpayers eager to get money back from Uncle Sam would like to receive money as soon as possible.

“Many families, eagerly anticipating extra cash, are filing taxes earlier this year,” said NRF president and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Retailers planning to offer special promotions during tax season may want to consider rolling them out as soon as possible.”

This year, two-thirds (68.4%) of consumers expect a refund from their 2008 taxes. The majority of people expecting a refund will use the money to pay down debt (48.0%). Others will put their refund in savings (38.9%) or invest in a major purchase like a television or car (11.0%). One-fourth (26.7%) will use refunds for everyday expenses, similar to behavior seen in 2008 and 2007.

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