American Express: Those Expecting Tax Refunds Down to 59%

American Express: Those Expecting Tax Refund Down to 59%Taxpayers expecting a refund from their federal income taxes are fewer this year, down to 59 percent, according to the latest American Express survey on spending and saving.
That figure is down 8 percent from last year.
Actually, 19 percent expect they will owe money — 46 percent more than last year. Among households that are “affluent” — with a family income of more than $100,000 — the percentage jumps to 28 percent (33 percent more than last year).
Seventy-seven percent of consumers surveyed said they received a refund for their 2011 earnings last year, up from 74% the previous year.
Here are more highlights from AmEx’s Spending & Saving Tracker:
To Spend It or Save It?

  • Of those who received a refund last year: 38% paid down debts/bills, 22% saved their refund, 30% spent on themselves/their family, vacation/travel, home improvements or a big ticket item.
  • This year: 37% plan to pay down debts/bills, 26% plan to save it, 28% plan to spent on themselves/their family, vacation/travel, home improvements or a big ticket item.
  • 21% of homeowners said they plan to use tax credits to pay for home improvements.

Method Used to Pay Taxes Owed

  • Pay out of my checking – 50%
  • Take it out of savings – 24%
  • I will have to set up a payment plan/extension – 11%
  • Will use a credit card – 14%
  • Borrow from a friend or relative – 4%
  • Will use points from a credit card/rewards card – 7%
  • Other/I have no idea/none – 11%

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