Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Last year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued 109,426,000 tax refunds totaling $306.016 billion. That works out to an average refund of $2,797 per taxpayer.
Those numbers aren’t too far off of what’s expected for 2016. As of April 8, with about 70% of all returns processed, the IRS has issued 81,751,000 tax refunds totaling $228.780 billion. That works out to an average refund of $2,798 per taxpayer.
So what are taxpayers doing with all of that cash?
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Tax Returns Survey, nearly half (49.2%) of taxpayers expecting a tax refund plan to sock it away rather than spend it immediately: that’s the highest percentage in the survey’s history.
Those who aren’t saving are opting to use the funds to chip away at debt, while others plan to put their tax refunds into everyday expenses like groceries and gas.
That doesn’t mean that taxpayers are eschewing all fun. Taxpayers are planning some splurges though those numbers are significantly smaller. At the top of the splurge list? Taking a vacation followed by making a major purchase for the home.
Also on the list? Plastic surgery. More Americans than ever before will be using their tax returns to pay for plastic surgery this year, according to a new survey conducted by RealSelf.com. Of those surveyed, 13% of people who have undergone a plastic surgery procedure used money from their tax refund to pay for all or part of their plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedure – and a third of those respondents actually scheduled their procedure to coincide with the receipt of their refund. And, of those respondents expecting a tax refund this year, nearly 20% intend to use the money to help pay for a procedure.
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