13887 Wed, 02/27/2008 - 12:10pm
WASHINGTON–The National Retail Federation’s 2008 Tax Returns Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, revealed that 61.2 percent of consumers have already filed their tax returns or will file a return by the end of the month.
Consumers, saddled with high energy costs and falling home values, are eager to get their refunds as soon as possible, the NRF said. The survey also found that consumers filed earlier this year than they did in 2007. Nearly one-third of Americans filed by mid-February, compared with 21.6 percent who had filed by that time last year.
“With high gas prices, a sluggish housing market and low wage growth, consumers are in the middle of the perfect storm,” said NRF President and Chief Executive Officer Tracy Mullin in a statement. “Americans who receive a tax refund will be anxiously awaiting those checks to buy necessities, pay down debt or indulge in something they had been putting off.”
This year, seven out of 10 consumers are expecting a refund: Twenty-seven percent will spend it on everyday expenses, 12.1 percent will make a major purchase and 12.1 percent will take a vacation, the survey said. More consumers—46.5 percent—will use the money to pay down their debt this year versus 2007.