4/14: Tax Time — Eight in Ten File Early

Will procrastination pay off? Although one in five Americans wait until the final moments to file their taxes, 80% do not wait, according to the latest Marist Poll.  In fact, the proportion of early filers increases when looking at U.S. residents who expect to get a refund.  89% of those lucky Americans say they mail in their returns prior to the deadline.  But, early birds aren’t necessarily spread out across the country.  Residents in the West are more likely to wait to file their taxes than are Americans in other parts of the country.  29% report they hold out until April 15th to mail in their returns.

Table: Do you wait until April 15th to file your taxes?



Majority Expects Refund

A majority of Americans — 56% — are optimistic that they will receive a refund.  However, nearly one in four does not expect to get any money back.  Families with children under the age of 18 years old are more likely to expect a refund than are households without children.  62% of households with children say, “Yes, we’ll be getting money back,” compared with slightly more than half of households without children.

Table: Do you expect to get a refund this year or not?

Big Plans for Refunds?

If the Obama Administration is expecting tax refunds to stimulate the economy, they might be in for a rude awakening.  Of those Americans who expect to receive money back from the government, half say they will use that money to pay their bills, including 51% of residents who earn less than $100,000 a year.  35% of Americans who expect to see some money report they will mostly save their newly found cash while 15% plan to shop ‘til they drop.  Women, however, are less likely to hit the mall with their refunds.  Just 11% of women compared with 19% of men report they will spend the money.  Instead, 59% of women and 42% of men say they will pay their bills.

Table: What will you mostly do with your refund?

Marist Poll Methodology