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Locals eager to file tax returns Year - NRF
28
Feb '08
Fatigued by rising gas prices and sinking home values, millions of Americans are breathing a sigh of relief in anticipation of a refund from Uncle Sam.

The National Retail Federation's 2008 Tax Returns Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that 61.2 percent of consumers have already filed their tax returns or will file a return by the end of the month.

The survey also found that consumers filed earlier this year than they did last year; nearly one-third (28.5%) of Americans filed by mid-February, compared to 21.6 percent who had filed by that time last year. The remaining will file in March (23.7%) and April (15.2%).

“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 CEO Tracy Mullin.

“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 ten consumers are expecting a refund (69.2%) when they file their 2007 taxes. Of those expecting a refund, 27.0 percent will spend it on everyday expenses, 12.1 percent will treat themselves to a major purchase and 12.1 percent will take a vacation. Consumers will also pay down their debt (46.5% vs. 43.1% in 2007).

When it comes to tax preparation, one-third of consumers (31.5%) will do it themselves using a computer software program. Others will do it by hand (14.7%), use an accountant (23.5%), a tax preparation service (18.7%) or have a spouse, friend or other relative handle it (11.6%).

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