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Tax Refunds Sorely Needed [AUDIO]

Close to 60 percent of Americans will have filed their tax returns by the end of this month, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Tax Returns Survey. This most likely isn’t because less people are procrastinating nowadays; they just need the refund.

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The survey found nearly two-thirds of consumers are expecting money back.

When asked how they plan to spend their refund, 29.7 percent of respondents said they would use it for everyday expenses like gasoline and groceries. That percentage is slightly higher than last year’s.

“For many Americans and the fact that they’re seeing less money in their monthly paychecks, this tax refund could really go a long way in stretching their dollars,” explained NRF’s Kathy Grannis.

A change in federal tax law at the beginning of the year decreased the take-home pay of many working Americans. The survey found nearly three-quarters of those polled say their spending plans are taking a hit because of the payroll tax change. Nearly half said they will spend less overall.

“About 44 percent of Americans will put their tax refund into savings,” Grannis continued. “It is evident that more people are looking towards their financial future and the stability that they can get from adding a lot more money to their savings.”

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said the survey shows consumers and businesses are being negatively affected by a smaller paycheck and other factors.

“We cannot grow the nation’s economy until consumers consume,” he said.

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