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Tax refund checkNearly 6 out of 10 U.S. consumers will be getting a tax refund this year, but the majority of those won't be using it as an excuse to go shopping: Instead, they'll stash it away or pay credit card bills, according to new survey by PriceGrabber.com.

The survey by the online shopping site, which polled 2,980 e-commerce consumers, revealed that just 43% of respondents due a refund will use it to shop: 40% plan to put it in savings, and 26% will use the money to pay down credit card debt. (Respondents could pick more than one category that applied to their plans.)

Still, a big chunk of those due a refund do plan to hit the malls, the survey says.

"Even in today's challenging economic environment, 43% of consumers of anticipating a tax return refund this year are planning to use the money to shop, according to our survey data," Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber, tells DailyFinance. "These eager shoppers cited electronics, clothing and home goods as the top items they plan to purchase with their refund," Graham says.

Indeed, 26% of consumers plan to buy consumer electronics such as HDTVs, cameras and smartphones; 25% will computers, laptops, tablets and e-book readers; 24% will buy clothing and purchase home goods; and 22% will spend the refund on travel and vacations, the survey found.


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The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

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Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

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Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

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Refund? I purposely underwithhold every year so that I owe a few hundred bucks at the end of the tax year. I despise extending free loans to governments, be it the IRS or my state department of revenue. I expect that in the future, the federal government will run out of borrowing power so that they will not be able to pay refunds owed without a delay of several months or more, especially if free-spending Democrats get re-elected.

April 06 2012 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This needs to be heard by every TAX paying American…..

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The U.S. CORPORATION owns you as a slave!!!

April 05 2012 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

yea, yeah, mine is already gone, who cares..

April 05 2012 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Media makes it sound like a TAX REFUND is a gift. It is just a sign that too much was being withheld. It is not a refund, Whoever thought up withholding knew human nature. If it comes out a little at a time, it isnt so bad. If we had to pay it at once, think how painful that would be for most of us. Do you think there would be more attention paid to how high taxes are?

April 05 2012 at 3:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I never use my refunds as an excuse to go shopping. They always go right into savings.

April 05 2012 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tax refund was only 3 figures this year so all is going to Visa and I'll continue to buy Ramen noodles until things get better.

April 05 2012 at 4:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Refund? No way for me any more. Two years ago I decided no more loans to anybody with huge debt. Just too risky getting your money back. I owe Uncle Sam.

April 05 2012 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pay down your debt or start a rainy day fund. Whatever you buy at the mall will be in the back of your closet next year at this time or you will be selling it at your garage sale for pennies on the dollar!
Think about it!

April 04 2012 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just imagine how much better off we'd be if knuckle-dragging government goons took their cue from citizens, and decided that when they received tax payments it wasn't an excuse to go on a shopping spree.

Or as Adam Smith aptly observed in "The Wealth of Nations":

"It is the highest impertinence and presumption… in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will."

April 04 2012 at 3:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bggdg's comment

That's right, let's not pay our boys overseas, lets not buy any more fighter jets or naval craft. Let's not pay for the 2 wars that were started by questionable means. And let's not spend any more on our veterans either, they knew what they were getting into. Let's not send Social Security payments and Medicare to our old folks, let them earn their way like the rest of us have to. After all, every store needs a greeter, and they pay well, don't they? They can get jobs as pizza delivery boys, might as well since our youth doesn't want to do it. And how about having them cut lawns for all those suburban folks who are too busy downing martinis after work.
All those military and old folk payments amount to 3/4 of the federal budget. Just think, get rid of all that and we won't have to pay any taxes any more. SWEET!
bggdg - one ignorant bagger!!

April 04 2012 at 3:36 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to chris1011's comment

No, better that the US ha sless than 5% of the population, but 43% of the worlds military spending. I mean why not engage in a little more nation building. Killing off our nations young in some distant land so we can ostensibly remake others in our image is really cool stuff to us stupid sheep..

And then we can steal from young families struggling to feed and educate their children so that we can transfer the fruits of our young citizens labor to the wealthiest age demographic in the country, thereby ensuring the young are less able to take care of themselves when they grow olde (and the old are wealthy than they could be when they grow old). I mean what could be groovier than being a stupid sheep impverished by forced particpation in a ponzi scheme?.

Bleating obedience to my attacker like chris the useful idiot is sooooooo much fun!

April 04 2012 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Yes, there's nothing like turning over your money a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing government goon to ensure you don't waste the fruits of your labor!

I mean, who could spend your money more wisely, carefully, productively, and efficiently than your sheeple herder?

April 04 2012 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down