20190415_Tax_Refunds_IBT This chart shows how Americans that expect a tax refund this year plan to spend the money. Photo: IBT/Statista

Millions of procrastinators in the United States may be in for a stressful start of the week because today is Tax Day, i.e. the due date for individuals in the U.S. to file their tax returns. While doing taxes is a chore that most people dread, it is usually a worthwhile exercise. According to the IRS, 111.9 million out of the 151.4 million individuals who filed their tax return in 2018 qualified for a refund, with the average refund amounting to $2,899. 

But what to do with all that extra cash? According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 50 percent of Americans who expect a refund this year plan to save at least some of it. Paying down debt or covering everyday expenses are also popular ways to use tax refunds, while few people plan to use the new funds to indulge on luxuries such as vacations or splurge purchases. 

According to the NRF’s findings, 65 percent of Americans expect a refund this year, which is below the actual refund rates reported by the IRS for 2017 (74 percent) and 2018 (72 percent). By April 5, 103 million Americans had filed their tax returns with the IRS, meaning that roughly 50 million are either leaving it late or have requested an extension to the filing deadline.