Tax Time: Where Are Americans Spending Their Refunds?  

While millions of Americans have until midnight on April 18th to submit their taxes to Uncle Sam, many brands are wondering how consumers will spend their refund checks. This week’s trend time has a few answers.

Meredith Cunningham Published: April 1, 2022

April 18th is Tax Day, also known as the last day to submit individual income tax returns to Uncle Sam. Of the 167.6M returns processed in 2021, more than one-third of consumers waited until the last minute to file their taxes. Some (22%) think it’s too stressful, but others (10%) are just simply in no rush. ​ 

With so many refund checks soon hitting millions of bank accounts across the country, many brands are wondering how consumers will spend their refund checks. Looking back at 2020, many Americans have second thoughts on their decisions, with one in five regretting how they spend the refunds. Almost half (46%) believe that they should’ve saved, and 40% said they wish they spent their refunds on necessary expenses. ​ 

This year, we can expect something similar, as 39% of consumers plan to spend their tax refunds responsibly for things like paying off debt (39%), saving (31%), or investing (14%). Additionally, 27% will be spending their refunds on food and groceries. ​ 

However, some Americans will still spend on frivolous expenses. According to Go Banking Rates: 

  • 12% plan to spend on home improvement projects 
  • 10% plan to spend on major purchases ​ 
  • 8% plan to spend on vacation​ 
  • 8% plan to spend on a “splurge” purchase​ 

While financial needs can vary when it comes to spending, consumers value an expert opinion.  

Whether they’re looking for advice on paying off debt, how to invest their refund checks, or looking for an expert to complete a home improvement project, advertising with TEGNA can help reach the audiences looking for your products and services.  

Visit to learn how we can help grow your brand with a variety of solutions, and let’s get in touch.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

    Ready to be in Good Company?