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RetailMeNot Shoppers Trend Report Finds Vast Majority of Americans Expect Income Tax Refunds This Year
According to RetailMeNot-Ipsos Survey Only 35% of Filers Expecting to Receive a Refund Plan to Save At Least Part of the Money


AUSTIN, Texas, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- (, the largest online coupon site in the United States, revealed today in its Shoppers Trend Report via a survey conducted by Ipsos ( that:


  • 67% of Americans expect to receive a refund this tax season, with 27% expecting a refund of $1,000 or more.
  • Only 15% of filers polled expect to owe money on their return, an indication that people may be withholding more money from their paychecks than necessary.
  •  Only 35% of those expecting a refund plan to save at least part of the money.
  • Of those expecting a refund, 30% plan to use the money on everyday necessities such as food, gas or utilities and another 29% plan to use it to pay down debt.
  • Of those expecting a refund, just 10% plan to spend their refund on items/experiences they would not normally buy or do not need (e.g., dinner out, entertainment, travel, luxury items, designer brands, etc.) and 9% were unsure about how they would use their refund.

"The Ipsos Survey shows that many Americans need the money they are getting back to pay their bills," said Kristen Remeza, editor-in-chief of the RetailMeNot online magazine The Insider. "A high percentage of people are using their refunds to pay for everyday necessities, like food or gas, or choosing to pay down debt, while only 10% plan to spend their refund on items or experience-based purchases they would not normally buy or do not need, such as dinner out, travel or the purchase of luxury items."

The Shoppers Trend Report and Ipsos Survey also found that:

  • While most Americans expecting a return will spend that return, only 26% of those individuals say they've postponed making big ($300+) purchasing decisions until after they receive their expected refunds.
  • Half of adults report that getting a refund or owing taxes doesn't impact when they file their tax return, but rather that they typically file as soon as they get around to it. However, more than a quarter (27%) indicated that they like to file as soon as they receive their W-2 and other tax information in order to receive their refund as quickly as possible. Others prefer to delay, either waiting until the deadline (9%) or filing for an extension (3%) in order to postpone paying additional taxes they may owe.
  • When preparing their tax returns, a majority of adults (56%) use an accountant and 22% rely on tax software. Just 10% say that they prepare their own return without the help of either of these resources. Younger adults are more likely to use tax software to prepare their return (31% of adults aged 18-34 vs. 24% of those aged 35-54 vs. 13% of those aged 55 and older).

A review of RetailMeNot's data also showed that:

  • Average savings for consumers using RetailMeNot in the month of February 2012 were up by more than 7% versus prior year and was nearly $20 per transaction.
  • A review of February 2012 Performance Data on found that:
    • The three most active coupon-seeking states (in terms of the percentage of Internet users within that state who visited included Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
    • The three states with the least amount of activity (in terms of the percentage of Internet users within that state who visited included Idaho, Montana and Arkansas.

For additional tax insights from RetailMeNot personal finance experts, read the following articles from The RetailMeNot Real Deal:

Consumers seeking to find discounts on tax preparation products and services can find coupons and offers on by visiting

Methodology for Ipsos Survey

This is a finding from an Ipsos poll conducted February 2-6, 2012. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,003 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. was interviewed by telephone via Ipsos' U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within +/- 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

About ( is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared hundreds of thousands of deals and offers from retailers from across the globe. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.

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About WhaleShark Media, Inc.

WhaleShark Media, Inc. ( is the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company's websites enable consumers seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers across the globe. WhaleShark Media welcomes more than 300 million visitors to shop its sites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the largest online coupon site in the United States;, the largest online coupon site in Europe;;; and WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Google Ventures, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).


Be sure to "like" WhaleShark Media on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @WhaleSharkPR

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