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Taxpayers Consider Guesstimating Their Taxes This Year

March 7, 2012

Due to the complexity of tax filing, many taxpayers are considering not filing their taxes at all, or just taking a guess at the right numbers.

A new survey from MasterCard found that 13 percent of taxpayers have considered avoiding the hassle of filing taxes altogether due to how complex the process is. To save time, 17 percent of taxpayers said they would risk getting audited by guessing on some of the numbers on their tax returns.  

However, the majority of taxpayers are looking forward to using their refunds to make some practical purchases. The survey found that 69 percent of taxpayers said they plan to spend their tax refund on something practical this year, such as home repairs or to pay down debt. In addition, 71 percent of taxpayers plan to save or invest their refund. Only 21 percent of taxpayers plan to use their refund to splurge on something fun, such as a vacation or new clothes.

Thanks to the IRS’s heavy promotion of electronic filing and direct deposit, taxpayers are now recognizing the speed and convenience of electronic refunds. MasterCard found that 77 percent of taxpayers who think they will get a refund will receive it electronically, either through a prepaid debit card or a direct deposit to a bank account. The survey also found that 19 percent of taxpayers who think they will have a tax bill will pay with a debit or credit card, up from previous years.

Additional survey results can be found on MasterCard’s blog at


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