The American Institute of CPAs found a range of responses when it surveyed Americans on how they intend to use their tax rebates.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents in a poll conducted for the AICPA by Harris Interactive said they plan to save their rebates, while 27 percent said they would spend their rebates, and 25 percent would use the money to pay down debt.
Those most likely to save their rebates are single, while retirees and married individuals seem most likely to spend the money. Those most likely to use the rebate to pay down debt are working women with children.
At least one AICPA member favors using the rebate to save money for retirement. "If you are not currently contributing the maximum allowed into your retirement plan, such as a 401(k), take the rebate amount, divide it by the number of pay periods left in 2008 and have that amount withheld from each remaining paycheck and put into your retirement plan," said Doug Stives, a professor of accounting at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J. "The tax saved by reducing your taxable income will provide a second windfall."