Smaller percentages of American taxpayers plan to spend their tax refunds on savings, investment or debt reduction than in years past, according to a new survey.

The survey, by the site Taxsoftware.com, found that 28 percent of Americans intend to use their federal and state tax refunds for savings or investments, while 33 percent said they will use the money to help pay off debts. Those numbers are down significantly from 2007 when a majority of Americans said they would use their tax refunds for savings (59 percent) or debt reduction (54 percent).

In the latest survey, 12 percent said they would use their tax refunds to make home improvements; 12 percent plan to take vacations, buy products, or donate to charities; and 8 percent will pay their mortgages or education loans. Twenty-six percent said they will use the funds for other purposes.  

“As the economy has improved over recent years, taxpayers have shown that they are much less interested in using tax refunds to build up savings or pay off debts,” said Taxsoftware.com spokesperson Mickey Macedo in a statement. “Americans obviously think they have more important things to do with their money."

The survey was conducted for Taxsoftware.com, using Google Surveys to poll a national sample of 4,743 adults 18 years of age or older from an online panel. Respondents could choose more than one way on how they plan to spend their refunds, and the percentages have been rounded up or down.

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