Taxpayers are getting looser with their paychecks this year, according to the survey. This year, 20% of respondents to a survey by John Hancock Financial Services say they’re more likely to spend extra pay they get from lower payroll taxes, up from 12% last year.

But taxpayers who will get a refund say they’re still likely to save it. Nearly half (49%) of those who will get a refund say they plan to place the refund in a savings account, while 25% will use the refund to pay down debt. Only 20% say they plan to spend their refund, not far off the 22% who said they planned to spend their refund last year. Another 18% will put the refund toward their retirement plan outside of work.

Roughly half (53%) of those surveyed expect to receive a federal income tax refund this year, roughly the same percentage as 2011. About 30% expect they’ll owe extra taxes.

The findings are from the quarterly John Hancock survey of investor sentiment. A total of 1,006 investors were surveyed this past February.

Danielle Reed writes for Financial Planning.





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