Spending Refunds? Companies Offer Tax Day Deals


Electronics, meals, tattoos … just a few of the things American taxpayers are considering spending their tax refunds on. Plus, a few are planning to put the money away for savings. (And for those who aren’t getting a refund, there are plenty of marketers offering deals on April 15 to ease some of the financial pain.)

According to an evaluation of people’s Twitter feeds in early April conducted by IQ Agency in Atlanta, nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) had already made plans to spend their tax refunds. (The remaining 35%, meanwhile, said they planned to save their refund or use it to pay bills.)

Using Crimson Hexagon social listening software, the company broke down the expenditures further (pairing the phrase “tax return” with words implying spending and personal article). The results: 14% of tweeters planned to spend their returns on electronics products, while 11% opted for fashion. A similar number (11%) wanted to spend their money on auto products, while 10% were planning to spend their returns on some sort of food and beverage product. 



“It’s an interesting aspect for retailers to think about, because people are already thinking about [shopping], so it might be good to advertise against it,” T.R. Wilhoit, marketing coordinator of IQ Agency, tells Marketing Daily. "Electronics are an impulse purchase for many people and this is ‘found money'."

Other surveys revealed similar spending and saving habits:

  • According to a survey from the Travel Leaders Group, 44% said they would use all or part of their tax refund on vacation travel. 

  • More than a third (35%) said they planned to spend all or part of their refunds, according to Capital One Bank’s annual Taxes and Savings Survey. Of them, 30% plan to spend it on everyday expenses and necessities, 23% plan to use it for a vacation, 16% on clothing and accessories and 15% on electronics. (Nearly a quarter -- 22% -- plan to use their refund to pay down debt and 20% plan to save or invest their refund money, according to the survey.)

  • According to PriceGrabber, 56% of consumers who expect a refund expect to shop (a 13% increase over last year), with clothing as the most desired item. Home goods and consumer electronics followed, and then travel.

Meanwhile, for those not receiving a refund (or having to pay) this April 15, several companies are offering Tax Day promotions to take the sting out: 

  • The Bar Louie chain of restaurants will offer a free appetizer or flatbread (with the purchase of one from the menu at regular price) between April 15 and April 21. (The offer is only available through the company’s Facebook page.)

  • Great American Cookies will offer free giveaways of its new Birthday Cake Cookies for free.

  • White Castle is offering 15% off orders at all of its restaurants through April 15. (Also via a coupon found on the company’s Facebook page and/or Web site).

  • For the third year in a row, Arby’s will give away free curly fries or potato cakes, as well as the chance to win $500 via an online sweepstakes. 

  • Bruegger’s Bagels will sell a baker’s dozen box of bagels for $10.40.

  • Boston Market will sell two of its new rib meals for $10.40, calling it the “We Love the IRS (Incredible Rib Special). 

  • Cinnabon will give out two bite-sized Cinnabon Bites per customer. 

  • Office Depot will give customers a chance to print up to 25 black-and-white pages and up to five pounds of document shredding for free. (Although taxpayers should be advised to save their current receipts and returns for seven years.)

"Tax Refund photo from Shutterstock"

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