America Spends the Future: Tax Refunds Gone Before They Arrive

VerticalResponse Survey Finds 40% of Refund Checks are Spent Before Hitting the Mail

San Francisco, CA – April 13, 2006 – As tax day approaches, a new study finds that Americans are more likely to spend than save their expected refunds.  According to a survey by VerticalResponse, the leading provider of self-service email and direct mail marketing solutions, 40% of respondents from across the country spend their tax refunds before receiving their check.

The survey revealed that while most Americans prefer to spend their money, one-third of taxpayers (33%) deposit refunds straight into savings. Some other interesting findings include:

  • Though many rush to file at the last minute, roughly two-thirds (65%) stated they file their taxes by early April
  • Tax season is often very stressful - 45% equate tax filing to the night before taking a big test in college and the thought of filing taxes sets off a virtual panic attack for 13%, who responded “(Can’t type breathing into a paper bag).”
  • On the other end of the stress-meter, 32% see it as walk in the park
  • A third (32%) identify with Mark Twain’s saying: “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”

Businesses seeking to capitalize on American spending habits view tax season as a seasonal opportunity for special promotions. Almost two-thirds (65%) communicate with their customers during this time to inform them of relevant products or service offerings, or to relieve a bit of tension during this fraught time.

“Many businesses understand their customers’ spending habits and use tax season as an opportunity to develop  marketing efforts that tie-in tax related themes,” said VerticalResponse CEO Janine Popick.  “Seasonal campaigns such as these are a timely and effective way for companies to creatively interact with their customers.”

The unscientific survey was conducted via email in April 2006 and queried VerticalResponse customers and newsletter subscribers across the country on topics relating to tax season and direct marketing.

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. () is a leading provider of self-service email and direct mail services empowering businesses of all sizes to create, manage and assess their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse’s flagship product, which allows customers to deliver sophisticated yet easily deployed email campaigns, is the most intuitive and affordable Web-based direct marketing solution available. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit


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