After two years of paying down debt and skipping family vacations, many Americans plan to cautiously start spending their tax refunds once again, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation.


According to the survey, 12.5% of people expecting a refund plan to treat themselves or their families to a major purchase such as a new television, furniture or car, up from 11.0% last year. The percent who expect to use their return to pay down debt fell to 43.9% from 48.0% in 2009. However, only 65.5% of taxpayers are expecting a refund, down from 68.4% last year.


“Retailers planning special promotions over the next few months may find that shoppers are a bit more receptive to opening up their wallets than they have been for the past year,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin.