“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

More than 200 years later, Benjamin Franklin’s words still hold true, and sure enough, we’re only one month away from another tax deadline — and receiving a potential tax refund from the government.

Half of Americans Are Expecting Tax Refunds

That is, if you are among the 44 percent of Americans who have already filed a tax return — and among the majority expecting a tax refund.

To understand the status of taxpayer returns and their refunds, we conducted a survey in partnership with our parent company John Hancock.

Here’s what we found:

Many Americans choose to file independently over using an accountant.

Over half of Americans prefer DIY tax prep methods to either file on their own or in collaboration with a partner.

Among them, 77 percent use online tax software like TurboTax.

How Americans Complete Their Taxes
How Americans File Their Taxes

Filing your taxes is much simpler, but procrastination is still real.

While there are only a few weeks left in the 2018 tax season, 58 percent of respondents have yet to file their taxes.

We’ve all been a part of a procrastination statistic at some point, but the sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you can make plans for your refund (or how to pay Uncle Sam if you owe).

Although, we get it — while filing your taxes has never been easier, life is still busy.

We found that 44 percent of Americans find filing taxes to be easy, and only 34 percent still consider the process stressful.

Roughly half of all respondents expect a tax refund.

According to the data, 52 percent of Americans expect to receive a tax refund, and 65 percent anticipate one ranging in value from $500 or less to upwards of $1,999.

Expecting Tax Refunds

Sharing is caring when it comes to couples combining their tax refunds.

An overwhelming number of couples (84 percent) who file together discuss plans for their tax refunds, and more often than not, they opt to collaborate on managing their assets by combining their refunds and putting them towards a shared goal.

Couples Discussing Tax Returns
Combining Tax Refunds

Everyone has different instincts for what to do with “free” money, and while there’s no right or wrong answer, we have some tips for how to use your tax refund.

Shared #LifeGoals

Tax refunds are a great way to accelerate progress toward those short or long term life goals you and your partner are working toward (or want to).

Goals like buying a new car or saving for the honeymoon that you continue to put off.

Start a new goal with Twine, and consider making your money work even harder for you by investing it in a simple portfolio within the app.

Tax Refund Savings Goals

Emergency Fund

A recent survey found that less than 40 percent of Americans said they could cover a $1,000 setback with funds from their savings account.

If you’re part of the 60 percent that is not prepared, consider putting your refund toward your emergency fund.

The quicker you ramp that up the quicker you can save for the fun stuff.

Credit Card Debt

Debt is a key blocker to growing your wealth.

While not the most exciting way to spend money, making an extra payment on an outstanding balance or paying it off entirely can get you that much closer to investing in your future.

Save for what matters.

Try Twine


This research was conducted by John Hancock between March 5 to March 12, 2018. The responses were generated from a survey Americans 18+ years of age.