More Americans Filing Taxes Early To Share Refunds

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Tax time is at hand, and it can be an opportunity to lend a hand as well. According to a new survey conducted by Western Union, 42 percent of consumers said they are planning to file their tax returns earlier than usual this year to receive any refunds sooner, with 72 percent reporting they would share their large tax refunds with a friend or family member who is having trouble paying their current living expenses.

(StatePoint) With many families feeling the impact of the current economic crunch, more people are filing their taxes early to receive tax refunds sooner. And many are saying they are doing so in order to share their tax refunds with a family member or close friend in need of a financial boost.

So says a new survey conducted by Western Union, a world leader in global money transfer services. According to the survey, 42 percent of consumers said they are planning to file their tax returns earlier than usual this year to receive any refunds sooner. Consumer generosity is evidenced with 72 percent reporting they would share their large tax refunds with a friend or family member who is having trouble paying their current living expenses.

“In these trying economic times, more and more people are willing to step up and lend a hand to those in need. While some consumers may not yet feel the effects of the current economic climate, they do see the financial situations their friends and families are in and are ready to provide them with some financial relief,” says Jorge Consuegra, Western Union senior vice president of U.S. product management.

In the last six months, more than a third of consumers have had a friend or relative borrow or accept money from them to help make ends meet.

“As tax refunds are arriving in people’s mailboxes, and the economy continues to add to our collective financial burden, we believe these instances of familial giving are going to increase,” says Consuegra. “Western Union is a reliable way to send money to a loved one in need whether around the corner, or around the world.”

When sending money, money transfers are a faster way of making cash available versus sending it via mail. Cash can be sent and received in just a matter of minutes, simply by conducting the transaction at one of 44,000 Western Union locations found in most major national and regional grocery chains in the U.S. Additionally, money can be sent via westernunion.com or by calling 1-800-CALL-CASH.

In addition to those occasions where consumers are sending money, the new survey found that nearly one in five (19 percent) of respondents reported having received financial help from friends or family in the last six months. The survey also revealed that close to half (47 percent) of those surveyed would likely accept a friend or family member’s offer to share his or her tax refund with them, should the need arise.

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