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Nearly 60% of Americans Expect to Save Less Than $5k in 2023 and Need Their Maximum Refund

New data shows more Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and are using shrinking tax refunds to stay afloat.

Dallas, Texas, March 15, 2023 – A new survey from TaxAct® reveals the significance of many consumers’ financial insecurities in 2023, highlighting a shift in economic strain as even those in higher tax brackets now find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. This new data shows that consumers aren’t saving much money. Rising costs, debt and unemployment are shown to have impacted many consumers’ financial plans and savings goals. Ultimately, 59% of respondents saved less than $5,000 in 2022 and most don’t anticipate saving more in 2023.

“There is a lot of economic uncertainty right now, and for the majority of customers we serve, their tax refund is their biggest paycheck of the year,” said Curtis Campbell, President and CEO of TaxAct. “U.S. citizens are saving less money, and therefore, relying on their refunds to help make ends meet. It’s important they have access to the right resources and tools to accurately file their taxes and get their maximum refund as quickly as possible.”

This new data reflects continued, and in some places growing, financial fear amongst American taxpayers as pandemic-era protections expire and economic outlooks remain worrisome. Designed to identify the main financial concerns and personal finance trends during this tax season, the survey identified two distinct categories that highlight American’s financial uncertainty.


The survey found that consumers are overwhelmingly concerned about inflation. Respondents cited inflation as their biggest concern for both 2022 and 2023, with over 50% ranking inflation as their top financial worry in 2023, including 55% of consumers with household incomes between $50,000 and $99,999. This fear was strongest in 2023 for consumers with dependents and consumers who identified as White or Hispanic/Latino.

Refund Expectations

While it is projected that most U.S. citizens will receive smaller refunds this tax season due to several tax law changes, the survey found that only 30% of respondents anticipate receiving less of a refund on their 2022 returns. An additional 24% don’t know what to expect from their refunds.

“We can expect to see lower tax refunds across the board this season being there was no stimulus relief this past year and other tax advantages, like the Child Tax Credit, reverted back to their lesser 2019 values,” said Campbell. “Refunds are predicted to go down 11% from last year, and it’s important for people to be prepared to receive less or even owe money this tax season.”

How TaxAct Can Help Maximize Refunds

TaxAct has many features and resources to help filers get the most out of their tax return and file confidently this season, including:

  • Xpert Assist: If filers have questions while completing their returns, they can easily connect one-on-one with TaxAct’s team of experts to get the advice they need. All filers who start their returns by March 20, 2023 have access to Xpert Assist at no additional charge.¹

  • $100k Accuracy and Maximum Refund Guarantees: With the strongest accuracy guarantee in the industry, filers can rest assured that all calculations on their returns are correct and that they won’t get a bigger refund anywhere else.*

  • ProTips: Filers are served quick, easy-to-digest bits of information to help improve their tax outcomes and financial wellness while they complete their returns.

  • My TaxPlan: After users are done filing, they gain access to a customized tax plan which gives complimentary advice on ways to boost next year’s refund.

Further details and disclosures on TaxAct consumer 1040 tax preparation products and related features are available at

Survey Methodology

This national survey was conducted on Feb. 22-23, 2023, via an online questionnaire. TaxAct surveyed more than 2,500 Americans ages 18+ to identify the main financial concerns and personal finance trends going into the new tax season.

*Read more about the TaxAct Maximum Refund and $100k Accuracy Guarantees.

¹TaxAct Xpert Assist is available as an added service to users of TaxAct’s online consumer 1040 product. Additional fees apply.  Some tax topics or situations may not be included as part of this service.  View full TaxAct Xpert Assist Terms and Conditions.

About TaxAct

TaxAct is a savvy, tax-filing solution that provides filers with affordable DIY tax software to successfully navigate the U.S. tax code. As a pioneer in the industry, TaxAct’s products enable all users – regardless of profession, tax bracket or complexity of their return – to quickly and accurately file their taxes all while discovering new ways to leverage their tax situation and improve their financial well-being. At TaxAct, taxes are our expertise, but we don’t see them as the end goal. Rather, we believe taxes are a stepping-stone to possibility. Possibilities that are unique as every filer. Possibilities that help each hardworking American not only claim the money they deserve but also enable them to make smart money decisions. We deliver the power of possibility through straightforward technology to help filers secure their best tax outcome and elevate their financial lives.

To learn more about TaxAct, a business of Cinven, Inc., visit or connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Media Contact

Amy Roepke