For the last two years, many Americans skipped family vacations, saved their tax refunds or used them to pay down debt.

But this year, many Americans plan to cautiously start spending their tax refunds once again.

The National Retail Federation’s  2010 Tax Returns Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey showed 43.9 percent of Americans who receive a refund will pay down debt, down from 48 percent during 2009. But only 65.5 percent of tax payers are expecting a refund, down from 68.4 percent last year.

About 12 percent of people with refunds intend to treat themselves or their families to a major purchase such as a new car, furniture or television, up from 11 percent last year. Others will save their refund, 40 percen; or go on vacation, 10 percent; or use it for everyday expenses, 28.8 percent.

- Advertisement -

“A little bit of ‘free money’ will go a long way for Americans this year,” said NRF CEO Tracey Mullin. “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.”