Here’s how long people tend to stretch their tax refunds

Whether people are investing their tax refunds or using them to pay bills, one thing is clear: They’re stretching their cash through the remainder of the year.

Six months after receiving a check from Uncle Sam, families still managed to have an average of 28 percent of their tax refund remaining, according to a data analysis by JPMorgan Chase Institute.

The bank’s think-tank studied 8.3 million families — all of whom had a Chase checking account in 2015, 2016 or 2017. The participants either received at least one tax refund via direct deposit or made at least one electronic tax payment from that account during those years.

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“I was surprised that they had this much of their refund six months later,” said Fiona Greig, director of consumer research at JPMorgan Chase Institute.

“There is also a ‘glass half-empty’ perspective,” she said. “The refund gives them a boost for the first half to three-quarters of the year, but not the whole year.”

Here’s what people are doing with the cash they get back.

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