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Average tax refund more than $3,000 so far

average tax return

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    More preparing taxes themselves, online IRS has received 40% of expected returns for 2014 Most plan to use refund toward paying down debt

The average tax refund is up 3% to $3,034 so far this year, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday. The average refund for those who get direct deposit is slightly higher at $3,096.

Surveys show most Americans plan to use their refund toward paying down debt, though an Edward Jones survey of more than 1,000 adults found those between 18 and 34 were the most likely to say they planned to spend their refund on shopping or going out.

Betsey Buckingham, a tax specialist with CPA firm David C. Murray and Co. in Troy,

Ohio, says she's noticed more clients are qualifying for the earned income tax credit, giving them higher refunds.

"A lot of the people that we've serviced, we've seen several of them lose their job and get a different job or different combination of jobs and they're underemployed," Buckingham says. "So they're not making as much as they were and all the sudden they're qualifying."

The earned income tax credit is meant for lower income filers. If you qualify, it reduces your tax liability and often results in a refund.

What to do with tax refund

An Edward Jones survey asked more than 1,000 adults what they planned to do with their refunds. How men and women differ on how they would use it:

Category: Taxes

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