When a tax refund is a lifeline, not a windfall

The typical advice about what people should do with their tax refunds — save for retirement! pay off debt! — ignores how little wiggle room many families have with their finances.

Tax refunds averaged $2,895 last year, and were the largest single cash infusion received all year by 40 percent of the checking account holders recently studied by the JPMorgan Chase Institute. In my latest for the Associated Press, a look at how Americans use their tax refunds.

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