One in four Americans have no idea if they’ll get a tax refund this year, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults looked at how many are thinking ahead when it comes to their taxes and found the percentage of those who aren’t sure if they’ll get a tax refund is up to 25% from 20% last year.

On the other hand, 43% anticipate getting a tax refund in 2024, slightly up from 40% last year.

The average respondent who thinks they will be getting a tax refund estimates that they’ll get back $2,023.50 this year, down from the average of $2,338.40 last year.

Conducted by OnePoll for Cricket Wireless, the annual tax time survey found that two in three Americans said that if they received a tax refund in 2024, they would use it in a more “mature” way than years past (67%).

Of those who anticipate a tax refund, three in five are relying on that extra income and 36% plan on saving it, compared to just 26% last year.

Half of those who have gone through a major life event like putting contributions into a retirement plan (17%) or getting a new job (11%) also said that they would use their tax refund to help financially support new changes.

However, a quarter of Americans admit to feeling stressed leading up to the tax deadline (28%).

What’s causing that stress? For many, it’s uncertainty over what to expect.

For instance, of those who experienced life changes over the past year, such as getting married or having a kid, only 38% knew that these events will affect their tax return.

Knowledge also plays a role in respondents’ uncertainty, as one in five couldn’t define common tax terms like “adjusted gross income,” “dependent” or “filing status.”

The economy is also a culprit for those who are less certain about their finances this year.

Only a third of Americans think the 2024 economy will be better than the previous year (34%), with 45% sharing that this perspective impacts their decision to spend or save their tax refund.

To combat this, a majority of respondents have done more budgeting (68%) and 44% have spent less money, overall.

“High inflation and an unpredictable economy make many Americans feel uncertain around tax season,” said Tony Mokry, chief marketing officer at Cricket Wireless. “For many, this is the only time of year that they receive a windfall and how they treat these funds oftentimes sets the tone for their year financially. We continue to encourage consumers to look for value where they can, particularly on recurring bills like phone plans.”

However, those surveyed are taking control of their finances, keeping track of them on their phone (51%).

While only half of respondents last year used a banking app (52%), that number is up to 92% of those who use finance apps today.

Mobile wallet (48%) and investing apps (42%) were also among the most common finance apps last year, and are still popular among respondents this year (66% and 39%, respectively).

Credit score management apps have also climbed in popularity (39%) and one in five have a tax filing app, too (18%).

To make use of their resources, nearly a quarter of those who own a smartphone will use it to file their taxes in 2024 (23%).

“It’s reassuring to see that more people are using their phones to manage their finances,” said Tony Mokry, chief marketing officer at Cricket Wireless. “It’s difficult to stay on top of it all, but having access at your fingertips takes the headache out of managing money, making it easier than ever to track your spending, budget effectively, and work towards your financial goals.”

Survey methodology:

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