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MMI survey shows astrological signs may impact tax-time habits

Posted on January 14, 2011

"What's your sign?" is not a question you typically expect to hear from your accountant, yet according to a recent survey by Money Management International (MMI), tax time can be very different for consumers born under different sun signs. For example, the MMI survey found that Libras expecting a refund plan to receive an average refund of $2,200, while Aries are expecting a significant $800 less.

So, if you are like the 70 million Americans who start the day by reading their horoscope, you may want to look to the stars for insight on your financial future—particularly as tax day approaches. While last year you may have felt confident that your stars influenced whether you were a tax refund saver or spender, recent talk of a new 13th Zodiac sign, Ophiuchus, has sent many into an identity crisis.

Following are some of MMI's sign-specific findings. Which sign do you identify with when it comes to your finances?

Aries - Those born under this Fire sign expect the smallest refunds ($1,400). They plan to save (46%) or pay debts (32%).

Taurus - Taurus is an Earth sign, associated with practicality. Those born under this sign are the least likely to expect a refund. Of consumers who expect to receive a refund, only 6% were born under this sign.

Gemini - Generally known to be logical, Gemini are the most likely to over-withhold on purpose.

Cancer - Protective Cancers are not likely to splurge with their refunds. Of those consumers who plan to splurge, less than 1% were born under this Water sign.

Leo - Generous Leos are more likely than those born under other signs to spend their refunds. Of those who plan to splurge, nearly 20% are Leos.

Virgo - Practical Virgos are still deciding how to spend their expected tax refunds. In fact, more Virgos than those born under any other sign were “undecided” about what to do with their refunds (14%).

Libra - Known for balance, Libras surprisingly expect the largest refunds (an average of $2,200).

Scorpio - Scorpios are characterized as being passionate. Of those who plan to splurge with their tax refund, one out of four is a Scorpio.

Sagittarius - Sagittarians are known for being optimistic and are not likely to save their refunds. In fact, of those who plan to save, only 5% were born under this sign.

Capricorn - Earth signs, like Capricorn, are associated with practicality. Appropriately, Capricorns are not likely to splurge with their refunds. In fact, of those who plan to splurge, less than 1% are Capricorns.

Aquarius - Aquarius is an Air sign, associated with thought and perspective. Fifty-eight percent of surveyed Aquarians expecting a refund plan to use it to pay down debts.

Pisces - Idealistic Pisces are the least likely to save. In fact, of all those who plan to save, less than 5% are Pisces.

Regardless of your astrological sign, it’s important to have a personal finance strategy that works for your individual needs. Speaking of signs, don’t forget to sign your tax return—forgetting to sign is on the IRS’s list of most common mistakes. Visit SaveorSpend.com for more helpful tax time tips and sign up for MMI’s Success newsletter for frugal living tips and articles delivered weekly to your inbox.

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.

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