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'Tax Day' has an upside - - really!

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kmccarron@crain.com

AKRON (April 18, 2012) - - You can almost hear it in the air . . . the groaning, grumbling and grousing over filling out tax returns and trying to getting them submitted on time.

If you're a CPA, your business has been booming this month. If you're a tire dealer, just wait a few weeks. You might also profit from Tax Day.

According to an eBay Motors Inc. survey, more than one-third of vehicle owners anticipating tax refunds this year plan to spend about a third of their cash influx on something related to a car, truck or motorcycle.

"The survey findings support the trends we have seen over the past few years in relation to sales and search increases on eBay Motors over the course of the tax season," according to the online auction site for vehicles and automotive parts. The survey, conducted for eBay Motors by Harris Interactive, polled more than 2,200 adults across the U.S.

About 34 percent of vehicle owners expecting tax refunds said they plan to use the money toward buying a new or used vehicle or to fix up their current vehicles. Among the categories where respondents intended to spend their money were: vehicle maintenance (49 percent), vehicle repairs (32 percent) and tires (19 percent).

So tire dealers - - get ready for customers to come rushing through your shops' doors with refund checks in hand. Hey, at least you can dream!

But don't let this survey give the impression that all tax refund recipients are strictly practical. The survey noted these same people also plan to put a portion of their new-found money toward some summer pastimes.

"Americans appear to view tax refunds as opportunities to make purchases of vehicles associated with the joys of driving. The search terms on eBay Motors that have shown the greatest increase in frequency during the past two tax seasons are motorcycle, sports car and exotic-related vehicles, such as: Harley-Davidson, Corvette and Mustang," eBbay Motors noted.

So if you get all giddy thinking about buying that 'stang or even a fishing boat once the refund check comes in, just remember that old saying: The thrill of receiving a tax refund from the government vanishes once you realize it was your money to begin with!

Tire Business Reporter Kathy McCarron decided to spend her tax refund on a subscription to Tire Business and a pizza . . . not necessarily in that order. She can be reached at kmccarron@crain.com or 330-865-6127 - - unless you're from the IRS.

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