Many of us dread the Taxman. However, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) cited tax refunds when it said today that March same-store sales are tracking along the high end of its expected 4%-6% range. Among the popular items were electronics and lawn goods, to name a few. In addition, some Easter merchandise already appears to be moving.

This year, Wal-Mart is one of a few retailers offering to cash tax refund checks, with the obvious hope that many of us are lazy enough to appreciate the one-stop shopping approach.

As for taxes and Wal-Mart, the behemoth already wants some of its customers to think of it when they think taxes, period. It already has some H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) and Cendant's (NYSE:CD) Jackson Hewitt kiosks in its stores so Wal-Mart shoppers can get their taxes done while they're shopping.

If Wal-Mart's talking a tax-boosted March, then investors might expect some other retailers to benefit. If electronics are a hot choice for spending tax refunds, one might wonder if some of those tax dollars might be taken to Circuit City (NYSE:CC), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), or even online retailer (NASDAQ:AMZN). Other possible beneficiaries could be other big-box retailers like Target (NYSE:TGT), Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), or even warehouse stores like Costco (NASDAQ:COST).

Today, however, many retailers' stocks fell, theoretically linked to Dollar General's (NYSE:DG) earnings miss. While Wal-Mart was one of the laggards in today's trading, it has said that it believes retailers will enjoy a pleasant first half of the year due to fatter tax refunds than in previous years.

That may be true, but it remains to be seen whether most people who get tax refunds will turn around and buy electronics and other merchandise at Wal-Mart before and after the April 15 tax deadline.

And Wal-Mart tends to be one of the places to look for clues of consumer sentiment. So, watch for any signs that cautious sentiment seems to be brewing. After all, the Madrid bombings and repeated data supporting continued slim pickings when it comes to new jobs might be grating on some nerves. Let's hope some people don't start thinking the mattress is the best place for their refund dollars.

Will people continue to take their refunds to Wal-Mart as tax season continues? Or will they spread the joy around to many retailers, or (gasp!) maybe even save some of that money? Talk about the outlook on the Wal-Mart discussion board.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any companies mentioned.