Tax Refunds Headed for Taxpayers’ Bill Pile

April 7, 2010 ( – Some 56% of workers say they will be relying on their income tax refund to pay off their accumulated bills.

According to a CareerBuilder news release on its recent survey, 78% of respondents said they currently live paycheck to paycheck, up from 61% who said the same in May 2009. Seventeen percent reported they reduced their 401(k) contributions in the last year.

“Workers’ wallets are still feeling the ripple effects of the past year,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in the news release. “In addition to scaling back their investments and cutting back on expenses, workers are using their tax returns to help supplement their incomes.

The survey found that other planned uses for tax returns include:

  • Put into savings – 34 %
  • Make home improvements – 12 %
  • Go on vacation – 11 %
  • Pay back money I owe to people – 8 %
  • Invest it – 7 %
  • Buy a car – 2 %

The survey was conducted among 5,231 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) ages 18 and over, between November 5 and November 23, 2009.