More Workers to Save Tax Refunds This Year

This year, fewer workers plan to use their tax refunds to pay off bills and more plan to put the money into savings than last year.

A CareerBuilder survey found 46% of respondents said they plan to use their tax refunds to pay off bills, down from 56% last year, and more than one-third (36%) report they will use their tax refund to augment their savings accounts, up from 34% who said the same last year. In addition, 79% of workers said they haven’t reduced their 401(k) accounts or personal savings in the last year.  

CareerBuilder said workers may feel a little more fiscally secure because fewer are living paycheck to paycheck. While more than six-in-ten (61%) survey respondents said they currently live paycheck to paycheck, this is down from 77% who said the same in a study conducted between May 18 and June 3, 2010.   

Of those respondents who plan to spend the money, the most common uses will be: 

  • Make home improvements
  • Go on vacation
  • Pay back money they owe to people
  • Invest it
  • Buy a car
  • Pay for a wedding
  • Donate to charity
  • Schedule doctor visits
  • Pay down mortgage
  • Buy a new computer
  • Pay for college

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of 3,910 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government) participated, ages 18 and over, between November 15 and December 2, 2010.

Other surveys regarding tax refunds have highlighted how few people plan to put the money toward retirement savings (see “Only 5% Plan to Put Tax Refund toward Retirement“).