WASHINGTON (AP) - A poll suggests the economy is having a dour effect on people getting tax returns.
An Associated Press-GfK poll finds 54 percent of those surveyed who will be receiving refunds said they intend to pay off credit card, utility, housing and other bills.
That compares with 35 percent who said the same thing a year ago.
Only 5 percent, about the same as a year ago, say they planned to go on a shopping spree.
The survey found that 17 percent of people planning to spend some of their refund say they will use the money for everyday needs such as food and clothing. It was 7 percent a year ago.
With the filing deadline on Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service says it's sent out about $200 billion in tax refunds so far and expects to send out about $330 billion by the end of tax season.
The AP-GfK poll found that 57 percent of adults said they expect to receive a tax refund.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)