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Tax season is officially here. Although you might consider lodging your tax return a chore, the good news is there may be a silver lining. As of last year, the average refund hovered around $3,600. And with 84% of taxpayers expecting a refund, the odds are most likely in your favour. But, before you start making plans with your looming cashfall, here are some smarter ways to consider spending your tax return.
According to ASIC’s MoneySmart poll, almost a third of us who receive a return, will likely spend it on paying bills. While paying off debt isn’t as glamorous as a holiday, it’s a smart move. Start with higher interest debts like short-term loans and credit cards. If you’ve got multiple credit cards, pay off the card with the highest interest rate first. In the long run, paying off debts means you’ll pay less interest and save more money.
Accidents are just that – accidental. When the unexpected hits, the last thing you want to be doing is maxing out a high-interest credit card. A rainy-day stash of cash can be a lifeline when life gets hard. Look out for an account offering high-interest, and if possible, add to your emergency fund regularly – you’ll be surprised how quickly it grows.
If you’re young, you’re probably not thinking about retirement. Life expectancy and the cost of living are on the rise, which means retirees looking to live it up will need a lot more cash. Boosting your superannuation early gives your savings more time to grow. Be aware that there are caps and tax implications so, talk to your accountant before making any additional contributions. Your future self will thank you for it.
If you’ve got a mortgage, chances are you’re paying interest. A mortgage offset account is a savings account attached to your home loan which offsets the amount of interest you pay on your home loan. With an offset account, in the long run, you’ll end up paying less interest which means more money in your pocket.
Before investing in anything, it pays to do research to make an informed decision. Depending on the amount you have to invest and how savvy you are, there are plenty of investment options available.
If you’ve got your finances under control and your debts are manageable, you could consider donating your return to a good cause. The gift of giving can be a worthwhile investment, and aside from the philanthropic feels, all charitable donations are tax deductible.
If there’s a course you’ve had your eye on or a new hobby you’ve been wanting to try – investing in personal growth is always a good idea. Depending on the course and how it relates to your profession, it may be deductible in next year’s tax return.
If you haven’t yet lodged your tax return, don’t worry – we’re here to help. With expert set up and support, we can help you navigate your unique tax responsibilities, no matter what line of work you’re in. Whether you choose to lodge online or in-store, your return will be double checked by one of our tax professionals to ensure you’re getting the most out of your 2018 tax return.
Disclaimer: The information provided is general in nature, and as such it should not be relied upon for making decisions without seeking expert opinion or personal advice. H&R Block disclaims all and any guarantees, undertakings and warranties, expressed or implied, and shall not be liable, for any loss or damage whatsoever (including human or computer error, negligent or otherwise, by one or more of the authorities, or incidental or consequential loss or damage) arising out of or in connection with any use or reliance on the information or advice provided. The user must accept sole responsibility associated with the use of the material in this article, irrespective of the purpose for which such use or results are implied. The information applies the law as stated at the time of writing, and is no substitute for financial advice.
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