Tax and legal advice
Marie Mortimer

What to do with your tax refund

By Marie Mortimer

Your tax refund is a tantalising sum that appears in your account, to which no other part of your household budget has any claim. The average tax refund in Australia is around $2,500, enough money to treat yourself to a big reward, but not enough to do anything constructive with, right? Wrong.

Blogger: Marie Mortimer, managing director, loans.com.au

It’s easy to think that a tax refund is money that’s already been spent, or that you never had, like a lottery win. But just because you said goodbye to that cash when it was taken out of your pay packet, doesn’t mean it has to stay gone forever.

A tax refund is your money that you earned. It is not a gift from the government, or even a windfall. Now that it has come back into your life, the trick is not to let it slip away again by ramping up your discretionary spending until it’s gone.

It is useful to think of a tax refund as money you have saved. It was deducted from your salary initially, but now the checks and balances have been accounted for, the remainder is returned to you.

It is too easy to see the refund as a bonus that justifies a shopping spree. Anecdotally, people who receive a windfall, whether it be a pay rise, lottery win, inheritance, pay-out, or some other source of unexpected income, spend far more than what they received. This means that, over time, they are in a worse position financially than they were when the money came to them.

Allowing this to happen with your tax refund is akin to taking money out of your savings account, and blowing it. Twice. Instead, plan to allocate the money to something that will improve your financial position.

If you have a credit card debt or other pressing repayments due, particularly those with a high interest rate, pay these down first. In all likelihood, the interest they will cost you is greater than any benefit you will earn by investing or saving the money. Next, you might consider paying a lump sum off your home loan, as this will have a multiplying effect to save you money in interest, and time off the term of your loan.

If your loan is flexible, you could redraw the money if you need it later for an emergency, or you could put it into your mortgage offset to minimise the interest you will pay. There is wisdom in creating an emergency fund to cover you in the event of a major and unplanned expense coming at you, but if you add it to your mortgage offset instead, it will be working harder for you and still readily available if you need it.

If you are still saving for a deposit, happy days. You are that much closer to your dream home.

Read more: 

More illegal investors ordered to sell up 

Investor crackdown dangerous for housing supply

Two cities set for further growth, says RBA 

7 steps to building a massive property portfolio: Part 6 

Fixed rate loans becoming more popular 

Signs of recovery in WA 

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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When buying property, it’s important to focus on what’s important. Investor Katarina Taurian shares just what exactly is important to her: having the mindset of looking past superficial cosmetic matters and homing in on the structural suitability and potential of a property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Katarina joins host Tim Neary to unpack her entry into the property market and experiences of rentvesting, and how the Smart Property Investment Show was vital  in a number of decisions which she made along the way.

Katarina discusses about the team that she had help her along the way, why she thinks that you should never skimp on a good solicitor and accountant, and the red flags which tell her why buying a new property doesn’t necessarily mean buying a better property.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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Media hype would have you believe that the Australian property market is in dire circumstances at the moment and that there is no money to be made.  But is that really the case?

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, regular guests Steve and Victor of Right Property Group join host Phil Tarrant to discuss the current state of the Australian property market as it is portrayed in the media, and analyse if things are as dire as we are being led to believe.

They will compare regional markets with capital cities as investment options, reveal some areas which they consider to be poor investments at the moment while also discussing some of the markets where they see future potential.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Hobart
Sydney
Perth
Brisbane
Shepparton
Cambridge Park
Geelong
Wollongong
Melbourne
Newcastle
Orange
Dubbo
Bathurst
Armidale
Bendigo
Cairns
Ipswich
Emerald
Port Hedland
Surfers Paradise

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Busting perceptions of a doom and gloom property market

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