Tax and legal advice
Peter Gianoli

7 smart things to do with your tax return

By Peter Gianoli

It is estimated that more than 70 per cent of Australians receive a tax return each year, and the average return has historically been in excess of $2,000, which is a decent chunk of money! So what will you do with yours? 

If you are one of the lucky ones to receive a tax return this year, remember that it is part of your hard-earned money and should be treated the same as the rest of your salary or income and allocated to something useful. Don’t treat it as a windfall or a bonus and blow it on something unnecessary or extravagant (as tempting as it might be). Be smart this year and use your tax return to build your own financial security. Here are a few tips to help you use it wisely:

1. Pay off high-interest debt
One of the smartest things you can do is use your tax refund to pay off high-interest debt (such as credit cards) as soon as possible. Often you can be paying interest as high as 20 per cent on credit cards and each month you are simply throwing away good money on interest bills. Wipe your debt clean and start getting ahead. Don’t add more debt to your credit cards by using your tax return to go on an overseas holiday!

2. Invest it
If you are getting a sizeable return this year, you should seriously consider using it towards a deposit for your first (or next) investment property. You might be surprised to learn how little you need to get started, as there are plenty of attractive investments available for a very affordable price. The best thing you can do is speak to an experienced finance broker who can tell you what you need. Even if it’s not enough to buy a property now, it is certainly a good lump sum to add towards your savings. Every little bit helps, so don’t blow it!

3. Pay off your home loan
A major goal you should always try and work towards if you want to achieve financial security in life is paying off the mortgage on your own property (or the family home) as soon as possible. The sooner you pay it off, the more money you will save in interest. Alternatively, if your accountant or financial adviser recommends the strategy, you might want to consider paying the amount off the finance for your investment property. This will effectively help you to ‘get ahead’ and will create a small financial buffer that you can rely on if your circumstances change, rents decrease, your property is vacant for a period of time, interest rates rise or you have unexpected bills you need to pay. It always helps to have a little in reserve!

4. Put it in your mortgage offset account
If you are hesitant to pay the value of your tax return directly off your mortgage, you can place it into your mortgage offset account instead, which effectively achieves the same outcome. The interest on your mortgage will still be calculated at the lower amount but the funds will be easily accessible if you need them.

5. Start an interest-bearing savings account
If you don’t have any debt or property finance, place the lump sum in an interest-bearing savings account and keep adding to it until you are ready to use it for something worthwhile – such as a deposit for your own home or an investment property. Keep adding to it each month or arrange a direct transfer of a manageable amount on a regular basis and you will be surprised at how quickly it will grow!

6. Add it to your super
Another key objective of achieving financial security is ensuring you have enough personal wealth to retire on, and this includes superannuation. Most Australians don’t have enough in superannuation – particularly women and the self-employed – so speak to your accountant or financial adviser about the potential benefits of using your tax return to make a lump-sum super contribution. You will thank yourself for it in the long run.

7. Make improvements to your investment property
Another option you might want to consider is using your tax return to make small improvements to your investment property to increase its value and appeal to potential tenants. This might include renovating the kitchen, buying a few new appliances, or arranging a fresh coat of paint or new floor coverings. But before you make a start, make sure you speak to your accountant or financial adviser about which improvements you can claim as tax deductions and which you can’t. This will help you to evaluate the best way to spend your money and how you can truly add value.

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About the Blogger

Peter Gianoli

Peter Gianoli

Peter Gianoli joined ABN Group in 2011 to establish Investor Assist. Peter has more than 15 years of experience in the property industry working across some of the country’s premier development projects and throughout his career has overseen the sale and settlement of properties worth in excess of $1bn.  Peter is also a highly sought after public speaker and has educated audiences throughout Australia and around the world on topics including property marketing and investment.

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If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

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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Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
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From pirouettes to property investment
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Jillian Stewart's investment journey began in 2009 with a property loan being used for anything but - and the purchase of half a house. And while she claims to have done everything wrong along the way, her current portfolio boasting 15 (and a half) properties, suggests otherwise.

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On this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Jillian joins host Phil Tarrant to unpack her portfolio and explain the reasoning behind her investment decisions. She discusses her plan to purchase through the company and reveals the link between her properties, earth moving and cotton farming.

One of Jillian's daughters joins in briefly to discuss the value in educating children about money, and how another is just about ready to purchase her first property - while still at school! They also reveal how Jillian encourages her children to grow wealth in a move that many kids might not be too happy about.

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:

Moree
Inverell
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Come By Chance
Sydney
Stuarts Point
Kempsey
Northam
H
exham
Hervey Bay
Craignish
Nurrumba
Dysart
Inverell
Tannum Sands
Mackay
B
oomi
Goondiwindi
Deception Bay

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Half a house to more than 15 in 8 years
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  ["title"]=>
  string(58) "Where the major off-the-plan hotspots are around Australia"
  ["alias"]=>
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(231) "

Buying off-the-plan can be lucrative in the long run, if you can get over the risk factor. If you want to minimise the risk and maximise your chances at profitability, these suburbs might be just what you’re looking for.

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Outlined in The Australian Off The Plan Sentiment Report, published by Investorist, Domain’s data scientist Dr Nicola Powell has outlined where in major markets investors should focus their efforts when purchasing property off-the-plan:

Sydney

The south-west region of Sydney has seen an increase of interest in new developments, with Leppington, Austral and Edmondson Park, as well as Marsden Park, which all offer the widest variety of developments available to buy into, according to Domain data.

Sydney was also the most popular capital city for off-the-plan interest, with Domain recording over 2 million views for the property type.

Brisbane

The increased number of new developments has impacted on price growth in the unit market with supply stronger than demand, yet off-the-plan listing prices remain higher than listing prices for all new developments.

The full extent of the market however is yet to be seen, as it is adjusting with the fall of new development commencements and completed developments slide from the peak. Boutique developments in the inner city, targeted towards owner-occupiers, have the potential to show signs of improvement amid underperforming inner city Brisbane units.

Canberra

The key area in all of Canberra is Gungahlin, which according to Dr Powell contains numerous opportunities for buyers, as the area has seen a “significant transformation”.

Gungahlin currently is Canberra’s fastest growing area, seeing its population double in the last 10 years, there is a light rail project under construction and the first commonwealth government agency is scheduled to relocate to the area. Moncrieff is the most popular Gungahlin suburb, with the most development listings and views according to Domain data and has continued to remain popular even with other developments undergoing construction in Throsby, Taylor and Kenny.

Melbourne

Out of all the property types, new house and land packages topped Domain’s list for Victoria in 2017 with 1.8 million views, showing there is high demand for them due to employment opportunities getting stronger and affordability hurdles getting lower. There is also a solid chance for growth, as the strong demand saw prices for new house and land packages rise over 2017.

West Melbourne was the most popular region for off-the-plan supply and demand with the most listings and views, with popular suburbs including Tarneit, Werribee and Rockbank.

Perth

Demand for new house and land packages were proportionally high, making up 87.5 per cent of all listing views, with the majority of listings stemming from south-west and south-east regions of Perth, with the suburbs Baldivis, Piara Waters, Wellard and Hilbert ranking at the top.

There was also strong demand for listings in the north, which include the north-east suburb of Morley and the north west suburb of Doubleview.

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Where the major off-the-plan hotspots are around Australia

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