Don’t Celebrate a Tax Refund: it is never a great thing when the government has had use of your money when you could have put it to good use. But with tax season quickly approaching, according to TD the majority of Canadians have great tax-pectations.
Six out of 10 surveyed expect a refund with 61 per cent expecting as much at $1,499. While it might be tempting to think of this as found money, it isn’t. It is your money the government has had use of and it is time you put it to work for you.
If you are at a loss for what to do with your money here is a tax refund guide for every stage of life compliments of TD: Bottom line – be strategic and while the first mistake may have been paying too much in taxes you don’t need to compound by discounting your tax refund. Make your money work as hard for you as you work for it.
Tax Refund Guide for Every Life Stage
1) The Graduate: Consider a lump sum payment on student loans or credit card debt
Starting a new job? Contribute to a high interest savings account to help cover the cost of your first vacation away from the office.
2) The Go – Getter: Does your employer offer an RSP matching contribution program? If so, allocate as much of your refund as it takes to maximize your employer’s contributions.
Invest your return towards a professional development course to further your career
Maximize the potential of your peak earning years. Work with a financial advisor to grow your portfolio through a range of products like mutual funds, GICs and term deposits
3) The Property Pursuer: Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to invest in a family cottage, use your refund to build a larger down payment on your dream property
Already a homeowner? Consider a lump payment against your mortgage. Even an extra $1500 can save substantial interest over the lifetime of a mortgage
Either way, contributing to a TFSA to save for unexpected housing costs like roof repairs or plumbing issues is never a bad idea
4) The Full House: Contribute to your child’s RESP, taking advantage of compound interest and government matching grant programs that may be available to you
Make planning for an upcoming parental leave less financially stressful by contributing your refund to a high interest savings account
5) Golden Years Goal-Setter: Get a head start on 2016 and make a contribution to your RRSP. The amount contributed can also be claimed as a tax deduction on next year’s tax return stretching the dollars even further
Consider how you want to spend your retirement years – if it’s mastering a new skill or pursuing a new hobby, put money aside now to fund those activities later.
6) Starting a New Chapter: If an exciting new direction like remarriage or a career change is on the horizon, make a deposit in a high interest savings account or TFSA to provide an additional financial buffer.