Aussies playing it safe with tax refunds

by Adam Smith20 Jun 2012

Paying down debt is the top priority for Australians come tax refund time.

The Bankwest Taxing Times Report has found that 39% of Australians expecting to receive a tax refund will use it to pay down existing debt. Thirty-one per cent of respondents said they would put any tax windfall in savings.

"These results support the findings of the Bankwest Financial Fitness Index released in March, which found that half of all respondents had changed their spending habits over the year, becoming more conservative," Bankwest retail chief executive Vittoria Shortt said.

But consumers looking to save or pay down debt may have less to work with this year. The survey found that 53% of respindents who expect to receive a refund believe they will receive less than $1,000. Shortt said the majority of taxpayers are expecting a smaller refund than in previous years.