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Majority of Australians to pay off credit card with tax return

Almost half of all Australians are planning on paying off their personal debt with their 2010 tax return, a survey undertaken by Officeworks has shown.

The Officeworks Tax Time Survey also showed that there will be a tech boom post 30 June, with 16 percent of participants coveting a new tech gadget, while only 10 percent will use the bonus to seek out the warmer weather and head off on holiday.

Australians Tax Time“The Officeworks Tax Time Survey suggests that people are still cautious with their finances in the wake of the GFC, with the majority surveyed choosing to pay off debt as quickly as possible, or spend their refund on sensible items like technology products,” Officeworks Marketing Manager, David Llewellyn said.

The survey, which was answered by 1,000 people online, also found that 37 percent of respondents are expecting a larger than normal tax return this year, and 54 percent were happy about tax time and saw it as an opportunity to get some cash back.

But not everyone is looking forward to the end of the financial year, with one in four taxpayers stressed about getting their financial affairs in order.

The Officeworks Tax Time Survey also illustrates that a high proportion of Australians are confused at tax time, with nearly 40 per cent of respondents not knowing the correct date to lodge tax returns. It will come as a relief to 21 percent of respondents – who thought the deadline was 30 June – to learn they have an extra four months to lodge their returns when they are due on 31 October.

The popularity of using a professional at tax time grows as people negotiate the tax system after first starting out in the workforce. After their first year of work, only 25 percent of respondents used an accountant, compared to 51 percent using a tax agent as their tax affairs became more complicated, the survey revealed.

David said the Officeworks Tax Time Survey shows that while most are reasonably relaxed about tax time, it is still a cause of angst amongst many in the workforce.