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Desperate for dosh: 1 in 10 in critical need of a tax refund

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Millions of cash strapped Aussies are frantic for their tax refund, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,012 respondents revealed almost 1 in 2 (46%) Australians – equivalent to over 9 million people – are expecting a tax refund this year.

Of those, 1 in 10 (10%) admit the extra cash is critical to their financial wellbeing.

That's equivalent to 961,000 taxpayers who are desperate for a cash injection.

The research found 1 in 4 (25%) said their tax refund is very important to their financial health, while a further 43% say it's somewhat important.

The average Aussie is anticipating a refund of $1,288 – totalling $12 billion nationwide.

Sarah Megginson, personal finance expert at Finder, said Aussies are itching for their tax refunds.

"As many households grapple with the cost of living, millions are hoping for a cash injection to soothe their financial woes.

"It's possible there will be an influx of early lodgements with so many reliant on a funding boost."

The data shows 1 in 10 (11%) are expecting a tax bill instead of a refund this year, adding pressure to already squeezed budgets.

Women are feeling the pinch the most with 2 in 5 (42%) admitting their tax refund is very important or critical to their financial health, compared to 28% of men.

Women expect to receive $1,237 on average, just shy of the $1,344 expected by male taxpayers.

Megginson said there are ways to make the most of your tax return.

"Make sure you claim all eligible deductions that you can to maximise your return.

"This could include things like vehicle and travel expenses, home office expenses, or clothing and laundry bills.

"Evidence is really important, so hang on to all of your receipts, invoices and bank statements to support your claims."

Megginson encouraged Aussies to put their tax refunds to good use.

"Whether it's paying down debt, parking it in a high-interest savings account, or investing it in your super to compound – take advantage of the extra cash.

"Don't forget, stage 3 tax refunds are also being introduced on July 1, which will mean all taxpayers will have more bread in their basket at the end of each month."

Do you expect a tax refund or a tax bill at the end of this financial year?
Tax bill (money to pay ATO)11%
Tax return (money back)46%
I don't pay any income tax43%
Source: Finder survey of 1,012 respondents, May 2024
How important is this year's tax refund to your financial health?
Not important22%
Somewhat important43%
Very important25%
Critical10%
Source: Finder survey of 465 respondents expecting a tax refund, May 2024

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