TORONTO, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Debt reduction was cited as the leading
use of tax refunds among respondents participating in a national survey
conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA
Forty-four per cent of the more than one-thousand individuals surveyed
indicated they received a refund after filing their taxes for 2012. The
survey, conducted in early May, asked participants receiving money how
they would use the largest portion of their tax refund.
Twenty-eight per cent of those receiving a refund said it would be used
to pay down debt. The next two most popular uses were putting it into
savings or investments and using it for day-to-day expenses, both cited
by 18 per cent of respondents.
"It is very encouraging to see a significant number of individuals
choosing to better their financial position by paying down debt or
building their savings," said Nicholas Cheung, a director with CPA
Canada. "However, we do recognize that some Canadians will have more
options than others because of individual circumstances."
Other tax refund uses referenced by respondents included using it for
home improvement/renovation (12 per cent), a vacation (seven per cent),
a child's education (five per cent), a treat by spending it on
entertainment, a meal, personal care, clothing or other non-essential
purchases (four per cent) and putting it toward a large purchase such
as a television or automobile (two per cent).
When asked if they normally plan in advance on how they will use their
refund, 46 per cent of respondents agreed while 38 per cent disagreed.
Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said they keep their tax receipts
organized throughout the year so they are ready when the time comes to
file a tax return.
Money worries also continue for Canadians. When asked if they worry
about money, 52 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement while
39 per cent disagreed. Fifty per cent of respondents were worried about
money in an earlier survey conducted in late 2012 (www.cica.ca/2013financialpriorities).
"Lingering money concerns are not surprising since economic uncertainty
continues," said Cheung. "It makes sense that a number of individuals
would look to strengthen their financial situation with money received
through a tax refund."
Debt reduction also was prominent in the earlier survey in which 65 per
cent of the respondents called it a high or moderate priority for 2013.
"Clearly, reducing personal debt is on the minds of many individuals
and tax refunds are being utilized to help achieve that goal," noted
CPA Canada conducts research to take the pulse of Canadians on issues
relating to financial literacy.
The organization produces practical publications to help Canadians deal
with money management, conducts research, oversees an outreach
initiative with member volunteers delivering seminars in their
respective communities and maintains a website dedicated to financial
The 2013 CPA Canada Tax Refund Spending Survey was conducted by Harris/Decima via telephone between May 2-6, 2013, with
a national random sample of 1,006 adult Canadians aged 18 years and
over and is considered accurate to within ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out
of 20. A survey summary report is available online at www.cica.ca/taxrefunds.
About CPA Canada
CPA Canada is the national organization representing the Chartered
Professional Accountant (CPA) profession in Canada. The Canadian
Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and The Society of Management
Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada) created the organization on January
1, 2013, to support unification of the Canadian accounting profession
under the CPA banner. CPA Canada is responsible for providing services
to CAs and CMAs on behalf of CICA and CMA Canada as well as to CPAs and
CGAs participating in the unification effort. CPAs will serve the
public interest across all sectors of the economy with integrity, sound
ethical practices, disciplined regulation and proven strategic
management and financial expertise. Accounting bodies representing
almost 90 per cent of Canada's professional accountants are committed
to unification or have already merged under the CPA banner.
SOURCE: CPA Canada
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Tobin Lambie, Principal, Media