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The Top 4 Ways to Improve Your Finances with a Tax Refund

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It’s that time of year again. Revenue agencies are expecting you to mail in your annual income by April 30th 2017.

Along with this, it is encouraged to submit any costs or expenses that may lower your annual income. Those could include: childcare expenses, new home ownership, medical expenses, charitable donations, and more. The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) website now hosts many new updates, including ways to maximize your tax benefits, credits and deductions.

Being up to date on your taxes is something you will want to get educated on. Its value and importance is something we should all take the necessary time to become literate in.

After all of this is done, calculations provided by CRAs tax forms will determine whether or not you will be getting money back (income tax receivable), or if you will owe money (income tax payable).

For those of you who are lucky enough to receive a refund, consider your financial goals. This money could be used to better your financial situation, such as:

  1. Paying down debt – If you are prepared for a financial emergency, then the general rule of thumb is to pay down your debt. There is a freedom in being debt free. Some suggest paying off the smallest debt first so you can feel the satisfaction of having one debt entirely paid off. However, both approaches have their merits.
  2. Paying down the mortgage – One of the biggest benefits of paying off your mortgage is having long-term financial security. Without the heavy burden of a mortgage to pay every month, you will be able to enjoy financial security for a long time. Once the mortgage is paid off, you will have extra breathing room in your monthly budget, freeing up some more money to pay off other debts.
  3. Invest in RRSPs – Putting some cash into an RRSP will serve as your retirement income later in life. Investing in RRSP’s will also reduce your tax payable amount on last year’s income.
  4. Put it into a TFSA – You also have the option of putting your refund into a Tax-Free Savings Account. A TFSA is almost like a savings account, but it is registered with the federal government. The key benefit of a TFSA account is that you do not have to pay taxes on earnings.

One of the most common reasons why many Canadians get into debt trouble is that they make uninformed financial decisions that can sometimes have a very negative result. By using your tax refunds wisely, you will be making a smart choice that benefits you long term.

(Source: Money Mentors)

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