58% expect a tax refund in 2015, survey shows
21% of those expecting money say they'll pay down debt
About 58 per cent of respondents to a CIBC survey are expecting a refund from the taxman this year and many of those getting money say they'll pay down debt.
With the deadline for filing taxes having passed yesterday, they are waiting for the cheque, or direct deposit to their bank account.
- 19% of respondents didn't save a dime in 2014, BMO survey suggests
- High consumer debt reflects 'laissez-faire' attitude to borrowing
The online survey, done for CIBC among 1,500 Angus Reid panelists on April 1 and 2, also asked respondents what they'd do with their money, once it arrived.
Among those expecting a refund, 21 per cent said they were going to use it to pay down debt, including credit card debt and loan payments.
Another 19 were undecided what to do with it and 18 per cent said it would go to day-to-day expenses like bills or groceries.
CIBC's Jamie Golombek said it was encouraging that so many people intended to pay down debt, especially credit-card debt.
How about saving it?
But he warned that saving for retirement might be a better investment for people who don't have high-interest debt. Saving in a registered retirement savings plan or tax-free savings account would be a better bet for long-term financial health, if you can earn more in those investment vehicles than you are paying in debt interest, he said.
"When deciding what to do with your refund, Canadians must review practical considerations, such as current and future anticipated marginal tax rates, rates of return and cost of borrowing before deciding whether it makes sense to save or pay down debt," Golombek said.
Paying down debt has been a top priority among Canadians in CIBC surveys for the past five years, an indication many are conscious they need to lighten their debt load.
Only 13 per cent of respondents to the current survey said they'd save or invest the money.
The CIBC survey found 25 per cent of respondents expected no refund and another 16 per cent didn't know – probably because they hadn't yet completed their taxes as of the survey time in early April.