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Survey: 95 per cent of Canadians plan to file taxes on time but few will use refund to pay down debt

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MONTREAL, April 2, 2012, /CNW/ – A survey commissioned by Dr. Tax Software, the makers of UFile ONLINE and UFile for Windows, has found that only 29 percent of Canadians plan to use their personal tax refund to pay down debt. This change in commitment by Canadians is a 14 percent decrease in comparison to the 2009 tax study.*

The national survey, which targeted Canadians 18 and older, also revealed that location affected respondents’ plans in using their refund for debt repayment. At 35 percent both Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia – and Newfoundland and Labrador), saw a larger percentage of respondents planning to use their refund to pay down debt. British Colombia saw the lowest amount of respondents planning to pay down debt, with only 21 percent of respondents choosing debt repayment as the plan for their tax refund.

“These survey results showcase an interesting analysis of how Canadians are prioritizing their overall financial strategy,” said Malcolm Campbell, VP and General Manager of Dr. Tax Software Inc. ” These numbers illustrate that Canadians are recognizing the value of filing their tax return on time as 95 percent of respondents indicated they plan to file by the deadline.”

The survey also found that those under 50 be much more likely to use their return to pay down debt (37 percent of those aged 30-49, 36 percent of those aged 18-29), compared to only 21 percent of those 50 and older.

Additional interesting findings include:

When do Canadians plan to file their taxes?

95 percent of Canadians plan to file their 2011 tax return by the deadline, April 30, 2012.
This is a 58 percent increase from 2009, when only 37 percent of respondents said they planned to be more disciplined in their approach to filing their taxes, i.e. filing on time.

THIS YEAR, WHEN DO YOU PLAN TO FILE YOUR TAXES?
Answer Total Age Location
18-29 30-49 50+ ATL QC ON MB/SK AB BC
Early 64 67 64 62 77 62 61 52 66 69
Late 4 5 4 5 7 6 4 3 3 1
Right on time, April 30th 31 27 32 31 15 30 34 44 28 28
Don’t know N/A 1 1 – 2 1 2 – 2 2 2

How do Canadians feel about their tax return?

48 percent of Canadians consider their annual tax return to be a bonus, versus 34 percent who consider it an expense.

WHAT DOES YOUR ANNUAL TAX RETURN REPRESENT?
Answer Total Age Location
18-29 30-49 50+ ATL QC ON MB/SK AB BC
An annual bonus 48 56 60 35 65 41 50 51 52 41
An annual expense 34 31 25 43 22 41 33 29 29 38
Neither 6 4 5 7 3 8 4 4 6 8
Both 2 2 2 2 – 2 2 1 – 5
Don’t know / N/A 10 7 8 13 10 8 11 15 12 8

How do Canadians plan to spend their refund?

Canadians are diverse in their decisions as to how to spend their 2012 tax refund.

11 percent plan to use the money to invest in retirement
10 percent plan to put the money to renovations or housework
Five percent plan to begin an emergency fund
Four percent plan to go on a vacation with their refund

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SPEND MOST OF YOUR TAX REFUND THIS YEAR?
Answer Total Age Location
18-29 30-49 50+ ATL QC ON MB/SK AB BC
Pay down debt 29 36 37 21 35 35 29 28 27 21
Invest in my retirement 11 6 13 11 8 10 12 10 9 13
Renovations/housework 10 11 10 9 13 11 8 15 9 8
Begin an emergency fund 5 11 4 4 6 8 4 2 6 7
Go on vacation 4 3 6 4 8 6 4 5 3 1
Other 26 28 24 26 14 20 29 28 31 31
I don’t anticipate a refund this year 12 4 4 21 15 8 13 7 14 17
Don’t know N/A 2 1 1 3 1 3 2 6 1 1

About the Survey

This report presents the findings of a Research House National Telephone Omnibus Survey, commissioned by Dr. Tax, conducted among a national random sample of 1,000 adults comprising 500 males and 500 females 18 years of age and older, living in Canada. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.10%, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted March 6 – 11, 2012.

For additional survey results please contact Kelly Olive at kellyo@maverickpr.com.

About Dr. Tax Software

Dr. Tax Software Inc. is part of the Thomson Reuters family of companies and is located in Montreal, Quebec. It is a leading provider of tax preparation products and has served the professional tax community with personal and corporate tax products for more than 20 years. Dr. Tax’s UFile products include UFile ONLINE (online tax software), UFile for Windows and UFile PRO. UFile for Windows is available exclusively at Future Shop, Best Buy and online at http://www.ufile.ca.

* Note to Editors: The 2009 report referenced is from poll data collected by Angus-Reid Strategies on behalf of Dr Tax Software on January 20, 2009.

Image with caption: “Percentage of Canadians who plan to use their 2012 tax refund to pay down debt (CNW Group/Dr. Tax Software Inc.)”. Image available at http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120402_C8459_PHOTO_EN_11702.jpg
For further information:

Kelly Olive
MAVERICK PR
(416) 640-5525 ext. 230
kellyo@maverickpr.com

Joanne Birtch
Dr. Tax Software Inc.
(905) 845-0908
jbirtch@drtax.ca

  1. well, I paid off my credit card and although I am broke, I am NOT stressed.

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