Maximise your tax return this financial year

Maximise your tax return this financial year

June 2, 2011

There’s less than a month until the end of the 2011 financial year and come tax time many Australians may receive an unexpected windfall, which if invested correctly could translate into significant financial gain.
Last financial year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received around 10.4 million tax returns by the close of the lodgement period and had issued more than $21.7 billion in refunds by November (or around $2000 per working Australian on average).
So if you’re one of the lucky ones to receive a tax refund this year, then you’ll benefit from considering your investment options in advance. Here are our top tips to help you turn a small sum into big savings.

  • Firstly, clear debt.
  • Mortgage offset.
  • Consider a high-interest savings account.
  • Or think about a term deposit account.

The way you should invest your money will obviously depend on your life stage, personal circumstances and whether you have outstanding debt. And if you fall into the latter bracket and have debt owing on a personal loan or credit card, then you’ll benefit from using your tax return to pay down this debt.

If you have a mortgage, consider establishing an offset account and deposit your return there. A mortgage offset account is a transaction account linked to your home loan and the money saved there is offset against the balance of your loan. So by depositing your annual tax return in this account you’ll be able to save hundreds of dollars in interest, if not more, and may chop years off your home loan.

A good investment strategy, for those who are debt-free, would be to invest in a high-interest savings account. One of the top online savings accounts at RateCity is UBank‘s USaver account at 6.51 percent per annum. Deposit $2000 into this account and $200 for each month following, you’ll earn around $200 in interest after 12 months, assuming the rate of 6.51 percent remains the same.

Alternatively, depositing your tax return into a high interest term deposit account isn’t a bad investment either. Currently, one of RateCity’s top three-year term deposit accounts with RaboDirect offers a rate of 6.75 percent for a balance of $2000. With this account you’ll have earned around $405 in interest at maturity. Alternatively, for an exclusive live quote on your deposit, try out RateCity’s new term deposit portal.

Fools rush in
If it’s a substantial amount of money that you’re claiming at tax time, then don’t make any rushed decisions about how to spend or invest the sum. Rather, set yourself a financial roadmap and think about how to use the money to build yourself a more secure future, not change your material surroundings. Comparing financial products online is a good way to get to know the market before you invest. Or if in doubt seek advice, particularly if it’s a significant sum.

 

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Learn more about term deposits

Is term deposit interest taxable?

The interest that you earn from your term deposit is considered taxable income. Because your term deposit interest is taxable, it should be disclosed on your annual tax return.

It’s important to note that circumstances may differ depending on whether you provided the account holder with your tax file number (TFN). If you did not supply your bank or other financial institution with your TFN, they are typically required to withhold tax from your interest earnings.

If you’ve invested in a deposit that lasts longer than 12 months, you’ll need to claim your earned interest in the year that you received it. For example, if you receive interest monthly, you’ll need to claim your earnings at the end of the financial year. However, if you only receive interest at maturity, you should claim your earnings in the year that you received the lump sum of interest.

What is a term deposit?

A term deposit is an investment savings account. A term deposit usually pays a higher rate of interest than a regular savings account, with the interest rate fixed for the term (or duration) of the deposit.

You can open a term deposit account for one month or up to five years depending on your investment goal, and invest as little as $500 to start earning a profit.

With a term deposit, you get to decide how much you want to invest (the principal or deposit), for how long (the term or duration) and the frequency of interest payments.

A term deposit represents a secure form of investment, unlike trading in shares or purchasing real estate. And a term deposit up to $250,000 is protected by the government guarantee.

What is a term deposit account in a bank?

A term deposit account in a bank is a type of investment where you lock away a portion of your savings for a fixed period in return for earning a set amount of interest.

Opening a term deposit account in a bank is a safe way to earn a stable return on your investment of cash.

Term deposit accounts can be a good way to give your savings an extra boost without the need to actively watch or manage your funds during the term of the deposit.

Term deposit accounts in a bank are a popular type of investment because they’re safe and there’s very little risk that you could lose your money.

If you make a term deposit of up to $250,000 with an authorised deposit-taking institution, it’s guaranteed by the Australian government, which means there’s virtually no risk of losing your money and you’re guaranteed return.

Interest rates vary depending on the length of the term, the amount you deposit and the bank you choose.

How do I pay tax on term deposits?

Just like your regular income, the interest you earn on term deposits is taxable. You might be wondering, “How do I pay tax on term deposits?” The tax you pay on your interest will depend on the length of your term and when your interest is paid.

You should pay tax on any interest that you have received within the current financial year. For example, if you receive monthly interest payments, these payments should be claimed on your tax return. However, if your term deposit is longer than one year and you will only receive interest at maturity, then you will pay tax on your interest in the year that you receive it.

Paying tax on your interest is much like paying tax on your income. The money you have made in interest should be claimed on your tax return along with any other income in that year.

How long is a term deposit?

A term deposit refers to when you lock your money in an account for a certain period of time and at a specified interest rate. You will not be able to access your money for the length of the agreed term without incurring a penalty fee.

A long term deposit generally refers to a term deposit that lasts for more than 12 months – which in some cases may be as long as 10 years.

Usually, the longer you store your money, the better the interest rate you’ll get, so a long term deposit will tend to pay higher interest than a short term deposit.

At the end of the term, you can roll over the money (plus the interest you’ve made during the term), or you can withdraw it all.

Are term deposit accounts subject to capital gains tax?

The tax you pay on a profit generated by a term deposit is not classified as capital gains tax (CGT). CGT applies to an asset (or investment), such as real estate or shares, where you either make a capital gain or a capital loss.

Interest earned on a term deposit is considered income though, and would need to be included in your annual income tax return.

The interest can be declared in the year the investment matures, or for the financial year it was credited to your account.

This also applies if you roll over your investment into a new term; you are still required to declare the interest earned at the rollover date (whatever financial year that falls in).

What are the current AMP Bank business term deposit rates?

Term deposit interest rates are subject to frequent market change. To view the most current AMP Bank business term deposit rates, it’s best to view the provider’s website directly

If you want to earn competitive rates on your fixed deposits for an amount between $100,000 and $500,000, AMP Bank deposit may worth considering. Term deposits with AMP Bank allow you to earn reliable returns for different tenures between one month and five years.

You can also choose when you want to receive the interest; monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly. If you wait until maturity, you’ll earn the full interest.

AMP Bank term deposits do not charge monthly maintenance fees. If you’re at least 13 years and an Australian citizen with a local address, you’re eligible for AMP Bank term deposit.

Are term deposits worth it?

Ultimately, whether term deposits will work for you will depend on your particular financial needs.

Term deposits can be a great way to get your money working for you. By locking it away and forgetting about it for a period of time, it can earn interest for you. If you have the interest paid on a regular basis, rather than at maturity, you can either have some extra spending money or you can reinvest it into the term deposit to compound.

Of course, locking your money in a term deposit means you cannot access it for the length of the term, without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. This can remove the temptation to spend the money, while it also earns interest.

Are term deposits safe?

Term deposits can be a great way to build your savings, but before you invest, you might have one important question. Are term deposits safe?

When it comes to investing your money, you can choose between high-risk and low-risk options. High-risk options tend to have a better potential payout, but you also risk earning no profit at all or even losing your original investment.

Low-risk options tend to earn less profit than high-risk options, but they’re also safer, with little to no risk of losing money. Term deposits fall into the low-risk category.

Term deposits are safe because they’re low-risk, but they’re also protected by the Australian government’s Financial Claims Scheme. This government guarantee will insure your deposit for up to $250,000 per person, per institution, meaning that even if the bank collapses, the government will reimburse you for your deposit.

Can I negotiate a fixed term deposit rate with the bank?

“Can I negotiate a fixed term deposit rate with the bank?” you may be wondering.

Many banks welcome negotiation when it comes to term deposit rates, especially with deposits of over $100,000. Even if your deposit is lower than $100,000, it may be worth a discussion with your bank.

Negotiating with your bank could secure you a higher fixed rate, which will earn you extra interest over your term. You may also discover bonuses or special offers you can acquire through your bank.

Securing the highest interest rate possible is the key to making the most of your term deposit. You may have compared deposits online or discussed your options with a financial adviser, but you also might be wondering about negotiation in order to get a better rate.

What are Suncorp Bank's term deposit rates for businesses?

A term deposit with Suncorp Bank allows you to lock away a specific amount of money at a fixed interest rate for a nominated period. You will need to make a minimum investment of $5,000 and up to $2,000,000, and can select a period from one month to 36 for your investment. Term deposit investments ranging from one to 12 months are based on interest paid at maturity, while investments from 12 to 36 months are based on interest paid annually. 

While the interest rate will differ based on your investment amount and term duration, here are some of the most popular Suncorp Bank business term deposit rates as of January 2021: 

Term $5,000-$99,999 $100,000-$999,999 $1,000,000-$2,000,000
4 Months  0.50% p.a. 0.55% p.a. 0.60% p.a. 
7 Months  0.55% p.a.  0.60% p.a.  0.65% p.a.
12 Months  0.50% p.a.  0.55% p.a.  0.60% p.a. 
24 Months  0.65% p.a.  0.70% p.a.  0.75% p.a.

Please note that these interest rates are effective from 13th November 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Moreover, if you choose from an early withdrawal, the interest rate will be adjusted, and other charges are likely to be applied. 

 

How often do term deposit rates change?

One of the advantages of a term deposit is that this type of investment enjoys a fixed interest rate. This means that the interest rate that you have signed up for will not change during the period of your term deposit, regardless of rising or falling market interest rates.

However, it is important to be aware of the end of your term deposit. Once your term ends, whether this is in three months or three years, many banks will default to rolling over your deposit into a new term, sometimes with a lower interest rate. Once your term deposit rolls over, you will then be locked into this new fixed interest rate for another term.

Make sure to use the grace period at the end of your term to your advantage. Shop around for a competitive interest rate and reinvest your money accordingly.

Can you add money to a term deposit?

When you open a term deposit, you agree to lock your money away for a set period and earn a fixed amount of interest during that period.

Where everyday transaction accounts give you the flexibility to deposit and withdraw funds as frequently as you like, term deposits trade flexibility for higher interest rates.

Once your funds are deposited in a term deposit, they’re fixed for the length of the term, meaning you can’t add additional funds midway through the term.

When the term deposit matures, you may have the option to add additional funds and roll the funds over for another term, or you may choose to withdraw the money at that point.

If you have extra funds to invest, you could consider opening an additional short term deposit account or a high-interest savings account.

It’s worth noting that you can withdraw the funds midway through the term, but a penalty is likely to apply.

Can you take a term deposit out early?

If you are considering a term deposit, you may be wondering if you can take out your money early. It is possible to break a term deposit, but it will cost you both time and money.

Many banks require 31 days’ notice if you wish to break a term deposit. This means that if you need money urgently for an unexpected expense, it may not be worth breaking your term deposit. Make sure to read the fine print to see if this wait period applies to the term deposit you are considering.

You will also most likely need to pay a breakage fee in order to access your funds, and you may also incur a reduced amount of interest. All of this information – including the fee amounts – should be available in the term deposit product disclosure statement (PDS), so ensure that you read the fine print before committing.