Aussies are paying their bills with this year’s tax returns

20 Jul 2020

Three in 10 Australians expect their income this financial year to be lower compared to last year and a quarter (25%) will use their 2020 tax refunds to pay bills, according to research from MYOB.

Seventy-one per cent of those who had a drop in their income said the coronavirus pandemic is to blame. MYOB Economist Jon Manning says the results from the survey of 1,000 Australians reveal tax refunds will be different for many this year

“This has been a year like no other and many Australians will be in a different financial position to where they expected to be 12 months ago,” he said.

This year sees more complexities with new stimulus packages to factor into tax time; a fifth of survey respondents were on either JobKeeper or JobSeeker.

“In addition to new elements to factor into their tax this year, a lot of Australians will be tightening their belts preparing for a recession. It’s more important than ever to work with a tax agent to maximise your return,” Mr. Manning said.

With many households impacted by coronavirus restrictions, 13% will use any refund to supplement income lost as a result of the pandemic and only 3% of respondents plan to spend their return on something frivolous this year.

“Twenty-three per cent plan to invest their refund, which may be a sign Australians are battening down the hatches.

“Unsurprisingly, given reduced incomes and uncertainty around travel, only 10% intend to pay for a holiday.”

The top five ways people plan to spend their tax refund:

  1. Use it to catch up on bills (25%)
  2. Invest it (23%)
  3. Nothing, it’s not usually anything much (16%)
  4. Supplement income lost as a result of COVID-19 (13%)
  5. Pay for a holiday (10%)




For further comment or other information please contact:

Selina Ife, Communications Consultant, MYOB



About MYOB

MYOB is a leading business platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. At the heart of MYOB is a customer base of 1.2 million businesses and a network of more than 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and consultants, for whom MYOB delivers end-to-end business and accounting solutions. MYOB operates across four key segments: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Enterprise, Financial Services and Practice. For more information visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.