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Tax time: What you can do with your $1080 bonus

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Updated 27 Aug 2019Jonathan Nash
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Unless you have been living under a rock these past few weeks, you’ll know that a $158 billion tax package was recently passed through parliament. Regardless of what you think of the politics of such a whopping tax cut plan, the deal is done and it will see millions of Australians receive a refund of between $255 and $1080, depending on their income.

For a big chunk of the population - about 4.5 million of us by some accounts – the full whack of $1080 will be available.

The question then becomes what are we going to with this tidy windfall?

The government would clearly like us to shovel it right back into the economy and give it a nice boost. And that might well be what happens - $1080 is not an insignificant sum and a chunk of change like that can buy quite a bit of stuff.

The temptation might be to choose to buy a slice of hi-tech gadgetry, perhaps one of those flashy TVs, for example . . . FYI, you can get your hands on a 65-inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV at a well-known retail chain for just $1095 at the moment.

That certainly is one option. You could also pay off a bit of debt, perhaps build up some savings, or bring down your mortgage a bit.

You could also think about getting some work done on your car.

I know it ain’t much fun blowing a nice pile of notes on your car but think about it for a moment. Think about how different your life might be if your car is off the road.

I’ll take a punt that your vehicle is one of the most important tools you own. It’s difficult to imagine life without one. We use them to get to and from work, to get the kids to school, to get to the shops to buy groceries, to get to the movies and to the beach, to get to the restaurant to meet friends and family – in short, it’s a piece of machinery that allows us to do all the things we need to do to earn money and have something resembling a social life . . . until Star Trek’s transporter ‘beaming’ technology becomes a reality, the car will have to do.

Now ask yourself when was the last time you had your car serviced properly?

For those with new or relatively new cars that are still under warranty, you may well be getting your vehicle serviced regularly and on schedule. Good on you for that. However, the average age of the Australian national car fleet is 10 years old – which means most cars on the road are not sparkling new and freshly unwrapped.

Getting your car serviced – especially when it feels like it’s running OK - can feel like a grudge purchase, but it’s an important one to consider. And for less than the $1080 you’re going to receive, you can put your car through a decent major service, get those new tyres or brake pads and rotors, replace those squeaky windscreen wipers or get the air conditioning re-gassed . . . in fact, there any number of sizeable jobs that can be done to bring your car back to a level of true roadworthiness.

It might not be the most fun option to spend your tax-time good fortune, but it is a pretty sensible one. You want a set of decent new tyres that’ll help keep you safely on the road or a high-def TV on which to watch Netflix? I know which I’d choose.

Thumbnail image: Paramount Pictures

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Written ByJonathan Nash

Jonathan has been writing about the auto industry for years and is particularly interested in the high-tech innovations sweeping the industry.

He’d love to own a Tesla Model S, but also adores anything with a V8 under the bonnet. 

He has yet to decide between an EV or a Mustang for his next ride.