OTTAWA-- Lots of tax filers recognize that paying down financial obligation or investing are smarter methods to spend their tax refund than spending lavishly on a new big-screen TV or a quick weekend getaway.But with home financial obligation levels near record levels and interest rates beginning to climb, the choice in between saving or reducing the amount owed has become a progressively essential decision.Those with refunds require to consider their whole financial photo when weighing the option, stated Andy Nasr, director and lead financial investment strategist at Scotia Wealth Management.READ: Tax changes Canadians require to know prior to April 30"This isn't really almost investing, it's about really establishing a strategy to maintain

and build up wealth which's going to vary from person to person," he stated."It is going to depend upon your objectives and your risk tolerance.

"If you have high-interest debt such as a balance on a charge card, utilizing your tax refund to decrease or eliminate that financial obligation ought to be the priority.There's absolutely nothing that will offer you a guaranteed rate of return like paying off the balance of

a credit card that is charging 20 percent interest, said CIBC's Jamie Golombek. "I would not do any RRSPs, I wouldn't do any TFSAs, I would mostly direct that cash to paying down that financial obligation,"said Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning.The decision is more difficult when it concerns financial obligation with less difficult rates of interest. Mortgages, home equity lines of credit or vehicle loans might bring much lower interest charges.The Bank of Canada has increased its essential interest rate target 3 times since last summertime, moves that have prompted the big banks to raise their prime rates. The prime rate at Canada's

huge banks now stands at 3.45 per cent compared with 2.7 per cent at this time last year.And while the timeline doubts, economists are forecasting rates will go higher this year, additional rising the cost of variable-rate home mortgages and other financing linked to prime rates.Nasr stated you have to compare the rate of interest you're paying on your debt with the after-tax rate of return you believe you might be able to see if you invest instead and consider what your monetary picture would look like if things don't end up as you hope and your returns fail or you end up losing money."I wouldn't think about investing unless I believed my anticipated return on something, whether it is the money flow from it or the total return, would be enough to service those financial obligation commitments while I have them,"he said.Nasr included it is very important to bear in mind that unless you're buying something like a GIC, the market can be volatile and there is no guarantee that the principal is safe. "If you buy stocks, you ought to anticipate some level of volatility which can affect the capital that you're putting to work,"he said.Golombek states if you have the ability to tolerate some threat and have a long adequate time horizon prior to retirement you may be able to understand a substantial advantage by avoiding extra payments on low-interest debt and rather making contributions to an RRSP or TFSA account.

"It does not always make good sense to pay for debt,"he said.You don't wish to be mortgage-free, however have nothing saved for retirement, he included

."Every person is various, however I'm not sure it makes sense to take money and pay for low-interest debt when you have a long adequate time horizon where you can get a greater rate of return."The post Pay debt or invest? Ways to utilize your tax refund appeared first on MoneySense.

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OTTAWA-- Lots of tax filers recognize that paying down financial obligation or investing are smarter methods to spend their tax refund than spending lavishly on a new big-screen TV or a quick weekend getaway.But with home financial obligation levels near record levels and interest rates beginning to climb, the...