Today marks the 2014 tax filing deadline. And, already, 98% of Canadians have or are in the process of filing their 2014 tax returns, says a new BMO survey.

But, the study finds there are some differences in how various groups of Canadians plan to spend their refunds, of those who are getting money back. Between millennials (those aged 18 to 34) who expect tax refunds and overall Canadians who expect refunds, the differences are below.

  • More than a third of millennials (37%) will pay off outstanding debts, compared to 40% of Canadians overall (Read: Too few households paying off debts: report)
  • More millennials will save or invest (33%) than most Canadians overall (25%)
  • Slightly more millennials (16%) will use their refunds to travel or purchase leisure items, compared to 14% of Canadians overall
  • More millennials will pay down their mortgages (14%) than most Canadians overall (9%)

Read: Younger Canadians prefer urban living

Digging further, the study examined the level of familiarity millennials have with tax-efficient investing (given the percentage of the group that wants to save or invest). Turns out, fewer than half (48%) of 18- to 34-year-olds regularly weigh their options between regular and tax-efficient investments.

In particular, 59% don’t understand how capitals gains are taxed, and 60% are uncertain how dividend income is treated.


Regional breakdown of results

Region % of millennials who will use refunds to pay outstanding bills and debts (vs. all Canadians) % of millennials who will save or invest refunds (vs. all Canadians) % of millennials who aren’t very knowledgeable about capital gains taxation (vs. all Canadians) % of millennials who aren’t very knowledgeable about dividend income taxation (vs all Canadians) % of millennials who seek tax-efficient investments (vs. all Canadians)
National 37/40 33/25 59/57 60/59 48/51
Atlantic 45/42 28/14 63/51 60/50 38/38
Quebec 28/26 34/25 62/60 73/65 52/59
Ontario 49/52 34/23 57/56 57/57 49/50
Prairies 21/30 26/27 65/58 63/55 66/51
Alberta 35/37 30/27 56/58 55/58 44/51
B.C. 37/46 42/37 56/57 51/60 36/45

NOTE: The 2015 BMO Tax Survey was completed by Pollara between March 26th and 28th, 2015, with an online sample of 1,252 Canadians. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. Data has been weighted by region, gender, and age, based on the most recent Census figures, so that it is representative of all adult Canadians.