Thursday, April 28, 2016
Still procrastinating on your taxes? Last minute advice for filing on time
I spoke with CBC radio across the country this morning about the fact that Canadians are notoriously late with filing their tax returns. If you find yourself in the same boat, you still have time to avoid a costly penalty. According to a recent Turbo Tax Survey for Intuit Canada, most of us haven't filed our taxes yet. Their top tax-filing trends survey revealed that only 37.7% of those in Ontario had already filed, 18.4% in Alberta and B.C. trailed at 17.3% (as of April 25th, 2016).
There's an app for that
If you're looking for a cheap and fast way to file your tax return (and get your refund if you have one coming), the Globe and Mail's personal finance columnist, Rob Carrick and BNN News spells it out here.
Overlooked deductions and tax credits
If you're going it alone, make sure you brush up on the 70 plus tax deductions and credits available to Canadians. Robyn Thompson from Fundlibrary has a solid list for you to check here.
Why are we so last minute?
Jacob Hirsh, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto was quoted in this Toronto Star article saying, "Why wouldn't you put them off? Unless you're expecting a big refund, there is no real positive incentive to do your taxes early. Normally, the things that motivate us the most are the things we're excited about: we perceive an opportunity for value." Hirsh teaches organizational behaviour and human resource management.
A little peer pressure may help motivate you as the Canadian Revenue Agency states that 90% of Canadians actually file on time. So even though we procrastinate, most of us are prudent enough to not be late, even if we file in the final hour.
What can you do to minimize the stress for next year?
Taxes are one of the largest expenses you'll face in your lifetime. As the old saying goes, pay your fair share of tax, but not a penny more. Consider utilizing the experience and guidance of a Certified Financial Planner. A CFP can crunch the numbers and figure out how you may be able to pay less tax now and in the future. To find a planner in your area, visit http://www.fpsc.ca/find-a-planner-certificant.
You still have time to file
Because the April 30th deadline falls on a Saturday, you now have until Monday, May 2nd at midnight to get your return in on time.