Kill the Beast

Alright I finally killed my tax beast yesterday for my wife and I.  After about five hours of entering numbers, checking numbers, finding errors and fixing errors.  The end result was a nice $1700 refund for me and my wife’s total tax bill was about $150 (which again was all CPP contributions).  If you can’t tell already, I hate doing my taxes.

Yet this year I felt I learned a few interesting things which I thought I would share.

  1. Don’t have your RRSP’s deducted at source once you are pulling in a fair sized stream of investment income.  As your yearly investment incomes grow, so will your related tax bill from it.
  2. Keep on top of tax changes to ensure you are getting every deduction you can.  For example, I forgot this year my son gives us a $2000 tax credit until QuickTax presented me with the option.
  3. If something doesn’t look right, go back and double check your numbers.  Case in point, while entering in information for my wife’s business one of the numbers looked high.  So we crossed check it with something else and realized there was an error.  The number was correct, but entered in the wrong category.
  4. Don’t enter a number unless you can prove it.  While looking up one number to add in I realized my memory of the number was completely off.  I thought it was X when it really was Y.  I didn’t realize the difference until I confirmed the value in the source documents.
  5. It’s ok to get frustrated.  Take a break when you need.  I had to have couple of breaks yesterday as I needed to keep my emotions calm and my mind rational (A special thanks to Preet who provided a very timely phone call to distract me from my taxes for a while.)

So are you done your taxes?  If so, what did you learn this year? If not, get started already they are due in just nine days now.

6 thoughts on “Kill the Beast”

  1. One thing I do is to keep my return from the previous year handy.
    My tax situation does not change much from year to year,so it can be a good reference.

  2. I learned that I’m just as capable as a trained professional.

    I had a tax preparer re-d my taxes for me as they are rathe involved (Canadian and US, including filing a tax treaty article). She got precisely the same results as I did.

    Sounds like I’ve got the right approach!

  3. My advice: start early. I do mine online (quicktax) and I’ll generally load up my last year’s return in January or so. Then, each time I receive something in the mail related to my return, I enter it in.

    By the time it comes to file I’m usually 90% done and I just have to spend an hour or so checking over the numbers.

  4. Preet,

    No problem. I thought my son was bit loud at times too! Mmm, a chef isn’t a bad job. At least you will have a place to invite yourself over to. *grin*

    Hazy,

    Good idea. It does make things easier.

    Telly,

    Ick. I would hate to have to do your taxes. Good to hear you can do it yourself.

    Christine,

    GREAT IDEA! That would make things a bit easier. I’ll have to try that one.

    Thanks everyone,
    Tim

  5. I do taxes for my wife, myself and my in-laws. Quicktax raised its prices so dramatically for someone who does that many returns (4 – big deal!) that I switched to UFile. It was much cheaper and eventhough I have been a long time QT user, I found it just as easy to use.

    I am really pleased with my purchase of UFile. I just wish it was available in more stores.

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