Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
Preparing my annual tax return is not one of my favourite things to do—and likely not yours either.
In the past, I left this chore to the last minute. And that made it even less fun—scurrying around in a mad panic to gather all the information slips, tax certificates and charitable donation receipts, while trying to figure out what's new in the tax guide. I'm sure many of you can relate.
With age and maturity, I've become less of a procrastinator and reaped the benefits of preparing my taxes earlier. I've been able to avoid the stress of the last-minute rush, plan my finances better and even find some deductions I didn't know I qualified for.
With the rules and regulations changing every year, it takes some time to review and digest the information in the tax guide and determine which deductions, benefits and carry forward opportunities you qualify for. By not taking the time up front to give this document an in-depth read, I was missing some important deduction opportunities.
But that's not all I was missing. Back when I was a salaried employee, I was usually in a position to receive a refund. As a last-minute filer, I was denying myself the chance to get that money earlier and put it to good use. How silly is that?
Here's the thing. I'm still not quite as good as I could be with my early filing. Although I prepare my draft hard copy of my tax return early enough (I'm an old fashioned type who files by mail), I typically hold on to it until a few days before the deadline when I do the “final" copy.
That's because I always have this faint hope that I might discover yet another deduction I'm entitled to before April 30 or—on the flip-side—something I neglected to calculate earlier. Either way, I figured that by waiting until the final week before completing the final draft of my return, I'd have enough time to either find that extra deduction or correct that mistake.
If you're thinking of doing the same, the earliest date to file electronically is February 25, 2019. (If you're self-employed, you can file as late as June 15 but you still have to pay your taxes in full by April 30.) Or, if you prefer the low-tech way, you can pick up the tax package at any Canada Post outlet across Canada starting early February. Just be sure to have all your slips, certificates and receipts before you file.
How nice it'll be to have it well behind me and sail through the end of April while the late starters are drowning in a sea of paperwork!
This article or video (the “Content”), as applicable, is provided by independent third parties that are not affiliated with Tangerine Bank or any of its affiliates. Tangerine Bank and its affiliates neither endorse or approve nor are liable for any third party Content, or investment or financial loss arising from any use of such Content.... The Content is provided for general information and educational purposes only, is not intended to be relied upon as, or provide, personal financial, tax or investment advice and does not take into account the specific objectives, personal, financial, legal or tax situation, or particular circumstances and needs of any specific person. No information contained in the Content constitutes, or should be construed as, a recommendation, offer or solicitation by Tangerine to buy, hold or sell any security, financial product or instrument discussed therein or to follow any particular investment or financial strategy. In making your financial and investment decisions, you will consult with and rely upon your own advisors and will seek your own professional advice regarding the appropriateness of implementing strategies before taking action. Any information, data, opinions, views, advice, recommendations or other content provided by any third party are solely those of such third party and not of Tangerine Bank or its affiliates, and Tangerine Bank and its affiliates accept no liability in respect thereof and do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information in the third party Content. Any information contained in the Content, including information related to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors, is subject to change without notice, and neither Tangerine Bank nor its affiliates are responsible for updating this information.
Tangerine Investment Funds are managed by Tangerine Investment Management Inc. and are only available by opening an Investment Fund Account with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited. These firms are wholly owned subsidiaries of Tangerine Bank. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.