The deadline to file taxes is on May 2nd this year and it’s creeping up fast. Are you ready?
Shockingly, I’m organized this year and getting set to file ours in the next week. As someone who typically waits to the very last day to file, this is a big step for me. I always breathe a big sigh when it’s done and this year, I decided why wait? Just do it.
How I Filed Our Taxes in the Past
For the past 10 years, I’ve been paper filing our taxes. What I mean by this is that I prepared them by hand and painstakingly filled out each and every form. It was a tedious process that took forever to do. Even a simple return like my fiance’s took a couple hours from start to finish. You can see why I procrastinated doing it. I had other things I’d rather do then slaving away over tax forms and double and triple checking my math.
Let me give you a little background to help you understand why I like to do my own taxes. I worked in a public practice accounting office from 2002 to 2007 as an accounting technician working towards my CGA (Certified General Accountant) designation. Part of my job was preparing corporate and personal income taxes for our clients.
I’m no longer working in that field, but my experience has helped me in my current career, running my own business – this blog! I figured I’d just do our taxes myself because it was something I had done for years. The only thing was that I didn’t have the software to do it. So paper file it was.
Concerns & Fears
There were a few drawbacks besides the tediousness of paper filing. The first one was that I was concerned I was missing something. Since I no longer work in the industry, I was worried if I was missing out on tax credits or deductions that I could be claiming. Every year brings new tax changes and I always had that lingering thought in the back of mind saying, “Am I doing this right?”
I also wasn’t crazy about mailing in all those forms to CRA. I usually register the envelope to ensure it gets there. Lost mail happens and it would not be cool to lose our returns in the mail. Typically over 11 million Canadians file online and I felt I should be doing that too in this digital age. I wouldn’t have to worry about lost mail or paying extra money for postage.
Also, this year I’ve got an extra tax return added to my plate. My 17-year-old daughter, Olivia, had a part-time job in 2015 and I need to prepare her tax return too. She knows she’s getting a refund so she’s been asking me since she received her T4 if I’ve done them yet. I better get cracking!
What I’m Doing This Year
Surprisingly, I’m looking forward to doing our taxes this year. I’ve got a little help! I’m going to be using H&R Block’s Online Tax Software to prepare John and Olivia’s tax returns. And guess what else? It’s 100% FREE. I know, I did a double take too! Don’t worry, there are no hidden fees.
H&R Block recently unveiled its free Download and Online Tax Software for Canadians for those of you who, like me, prefer to DIY. You can download the tax software to your computer from their website. You don’t have to go to the store, buy a program and then install a CD. Or you can just do it online right on their website like I plan to do.
H&R Block Canada is a trusted brand with more than 50 years of Canadian tax return experience. With over 1,200 offices across Canada, chances are you have one near where you live too.
You might find this interesting. When I was working in Edmonton for the CGA office, my boss enrolled me in the H&R Block Personal Income Tax course. He said that they offer a “top notch” course and it would help me with my duties in my current job! I learned a ton from the course and have been a fan of H&R Block since. They know taxes – simple and complex!
I’ll be sharing another post in the first week of April telling you about my experience filing online with H&R Block’s Online Tax Software. I’m looking forward to getting them completed and I can cross off a big item on my to-do list.
I encourage you to try H&R Block Download and Online Tax Software if you are the DIY type like me. Visit hrblock.ca and either download the software or select the online option to get started. You’ll be instructed through the step-by-step process of preparing your returns. If you have questions as you go along, reach out to H&R Block’s 24/7 technical support and tax advice. They offer a help centre, live chat and a toll free number.
If doing your own taxes isn’t for you, that’s perfectly ok too. Visit an H&R Block location near you and have one of their experienced tax professionals prepare it for you.
What are your plans this year for doing your taxes?
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.