There’s winter, spring, summer, and fall. Hockey season, basketball season, baseball season, and football season. But I’m quite certain now that I like tax season best.
When I was 17, my parents decided that it would be a good idea for me to start doing my own taxes. Sure many people have tax accountants perform the family tax forms, but that costs money and more importantly, doesn’t teach anything. My finances were pretty basic anyways, so there was little chance of messing it up. The scariest part of attempting to do one’s own taxes is getting the cojones to even start it. Once you’ve started, it’s really not that bad, but gathering all the required forms and receipts together from a whole year of disorganization is just tedious.
I just finished up my tax return last night, so let me explain what’s so ‘fun’ about filing one. Well, in large part, the allure of a big, fat cheque from the government is incentive enough. I’m especially fond of those moments when you discover yet another tax credit that is literally pure money. I found several there this year that I wasn’t expecting, (a $250 credit just for being an employee, a credit for bus passes for my 4 months in Mississauga, a new credit for university books, and the CPP over-contribution was nice) so perhaps Harper’s government has been doing something right (oh the thought….).
In the end, I’ve gained a lot of insight on the tax system in Canada over the past three years that I’ve done my tax return, and while the process is sometimes painful, the reward can make up for it and so much more. In fact, with all those additional credits this year, my prior estimate of a ~$700-800 return has ballooned up to $1200. Now, it’s time to go choose that 24″ LCD I’ve been eying…