Now this is something that stumped me. How did they not teach this in school? This information is actually something I would use in my adult
So what did I do? How did I file?
Well like most teens do, I asked my parents. Not long after that we were on our way to H&R Block. For five years. While the tax
representative that serviced me for all five of those years was kind to me, the first three times I was charged $40 and the last two was upward of $100. In the final year of doing my taxes with H&R block I received a letter from CRA asking for more information. Long story short one very long mix up and four phone calls later I felt taken advantage of.
There’s a saying that goes “If you knew better, you’d do better.”
In my sixth year of filing taxes, my now fiancé asked me a simple
question “Why don’t you just do them yourself?”
This confused me. I’m not an accountant, in fact I wouldn’t even say I was really good with math; not to mention I had no clue how to do taxes. Then he said “It’s easy and not that big of a deal.”
Easy for him to say.
I reached out to some of my peers to see how they do their taxes.
Mostly I got typical answers “H&R block”, “My aunts an accountant” or “My mom has a friend”. None of those were helpful to me at the time, until one of my friends let me know that she does her taxes herself.
At this point I was curious. So I asked her if when I was ready she would walk me through it. In 15 minutes on the phone with me she provided moral support while I used TurboTax’s free online version to do my taxes. I say moral support because it was so easy I didn’t really even need the help.
While I was happy and felt accomplished that I was able to do my taxes myself, I was also quite annoyed. In doing my taxes on my own I learned just how easy it was and felt scammed when I thought of all the times I payed significantly for at most two t4’s.
What I’m trying to get across is that you have options.
You can do them yourself.
You can seek professional help from a fee based company.
You can seek professional help from a non fee based or limited fee company such as tax clinic at your local community centre.
Doing it yourself is easy and quick. There are many tools to help you with this such as:
These websites have online filing options that can walk you through the process, with really helpful facts pages. Before doing it yourself, make sure you have all your documents: T4’s, child care, investment information, charitable donations, tuition, medical expenses any rental receipt’s.
For free or low fee based tax clinic’s you can always check your local community centre or if you’re Canadian click this link:
Fee based companies are last on this list for a reason. Unless you have really complicated taxes, I genuinely feel like this is an avoidable option. Why give your hard earned dollars away for free?
But in the sake of fairness I will provide some examples:
Finally please keep in mind that, like some of you, I was not taught these things growing up. I’ve had to figure out all that I could on my own. While I’m no professional, these are tools that I use in my life that haven’t failed me yet. My hope is that you take something from this that can help you in some way. Below I’ve attached some links that can hopefully answer some tax questions that I may have missed. Always do your research, always make sure the websites you’re on are credible and lastly always do whats best for your personal situation.
Bye for now,
Cass Money for Millennials.