Thursday, April 8, 2010

QuickTax Time

Well, that's it. Easy as pie. Done and little to negligible pain.

Taxes. Inevitable and, bear with me for a a minute, the seed of many a rant; from myself, included. I hate taxes. I hate receiving my T4 to learn how much money never made it to my account (not to mention how much did.. and disappeared)! On the flip side, I like being a Canadian, so I guess I live with it. It's kind of more important to me anyway.

What I don't have to live with? Paying someone to tell me I haven't handed the government enough of my precious paycheck.

QuickTax Standard for Tax Year 2004 (CANADIAN EDITION)Today, I completed my taxes myself with the help of QuickTax (the Online Standard Version). Even with a second income from my Pampered Chef business, the program was easy to navigate and the forms straight-forward. All for  a grand total cost of... $14.27.

My simple return last year (no RRSP's, one income, few investments) cost $80. Judging by the additional information I had to get for my PC business, this year easily would have cost more than $100.  As a bonus, RBC and BMO customers get a 20% discount on QuickTax until April 15, so I pocketed an extra Starbucks coffee for myself!

Perhaps most important about doing my own taxes, I learned first-hand how my PC business impacts my  return. The expense statement clarified eligible expenses and how my home and auto expenses should be tracked and then expensed out. The program also opened my eyes to the eligible deductions that are out there, and the Tax Savings/Warnings/Errors double-check your return for items missed or of possible concern. 

Another neat tool? The RRSP Optimizer. While I was too late this year, I would use this visual tool in the future to calculate the impact increased RRSP contributions would have on my return. You would think that should be motivation to invest more in 2010, yet I can't bring myself to up my contribution amount just yet.

When it's all printed, signed and delivered (I'm opting for snail mail, rather than efile), I feel significantly better about my personal finances today than a year ago. Reading that post again, I recall how lost and utterly beaten I felt. I know I managed my money better in 2009, and the return check will be part of the proof! Even if the secret is mostly just RRSPs!

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