Monday, March 01, 2004

It's the beginning of March, which means one of the inevitables/certains in life must be faced. Yes, it's that time of year again - its Tax Time!!!!! I can't believe a year has passed since I last filled out one of these utterly-confusing -and-complicated-for-no-reason-other-than-to-makes-us-plebes-believe -the-government-has-a-whole-building-full-of actuaries-and-economists-working-to-ensure-that-each-and-every-Canadian-citizen-pays-their-fair-share-when-really-they-just-stick-to-the-people-in-the-middle-income-bracket income tax returns.

Oh dear, I'm becoming cynical at such an early age. I shouldn't be complaining in the least, the government is pretty friendly to us students and I've been getting nice refunds these past few years. Plus, I did work for the CCRA last year and actually enjoyed it, perhaps because we were helping people do their income tax rteturns and they were usually guaranteed a refund due to being in low-income bracket. My only complaints re the tax thingie:

1. Why am I paying CPP?? By the time I am old enough to collect CPP, it will no longer exist. We're simply paying for the baby boomers to live out a comfortable retirement. I'm sorry, but the demographics speak for themselves- we won't be getting any Canadian Pension, heck we probably won't even be allowed to retire until we're 75.

2. Why do I have to claim income I made while living outside Canada? I wasn't in Canada during that period of time to take advantage of the services that are supposed to be provided through taxes (eg. health care) and had to pay for these services through travel insurance.

I guess I should have asked Brian of CCRA these questions when I called up with a few queries yesterday, but he was just too nice and I'd already taken up a half hour of his time. Guess the intricacies of income tax will just have to remain a mystery.

All that being said, and I apologise for slight seriousness of above paragraphs, I've discovered a way to make the tax filing process quite a bit less stressful - its called software!! I used QuickTax last's great, but it costs about $40. If you're like me (cheap....when it comes to paying money to file your taxes!!), then I suggest visiting U-File. It's a great website based program that does all the calculations - all you have to do is answer some simple questions and then pay $12.95 plus taxes to either Netfile or Print it.

The other option, for students or persons with simple returns and income of less than $25,000, is to visit a CVITP tax clinic organised by the CCRA. A volunteer does your taxes for you and submits it electronically, so it is super fast. Just check with local CCRA office to find info regarding location and times of clinics.

There, am finished! My educational post for the week. Hold the, really, I insist. Oh..well..if you must....if I can be of any more assistance...

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