The Financial Olympics

May 1, 2015 by

          May! I’m so happy you’re here, love! You know you’re my fav, right? You beat my birthday month by a landslide and you even show up June, July, and August. I like you best for the hope that you bring. As soon as you arrive, I know it’s the brink of summer and, no matter how long it’s been since school, I’m thrilled that the academic year is on its way out. Not to mention that you bring me money. Yes, you, May, always come bearing my tax refund (which is getting lower and lower by the year, but I welcome it nonetheless), since I always leave filing my return to the end of April, often as late as April 29, one day before it’s due.

          Ah, April 30: the annual deadline for Canadian income tax returns. The only reason I don’t leave filing until then is because I’m never 100 percent sure if the April 30 deadline means midnight on April 30 or 11:59 pm on April 30, and I don’t mess around when refunded money is on the line. Clearly, though, I put it off for as long as I think I can. I procrastinate because I’m a procrastinator by nature, but also because of what a production filing my taxes used to be before Simple Tax. Have you ever tried completing income tax forms manually? You know when you get so pissed and frustrated that you cry? That was like an April tradition for me. I didn’t know which forms were applicable, I didn’t understand why I was providing some of the information being asked of me, and I didn’t really get how my refund was being calculated. Add the fact that I was audited the first time I ever filed a return, which was completed by whoever does my parents’ taxes, and I had no faith in anyone’s ability to master the system, let alone my own. Even so, I don’t see the point in paying someone to do something that I can learn to do myself.

          While I still don’t understand tax returns and they’ve irritated me enough in the past that I don’t care to know the details, I can now arrive at my refund myself without the headache of processing (and without being audited by the CRA). Simple Tax requires no knowledge of how income taxes work. You spit in the information you have and it spits out the amount owed to you by the CRA (or the amount you have owing). I first discovered Simple Tax when it came time to file my 2012 tax return in 2013. Thanks to the developers of that wonderful (and free!) piece of software, that year, I was able to autonomously file my own tax return for the first time. I felt like I had just earned an Olympic gold medal. I used Simple Tax to file again last year (on April 29) and this year (also on April 29), essentially making me a three-time Olympic gold medalist.

          If you don’t already file your own taxes, try it (using Simple Tax, because there’s no need for self-torture). Aside from the boost in independence you’ll feel, you’ll virtually get to go to the Olympics. How often do you get to go to the Olympics? Now, how often do you get to go to the Olympics and win?

Happiness Tip: File your income tax return yourself.

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