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It’s tax season!

Whether you will receive a refund or owe money, did you know you can keep even more money in your pockets by filling a free tax return?

If you know you won’t be receiving a refund and will have to owe the CRA, it might be beneficial to file a free tax return to keep some of that money in your pocket.

What is needed in order to file your taxes:

  • Before you file your taxes, you’ll need to make sure you have all of your available tax slips. For example, people who earn or receive an income will have a T4. If you’re an investor, you may also receive a T5 for any dividends or investment gains or losses.
  • Is there value in using a tax expert or accountant?
  • Realistically, most people do not need to hire a tax expert to help them with their return. If your circumstances involve only 1 or 2 tax slips, you can likely file your own tax return without much trouble.
  • If your situation is a little bit more complex: for example, if you run your own business or have rental properties, having an accountant might be useful. 
  • Most tax software, whether free or paid, do a pretty good job of walking you through what is required.  Quite often, tax experts are using the same software available to you to file your return

Filing a free tax return:

  • There are free options out there that you can use without handing over your hard earned money or a portion of your return for the sake of having it wrapped up in a nice little package.
  • The CRA website also provides a bunch of paid options for people who may have a more unique situation where more specialized software might be required. Many of them are the common tax filing companies you’re accustomed to seeing like H&R Block and Turbotax. 

What do you do with your tax refund (if you’re getting one)?

  • Here are a few ways I think you could use your tax refund:
    • Pay off consumer debt like car notes or credit cards
    • If you have kids, you could contribute to an RESP and benefit from government matching
    • You could put into a high interest savings account or invest in your self-directed or managed investment portfolio

Let us know in the comments if you file your own taxes or if you rely on a tax expert for support.

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