Twelve days to taxes

2008-04-18

in Canada, Daily updates, Economics

Only twelve days remain before taxes need to be filed. Sure, one could print all the myriad forms required, fill them out by hand, and send them off with a big red lipstick kiss to the Canada Revenue Agency. Alternatively, you can use their very accessible NETFILE system to do it all electronically. All you need are documents detailing your various earnings and tax deductions.

You need to have an epass before you can file online, and you won’t be able to use it until they send you a code in the mail. As such, those wanting to file online and on time should request one immediately, if they haven’t already done so.

The data file you submit to NETFILE needs to be prepared using some kind of software. One option is to use the H&R Block online service. It costs $20 a person and produces a .tax file that you can upload to NETFILE yourself. Alternatively, the H&R Block page will let you print off a physical return to mail in.

If you want to save $20, you can prepare a NETFILE return using free software. A friend of mine recommends Taxman: a free piece of Windows-only software. It is not quite as elegant as the H&R Block interface, but $20 might justify a bit of finicky dealing, as well as the need for fellow Macheads to find a Windows machine to use for a while. The Taxman site also includes a game plan for filing taxes.

P.S. Given how mobile people reading this blog seem to be, it is worth mentioning that if you moved in order to be closer to a school or employer, you are eligible for tax benefits. In the future, make sure you hang on to receipts for related expenses. Even meals you eat during the time you are traveling are eligable.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

megan April 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Someone left that Taxman link in my comments, but I thought it was a joke since they were anonymous and the link didn’t work. Drat! I should have published it.

But I still didn’t get anything when I followed the link, in either the most recent firefox or IE7. Weird.

Milan April 22, 2008 at 11:47 am

I used H&R Block myself, because I didn’t want to bother a friend with a PC. That said, I am told Taxman works just as well.

. April 24, 2008 at 4:21 pm
. April 24, 2008 at 4:22 pm
. April 24, 2008 at 4:25 pm

One thing important to remember when buying tax software is the distinction between NetFile, a system by which non-professional tax-preparation people send their returns over the Internet, and EFile, which is for CRA-accredited tax professionals. TeleFile is a system of filing using a telephone. And UFile is software, not a system of filing (except that it uses NetFile to submit your forms).

Another thing to remember is that very few software packages work on Macintosh computers, but most have a Web-based system intended to be as complex as the boxed version, so Mac users will not be left in the dark.

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