*Canadian content only*
This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher.
~Albert Einstein (when asked about completing his tax form)
I feel quite the same as Albert Einstein when it comes to taxes. So many questions!! Can I claim my spare room as an apartment if my dog lives there? Does ‘income’ include the 5 Cheezies my daughter handed me last night while watching TV?
But seriously though! What is the best way to do taxes?
Unless you’re Good Will Hunting, or have been doing your own taxes for decades, I don’t recommend doing them yourself.
1. It’s time consuming – you will constantly be looking up how to fill out certain sections, what deductions you can/can’t use, and so on.
2. It’s confusing – very little support online and if you call the CRA be prepared to be on hold until tax season is over.
3. There’s a high margin of error. Period!
This one is enticing! You can walk into H&R Block and walk out with money in your hand. But what does that cost you?
Instant Cash Back
You are charged 15% or your return for the first $300 and then 5% on the remaining. So for example, if you are getting a return of $750 it’s going to cost you around $70. Not bad, but not great either.
Pay With Refund
On average it costs $147 to file a return with H&R Block. (Ummm.. no thanks!)
Ok, here’s why I LOVE TurboTax:
1. There is online support 24/7.
2. When you sign up you create a profile and they will archive ALL of your tax returns so that you can pull them up at any time if need be.
3. It cost only $20 to file your taxes with TurboTax Online.
4. You can set up direct deposit so that your refund goes directly into your bank account. This way you get your refund faster.
5. One click of a button and and your tax return is sent to the CRA directly (no guesswork).
6. TurboTax Deluxe costs only $30 but you can file EIGHT (8) returns! That means you’re only paying $3.75 per return. Gather some friends and save money!
7. There’s an option to purchase ‘Audit Defense’ whereby TurboTax will take care of everything if you ever get audited on the return. (Pretty cool. I would say this was a bonus for those who a paranoid of being audited.)