Dear Barb – Doing Your Own Taxes

Dear Barb:

Another year has begun and I find myself at a loss for how to do my taxes. I am a single mother and do not have much money. I cannot afford to have someone else do my taxes for me. Do you have any tips? My taxes are very basic. I have student loans, scholarships and tuition. I don’t know where on the tax form to put the amounts. Thank you so much Barb.

Anonymous – Alberta

I guess it is that time of year again. I’m sure there are lots of people who feel as you do. There are a couple of ways to do your taxes that are quite reasonable in cost and easy in process.

You can go to the Intuit website http://www.quicktaxweb.ca/content/index/index.php?b=intuit and do your taxes online for under $20.00 and get your refund in as little as eight days. QuickTaxWeb is a product from Intuit Canada, which also produces Quick Tax Standard. Quick Tax Standard can be purchased through many retail outlets and comes on CD. One of the features of Quick Tax Standard is that you can do an unlimited number of tax returns for individuals with an income of less than $25,000. Therefore, you may be able to do tax returns for your friends or family members.

Both products have step-by-step instructions, to make sure you are able to maximize the tax credits to which you are entitled. You simply input your information when prompted, such as tuition, rent, child-care expenses etc. The program will put your information in the proper areas on the tax form and do the calculations for you. I personally have used Quick Tax Standard for several years and I have never had a problem. As well, when using this product, you can NetFile your return (i.e., submit the completed form to Revenue Canada over the Internet). You may receive your refund in as little as two weeks.

If you do not have a computer, or you just do not feel confident enough to do your taxes yourself, there is another option. Providing you have a simple tax situation and your income is low, you may be able to get your tax return done free of charge. Canada Revenue Agency provides Volunteer Tax Preparation Clinics throughout Canada. To find out if there is one near you, call Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 or visit their website at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-e.html.

I hope this information helps.

E-mail your questions to advice.voice@ausu.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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