With seven free software products certified for filing with the Canada Revenue Agency, it’s time to embrace the DIY movement. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Filing your income taxes has to be one of the most dreaded rituals of the year. Gather your tax slips and receipts, complete the tax form and hope you’ve reported everything properly and not overlooked tax credits or deductions you’re entitled to. Americans lack the super-simple tax-filing system they have in countries like Japan and the Netherlands, but there’s hope for we Canadians.
The Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a new service called Auto-fill my return and it can greatly expedite the process of completing a tax return. If you use tax software to complete your return and send it to CRA via Netfile, Auto-fill automatically fills in a lot of the boxes for you using information that employers and financial firms have supplied to CRA via T4s, T5s and more. Yes, CRA gets a copy of the same tax slips as you.
CRA says Auto-fill was used for more than 981,000 returns sent via Netfile as of April 10, well more than double the 425,000 at the same time last year. Click here for a list of free tax software products that are good to go with Auto-fill.
Subscribe to Carrick on Money
Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.
Canada’s most affordable cities for housing
A list of 35 cities where houses are affordable according to a traditional measure – the ratio of house prices to income.
Millennials sure like their parents
A look at why so many millennials are living at home with their parents. Financial reasons play a role, but there’s also a comfort factor.
Air travel secrets
A flight attendant tells you how to win the “most annoying passenger” award and more. Presented on the basis that all the attention paid lately to airlines bumping passengers will make you a more discerning consumer of air travel.
Tips from the “wellderly”
That’s one researcher’s term for people in their 80s who have no cognitive decline or dementia. Exercise is a huge factor in reducing the risk of cognitive impairment.
Meet the new head of Tangerine
Brenda Rideout is the first female CEO of a major Canadian financial institution. Tangerine is the online bank owned by Bank of Nova Scotia.
Today’s featured financial tool
Use the website aretheyregistered.ca to make sure an investment adviser or advisory firm is registered to sell securities.
Ask Rob The question: “Do brokers in Canada have a fiduciary duty to manage their clients’ RRSPs in the best interests of those clients?”
My reply: No. Most investment advisers are bound by suitability standards, which mean recommended financial products have to be suitable for a client’s needs and situation. But there is no broad standard to put client interests first. An exception is a type of adviser for high net worth clients called a portfolio manager.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.
In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories
– Could the CPP Post Retirement Benefit work for you?
– Five tips for graduating students trying to crack a tough job market
– Why Globe and Mail dividend guy John Heinzl is buying more shares of one particular dividend growth stock (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
More Carrick and money coverage
For more money stories, follow me on Twitter and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.
Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter.
Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.