If you want something done right, do it yourself (especially with taxes)

Mar 1 2018, 5:02 am

Vancouverites, the time of year you’ve been anticipating/dreading is here: Tax season.

Wait, wait. Hear us out.

While you may have a lifetime of fears built up around tax season, it’s actually something to look forward to. Keep the end result in mind: tax money back in your pocket. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Yet there’s still one thing that puts a lot of people off doing their taxes themselves: the cost. Sure, you could leave all of your paperwork to an accountant or tax store, and have them do it for you, but this can end up costing you more than it should. In fact, 55% of Canadians handed off their taxes to someone else in 2017, mostly using third-party services.

What you may not know is that by filing your taxes yourself, you can save time and money. The online income tax software TurboTax allows you to do everything from the comfort of your own home.

Why it works

TurboTax offers software includes features like TurboTax Live and SmartLook where users can get live help from TurboTax experts, however they have also provided free tax filing options to Canadians for more than a decade and it’s doing the same thing this year so Canadians have a range of options to suit the level of help they require.

According to stats from a survey by TurboTax for 2017, the biggest challenge people have when it comes to doing their taxes is getting their documents organized (38%).

If you are a Canada Revenue Agency My Account holder, you can view copies of your T4 and other T-slips online, then import all that information directly into your TurboTax account using Auto-fill My Return.

Who it works for

Whether you’re working for one company, if you do freelance or contracted work for a number of firms, or if you’re fully self-employed, TurboTax has you covered. The software offers a range of personalized guidance levels and expertise, as well as on-demand access to TurboTax experts. This means if you’re looking for a little more guidance, you can choose to connect with a live tax expert at any point in your filing experience.

The expert you’re connected with can answer any tax-related questions you may have and guide you through industry-specific deductions and multiple sources of income. Plus, you’ve also got the option to have your self-employed taxes prepared, optimized, and filed entirely on your behalf by a TurboTax expert if you choose the TurboTax Live Full Service. The full service normally costs $129.99 but it’s discounted to $99.99 until April 14. Plus, all tax experts working for the firm have an average of 17 years of tax preparation experience, so you know you’re in good hands.

When it should be used

What are your plans for this coming weekend? Well, if you’ve got some free time on your hands you can get the ball rolling and submit everything you need to get your taxes filed. The general deadline to submit everything is April 30, or June 15 if you’re self-employed.

The sooner you get everything in and ready to be filed, the sooner you’ll get your money back. FYI: The average refund for a filer in 2017 was $1,210, according to the CRA. This could be your biggest return year yet!

For more information visit TurboTax online, or check out the software brand on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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