Taxes in Canada - How to
Thread poster: JennyC08

Local time: 09:39
German to French
+ ...
Mar 20, 2006


I hope this is the right place for that kind of questions.
This is my second year in Canada (I live in Ontario), and this is unfortunately taxes time.
Last year, I filled the forms on my own and got a big headache.
This year, I would like to avoid it!
I have been self-employed (for a part of the year only) and am currently employed by a translation agency. So what would you do? Buy a software (and if yes, which one), go and see an accountant (in that case, what would be considered as a fair price?)?
Any hints would be greatly appreciated!



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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:39
The only way to avoid a headache... Mar 20, 2006

... IMHO, is to hire an accountant... even if you buy the software, you will still have to figure a lot of things out, especially if you worked as an employee and as self-eployed during the same year.

The range of prices varies a lot depending who you hire (I think agencies of the type H&R Block are the ceapest), and how much they have to work on your taxes (last time I asked, a really straightforward return for one person was around $500 CAN).

As you, I did my taxes for the first three years, but then I hired an accountant. I still believe is one of the best investments I can make!

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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:39
Member (2001)
English to Russian
+ ...
H&R Block Mar 20, 2006

On the West Coast (BC), H&R Block seems to be cheaper then)

I have just asked the H&R Block agent about their rates and she said: $75.00 in most cases for some straight forward tax return; and a bit more - she said - around $150.00 for more work. But the good thing they will be helping you through the whole year - if there will be any problem / issue with your tax return they helped to submit.

In Vancouver they installed H&R Block booths in shopping malls (like in The Bay) so I can do my taxes while my wife will be shopping around)

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:39
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Definitely an accountant Mar 20, 2006

Hi Caroline,

I would definitely hire an accountant. If you are incorporated or have a registered business, it's a must.

As Rosa Maria points out, you still have to supply all the information that the accountant needs - the more detailed and well-organized the better.

Until recently I used Quicken-Basic. It has the advantage that it is really easy to produce a report of all the relevant (tax-related) categories. The disadvantage is that you have to do everything their way. All your information is stored somewhere inside the program files and you cannot access it directly. Since something went wrong with the program at the end of last year and I lost all my data, I now use a simple Excel spreadsheet and make up my own report.

I don't know the exact amount off the top of my head but last year the bill for the accountant came to somewhere around $250. He knows all the ins and outs of what to claim. My tax return is sent in electronically and the accountant stores all my past information. He checks over the summary that comes back from Revenue Canada to make sure it's ok before sending it to me. If I bring in my information early, it is processed before the last minute rush of other clients and I also get my refund early. So all in all, it's practically stress-free and well worth the expense!

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Local time: 09:39
German to French
+ ...
So I guess the award goes to the accountant! Mar 21, 2006


Thanks a lot for all the advice, I really appreciate the help!
I want to HR Block yesterday. Like everywhere in Canada I guess, they have booths pretty much in every shopping mall.
I went to two of them and ended up with two different versions. The first one told me that it's pretty easy and would cost $120, but she cannot do it on site because taxes for self-employed are more complicated (sic).
The second told me it is pretty straightforward, but it would cost $200, and for that price, I might as well do it myself (dixit the rep)!!!
I guess I have no luck with HR Block...
I will try to look around and see if I can find another accountant.

Good taxes to everyone!

Cheers, Caroline

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