I’ve been writing on this here blog for over 4 years, an impressive feat considering the average blog only lasts a day and a half before the owner realizes their cute stories about their cat just aren’t entertaining. (I’m estimating here, your actual blogging experience may vary) I’ve churned out approximately 1.4 million posts, you’ve all commented 2.7 billion times, and collectively we’ve wasted 3.93 quadrillion hours that we’ll never get back. Uh, sorry about all that.
There’s good news though. Finally, I’m about to present some actual useful advice. I’ve avoided talking about taxes this whole time, mostly because paying them depresses me worse than being single on Valentine’s Day. (Topical!) Like a good little guy I dutifully pay my taxes each quarter, and then at the end of the year I hand my taxes to my accountant, who does them for free, probably because I’m so awesome. Or maybe it’s because we’re related.
Anyway, now that I’ve started on the topic, you’re all probably wondering what tax tips I have for you. Considering the source, I’m sure it’s assumed that I’m writing off lap dances and all the expenses associated with keeping all my internet girlfriends happy. Alas, I don’t really have those expenses, mostly because I’m a cheap bastard but also because none of my internet girlfriends will return my calls. And I’ve tried. A lot.
Anyway, onto the actual tax tips.
Max Out Your RRSP
Here’s an easy way to reduce your tax bill by at least 15%. All you have to do is max out your RRSP.
Yes, I realize you’re going to have to pay tax on it once you retire, but that’s like, a million years away. There’s value in delaying tax for decades. There’s little guarantee that your taxable income in retirement is going to be significant or that tax rates will rise over the next 40 years.
Besides, it’s all about the current value of money. If you get a tax refund now and invest it for years, it’s much more valuable than maybe paying less tax at some point in the future. Guaranteed money now is generally worth more than non-guaranteed money in the future.
Actually Reinvest Your Tax Refund
If you’re a regular schmoe, chances are you’re getting some money back from the government. That’s because your company generally will take a little too much, so you don’t come back in March and rip HR a new one because you owe the government taxes. So congratulations, you’re getting a refund. IT’S NEW TV TIME, BITCHES.
Uh, no. You just gave the government an interest free loan for months. Giving people interest free loans is typically a bad PF move, but it’s okay, there’s no need to beat yourself up about it. Provided, of course, that you do something smart with that tax refund. If you invest it, not only will you get a head start on next year’s RRSP contribution, but you’ll also be able to make an extra 6 months worth of gains.
And while we’re on the topic, get HR to adjust your exemptions so you’re not getting a giant refund. It’ll only take a few minutes, I promise.
Read Your Tax Forms
The relative that does my taxes is old school, probably because he’s old enough to remember life without TV and flush toilets. So instead of using tax preparation software, he actually uses the forms. Besides the forms, Canada Revenue Agency will also make available a handy guide to changes made in the tax code compared to last year. Make sure to actually read this, you may have exemptions for stuff like buying a new house, doing renos, or for one of the million things your kids did that costed you money.
Or, you could get some tax preparation software and let it tell you about all the new deductions. You hear that, old relative? Of course not. Like he knows how to use the internet.
Let’s Give Away Some Stuff, Yo
Thanks to the fine folks from H&R Block, I’ve got two codes to give away to their online tax software, which will definitely make your life easier. Also cheaper, since the software usually will set you back $29.99. See, I’m saving you money already. Well, assuming you win.
Here’s how you enter. You send one erotic picture to – wait, I’m being told that’s inappropriate. Instead, just leave a witty comment. Or a not-so-witty comment. Or hire a monkey to leave a comment for you. It’s all good. We’ll run the contest until the next Sunday Link Dump, where I’ll announce the two randomly selected winners. You can only enter once, so no stuffing the virtual entry box, cheater.
Good luck to all who enter. Tell all your friends. Hell, even tell your enemies. It’s all good. And if you don’t win, click here to buy your own H&R Block Canada Tax Software.