Taxes. Yeah, I hear that cringe from everyone right now. It is such a wonderful word, in that it inspires so much emotion for two simple syllables. For some reason, it isn't as powerful in its base forms, Tax and Taxation, but say "taxes" and people begin to recoil.
I'm going to be putting up a post tomorrow on the benefits of taxes, yes, some do exist, which should apply to most countries. But here, I'm talking about Canadian taxes, and why you shouldn't be afraid of them. Sorry Americanos, this one is for the little guys.
Canada does its best to create a fair taxation system. It is marginal, stepped, and prorated, ensuring you don't pay more based on unfortunate circumstances. This is one thing that while I was working as a tax helper, I had to explain a fair bit. The stepped system means the more you earn, the more you pay. I think the USA is similar in this regard. However, that higher rate (and here I'm not sure if it is the same down south), applies only on that higher amount of money. Whether you make 10K or 10,000K a year, that first 40K is always taxed at 15% federally. Only the amount over 126K (and change, whatever) gets taxed at that highest bracket level. You have the same advantage as all Canadians at any given income level, in that those will less are taxed the same up to their amount as you did in that bracket. Getting a dollar more per year to put you in a higher bracket shouldn't punish you, after all, that would be stupid.
Most people get others to do their taxes for them, but it is really easy to do them yourself if you've got a simple return: one or two slips, even three different ones, and its still pretty straightforward. The T4 has a box 14, which says "put this amount on line 101" right above it. And at box 16 that says "put on line 308". It's basically just moving numbers from one piece of paper to another. If you are a single-job person who goes to only a single bank, or in school and just want to save up your education credits, you might as well save your money, and it is your money, and file it yourself. At least give it a look-over, it's a lot of money people spend on tax preparers, and if you're doing a simple return, it's probably in your best interest to do it yourself.
If you don't know if you qualify for a credit, heck, call them. The number's on their (the CRA's) website. They should be happy more people are interested in filing tax returns, data is what matters after all... Or comment here. I might know what you're talking about. (NO GUARANTEES!) Not quite a google-quality ad for tax preparation, but I can at least click you in the right direction and cite the guide pages for you.
To those who are unemployed, because they study or are finding themselves or are NEETs or whatever, you guys have no excuse. It's a free hundred bucks a year for filing out some paperwork in Ontario from your Sales Tax Credit.
And to the USAires and the rest of the world (there's a few out there), sorry about this not applying to you, the next probably will, but tax preparers are likely the same in every country; if you're getting them to do it, look it over once, and see if you can do it yourself. Be independant, it will help in the long run.