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FILING TAXES ONLINE: 10 TIPS FOR CANADIAN FAMILIES- Tax Software Leader, UFile, Shares Need-to-Know Tips for Pain Free DIY Filing -
For many Canadians, tax season brings on feelings of stress around the organization of T4 slips, RRSP contribution receipts, expenses and other “paperwork”. With tuition transfers, capital gains/losses, and the new family income splitting tax credit, allocating amounts and determining how to maximize the family’s refund can seem daunting. Many families struggle with how to go about filing taxes, whether it’s seeking professional help, filing on their own or deciding how much money to spend.
According to the CRA, 40 per cent of Canadians file their own taxes and 83 per cent of all returns filed for the 2013 tax year (whether personally or by a professional) were filed online. For those who are still on the fence when it comes to online filing, UFile, with 14 years of experience providing tax software to Canadians, can shed light on some common misconceptions and offer tips on what every Canadian family needs to know about filing their taxes online.
DIY Online Tax Filing Tips for Families:
1. According to the CRA, one in four Canadians will wait until the final week before the April 30th deadline to file their taxes. Don’t leave money with the government any longer than you have to. You can file online from the comfort of your own home and get your money in the bank faster than filing a paper return.
2. Filing tax returns for your entire family doesn’t have to be prohibitively time consuming. UFile allows you to create one complete family “unit” within the same user file allowing for ease of navigation and entering of information.
3. Once you’ve prepared your family’s return through your tax software program, you can submit your return directly to the CRA through NETFILE. No need to waste paper or spend time travelling to the post office.
4. In NETFILE’S early days, submitting your .tax file was cumbersome and required a web access code that could be complicated to obtain. Now, not only is the web access code not needed, there is no need to save the .tax file to your desktop and upload it to the CRA. Simply click a button within your tax software program to NETFILE your return and receive your confirmation number.
5. If you owe money after filing, the CRA makes it easy to pay through Internet banking or with your credit card through online payment provider Plastiq. With Internet banking, you can even postdate your payment for April 30th.
6. Filing online for the first time, especially for those with limited computer skills, can be intimidating. Set up like a virtual interview with an accountant, UFile’s logical, step-by-step question stream makes it pretty hard to forget a slip or receipt as you are prompted for all the required information each step of the way. Also, if a slip comes in later than the rest, it’s easy to enter it quickly without retracing your steps.
7. If you’re like many Canadians, preparing your taxes can feel like riding the streetcar – a lot of starts and stops. Not everyone has the organizational foresight to have all the necessary paperwork in one spot. Don’t worry about completing your online return in one sitting. The software will save your information and you can log in and out as many times as you need to.
8. Allocating deductions, tuition transfers and income splitting amounts is confusing and can affect your family’s tax refund (or amount owing). Remember, not all tax software are created equal; while some programs make you do the guesswork, UFile automatically applies these tax saving credits and deductions, eliminating the hassle of trying to figure out what’s right for your family.
9. Although tax software programs use the same security as banks use for Internet banking, some Canadians are still unsure about the safety of submitting confidential information online. The leading tax software programs have a web-based platform and a desktop software version for those who may still be hesitant to input personal information over the Internet.
10. Hiring an accountant can be expensive. For under $26, a family can file their returns online with UFile and, because UFile can prepare any kind of tax return, there are never any surprise costs. Moreover, if you are a post-secondary student, new to Canada, or a senior receiving the guaranteed income supplement, filing online is free!
About UFileUFile is the Canadian consumer tax program from Thomson Reuters, located in Montréal, Québec. It is a leading provider of tax preparation products and has served the professional tax community with personal and corporate tax products for more than 25 years. UFile products include UFile ONLINE (online tax software), UFile and UFile PRO. For more information, visit www.ufile.ca or join the conversation @UFile, #filesmart or at facebook.com/UFile