Thursday, 30 July 2009

A Compendium of Essential Tax Resources and Links

The April 30th deadline for filing 2008 personal income tax reports has come and gone but tax planning is a never-ending process and indeed is more effective done far in advance instead of at the last minute, so here is a list of tools, information sources and calculators for Canadian investors.

1. - rules, tips, tax rates, federal/provincial budgets, accounts (RRSP, RRIF, TFSA etc), glossary, calculators
2. - no calculators but everything else above plus lists of professionals, links to many government tax websites, blog
3. Canada Revenue Agency - all the official stuff like forms, bulletins and guides, plus a helpful primer on income tax, info on newer deductions, how to Netfile a return electronically with list of approved software; good search tools, FAQs and topic directories

Calculators - for tax planning and estimation
4. Ernst & Young 2008 personal tax - ultra-simple, enter your taxable income and the calculator estimates (using the basic personal tax credit only) income tax for each province in total and marginal rates on eligible and ineligible dividends, interest/ordinary income and capital gains, very handy when you have a taxable and tax-sheltered investment accounts to see which types of securities should go in which account
5. - neat graphical display with slider to show same thing as Ernst & Young
7. Canadian Tax Calculator - the intermediate to advanced version, like an abbreviated tax form with various types of income, deductions and credits

Tax News, Tips and Blogs - to remind us all of the latest developments, the implications, the gotchas and possible strategies to legitimately minimize what we pay
8. Grant Thornton Domestic Tax Service - tax news with tips for individuals from a professional firm
9. Ernst & Young Managing Your Personal Taxes 2008-09 - includes 15 pages on investing in the 87 page guide
10. Journalists Tim Cestnick (Globe and Mail), Jonathan Chevreau aka Wealthy Boomer (National Post), Larry MacDonald (Canadian Business)
11. Individual Bloggers Canadian Capitalist, Thicken My Wallet, Million Dollar Journey, Canadian Personal Finance Blog, WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo by Preet Banerjee - gain from their experiences but be aware that they are not professionals and their opinions are just that, not advice, as is the case with this blog
12. Books - buy them online, read them offline at leisure; many titles are available at Chapters or Amazon. One I've used and found very useful with intermediate level detail is Tax Planning for You and Your Family 2009 by KPMG professionals from Carswell Publishers. Usually the "Dummies" series books are solid, so Tax Tips for Canadians for Dummies 2009 is likely a good intro level book.

Software - to prepare and Netfile income taxes electronically
13. List of CRA-certified programs with links to the companies
14. Reviews and assessments - Wikipedia, CanadianFinancialDIY on the web versions

Oh, and one bonus set of helpful links to reduce the stress - tax humour!
Tax Blogger,, Income Tax Humour, Tax Humor (Tom Anton)

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