Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Income Tax Season: Resources to Help You Prepare a Return

One of the good things about online investing is that when it comes time to prepare the annual income tax return, almost everything needed is available online. Here is a collection of links to help with your tax return:

Tax Advice and Rules:
  • Canada Revenue Agency - the official source for forms, guides and bulletins and electronic filing, due dates, or use the toll-free number 1-800-959-8281 for specific questions
  • TaxTips.ca - rules explained in common language, tips, tables of tax rates by province, calculators, special section on taxation of investments
  • Canadian Tax Resource - blog by an accountant, clear explanations, good links
  • Grant Thornton - tax tips from an accountancy
  • KPMG Tax Planning for You and Your Family 2010 - a book! - readable, clear explanations, well-indexed, onward references, which you can buy at Chapters

Tax Breakdown (Interest, Dividends, Return of Capital etc) of Distributions

Tax Return Software - two types exist: downloadable software to run on your own computer and web-based software that can be used from anywhere connected to the Internet; the better packages have lots on built-in help and advice on paying the least amount of tax, legally of course; all are NetFile certified, meaning you can use them to electronically file your return with the CRA, which in turn means getting your refund a lot sooner
Software Reviews and Comparisons
Tax Calculators
  • Ernst & Young - enter your taxable income and it shows you by province total tax as well as marginal rates on ordinary income/interest, capital gains and dividends
  • RRIFMetic - sophisticated tool (and it costs a fair amount) for planning and optimizing for retirement income including taxes on types of accounts (taxable, RRIF, LIF, TFSA, RESP) and types of income (dividends, interest, capital gains)
  • TaxTips.ca Tax Planning Calculator - simpler (and free) but still quite detailed calculator to help decide when there is some flexibility to take income from RRIF/RRSP, or taxable capital gains, interest and dividends

Tax Discussions
These resources won't mean you will be able to avoid taxes altogether but at the least they will make it easier and faster to do so correctly and probably to pay less as well.

Disclaimer: this post is my opinion only and should not be construed as investment advice. Readers should be aware that the above comparisons are not an investment recommendation. They rest on other sources, whose accuracy is not guaranteed and the article may not interpret such results correctly. Do your homework before making any decisions and consider consulting a professional advisor.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Wow! Great collection of links. Thanks!