After deciding to understand and take ownership of my own tax affairs and decided to participate in Mission Life Financial tax shelter; the important thing I learned is to file my tax return by myself with the help of a tax filing software. Why? For two reasons: First, because it allows you to increase the understanding of the technicalities, the tax jargon, deductions allowed, and at the end, your tax situation. Second, because I wanted to simplify and save money avoiding extra time and costs hiring a tax filing service.
At the beginning I was fearful of my abilities to understand how the software worked, and at the same time, distrustful of the results I’d get. Nevertheless, soon I realized that as long as I answered basic questions and followed the steps, it wasn’t really complicated, and the best was, that the software reflected exactly the expected tax credit we should get due to the charitable donations we made to Mission Life Financial tax shelter.
Here is how easy you as a Canadian taxpayer can claim charitable donations:
1. Have ready the entirely documentation related with your donation: You need to gather the receipts of all donations no matter the amount of it. If you donated less than $200 in a year keep the receipts until you reach this amount. You’ll have up to 5 years to carry forward charitable donations. TurboTax will advise you to combine your donations together with your spouse and claim them all on the return of the higher-income spouse, maximizing the credit”.
2. If you contributed to a charity through a tax shelter you’ll need the originals of the donation receipt, the Statement of Tax Shelter Information Form T5003, the Claim for Tax Shelter Loss or Deduction form T5004, as well as the Schedule 9 which is the Donations and Gifts form. Al these documents should be provided by the tax shelter.
3. Then start filing the information that TurboTax requests. The software has an interview process with simple and precise questions to determine your tax situation. It helps to establish the events that have changed from your last year situation. For instance, the origin of income, the marital status, changes of address, etc.
4. The software will ask and guide you through the process very easily. It leads you asking to look at your T4’s line by line and to enter the amounts in each line of the screen. It’s this simple, no difficult calculation. The software does that for you.
5. One additional concern I had was the accuracy in recording and estimating our tax credit due to our charitable donations with Mission Life Financial. The software reflected exactly the expected tax credit, and we got our cheque for the exact amount of the refund calculated by TurboTax.
6. The secret to achieve an accurate tax return and a maximum refund are based on the quality of questions TurboTax asks in the interview process and on the optimizer tools that come embedded into the software. If for any reason you get stuck, the software come with features such us “Ask a Tax Expert” or chat Online. Therefore, you’ll have a tax expert on your side.
After all, I realize how easy and guided process was. Since we’ve been using TurboTax we’re confident that our Canadian tax return is accurate and our tax refund guaranteed. We no longer trust our tax affairs to anyone, because we now know how we can save in taxes with Mission Life Financial and how we can file our tax return faster, better and easier with TurboTax. It only costs us 2 or 3 hours of our time and is done.
Why don’t you try to file your own tax return? Believe me; it will contribute you to take very informed decisions in your benefit. If you decide to leave your tax decisions in other hands it shows signs of poor tax planning and that is costing you to lose money.