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Common Tax Preparation Mistakes

– Posted in: life, Managing Your Finances, Money Management


Tax season is upon us, yet again. I know some early birds among us have already started preparing their taxes and are in the look out for resources and information to help them in filing taxes in Canada efficiently and early.

So, I thought of putting together a list of tips to make your journey through the tax season a bit easier by pointing out the common tax preparation mistakes we usually make 🙂

In a world where filing your taxes is considered to be “easy” by tax return software programs, why are there so many problems with tax returns annually? Tax preparation mistakes are a common occurrence and almost certainly have afflicted all of us at one time or another, whether we were caught on those mistakes or not. What mistakes are the most common? Which ones trip us up most often?

Filing Taxes in Canada

I am glad you asked….

 Not signing your mailed return

It seems amazing to me that anyone could still  make this mistake as much as it has been discussed, but it happens plenty. Signing your tax return is an absolute must if you expect it to count. Add that signature and double check yourself at least twice.

 Updating Life Changes With Your Tax Professional

If you have someone do your return, they sometimes get complacent about updating your information. From adding a new stock portfolio that you forgot about to simply updating your marital status, these types of mistakes can have a massive effect on your tax return or bill. Make sure you go through the x’s and o’s before you sign the dotted line complete.

 Settling for any old tax preparation service

All tax preparers are most definitely not created equal. Spend some time getting to know the person doing your taxes and compare and contrast them with other options each year. If you see you can find a better deal elsewhere, make the switch. Just be sure the “better deal” is not someone that is being overly aggressive and taking chances. That can lead to a massive problem.

 Inflating or deflating the values of what they claim 

Again, an item or service costs what they cost. There is absolutely no reason to ever inflate or deflate. If you are dealing with something subjective, chances are you should be leaving it off the return. Use standard guides to determine value such as the Kelley Blue Book for cars, etc…

 Knowing when to do your own taxes and when not to

There currently is a commercial going around that talks about the billions of dollars left on the table by people that do their own taxes. Not understanding taxes and trying to navigate the terminology is like trying to read a foreign language for most people. With the tax preparation software on the market today, it has been simplified somewhat. I have heard that H&R Block offers  free editions to prepare, print and e-file and also free, in-person audit support.  H&R Block has tax prep products for every tax
situation. Products are available in both online and software versions.You also get free, unlimited advice from a tax expert!

Yet another tax software, Turbo Tax guarantees you biggest tax refund possible with 100% accurate calculations and step by step guidance, so you are confident that your taxes are done right!

 These are great if you like to handle tax filing yourself and have done so in the past successfully. Not to mention, this way you also save the fees you would pay to your tax professional 🙂   Having a basic understanding of tax implications and rules is preferable if you embark on this road.

That said, I like giving mine to my hubby since he is our in-house taxman due to the profession that he is in (yup!that’s right! 🙂  ) so I can rest assured that I will get each penny that I deserve to get back from the Government.  He does filing online so that we get our tax returns quickly.

Well, Now I have to get back to my zillions of receipts and tax slips lying around in our house to get them in order and organize it so that my hubby will have a much easier time filing our taxes this year!

Good Luck filing taxes in Canada on time everyone!

 ****Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links******


16 Comments… add one
Cher January 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Great tips, Vinma! I am sort of dreading mine (i do every year) and will use your tips like a checklist! Thank you for sharing!

Vinma January 25, 2014, 6:14 pm

You are welcome Cher! Glad that you find these tips helpful 🙂

Robin (Masshole Mommy) January 25, 2014, 10:14 am

Great article. My husband is an accountant, so I never have to worry about this sort of thing – which is great because I am horrible with math!

Vinma January 25, 2014, 6:15 pm

haha.. My hubby is in tax, so I don’t have to worry about this sort of thing. And, I am sort of horrible in Math lol

Rosey January 25, 2014, 11:18 am

I sent ours in once years ago without signing. I could NOT believe I did that, but it really happened. Great list!

Vinma January 25, 2014, 6:16 pm

I know! It is a simple mistake and one that could happen if you are not careful enough…

Nikki January 25, 2014, 12:54 pm

Great advice! I use HR Block online to do my taxes. Mine aren’t too complicated though, I’m pretty much broke, lol!

Vinma January 25, 2014, 6:17 pm

HR Block is great due to their free tools 🙂

coolchillmom January 25, 2014, 7:00 pm

filling out taxes can be a very stressful moment and for some it can be a night mare getting all receipts and records in order. this is a very helpful list, thanks so much for it. in the haste o things, definitively not signing the form can be uggggh a deal breaker

Lawna January 25, 2014, 9:04 pm

We used H&R Block for years but after a couple years ago we started doing our own. That is because H&R Block did our taxes wrong and we were almost out $5,000. We tried telling them, but they insisted they were done correct. When we got our taxes back we called, went back in (this time to a different location), and sure enough, we were shorted $5,000. My hub did our taxes last year perfectly, so this year he is filling them again.

Vinma January 26, 2014, 6:49 am

oh, that’s a shame Lawna! I am sorry you had such an experience with them. Its good that you guys caught the mistake on time and was able to rectify it by switching in a timely manner.

Pam January 26, 2014, 2:36 pm

Lots of great info here. My husband is also an accountant and does our taxes. I am glad I don’t have to really get involved. I take care of all the medical stuff and he does the financial.

Amanda Love January 26, 2014, 2:51 pm

I do mine online via Turbo Tax Military Edition since I’m military and we do ours a bit differently. Those are great tips though and I still have yet to file. Waiting for hubby’s W2.

Ashley Gill January 26, 2014, 3:01 pm

I’ve not thought of a couple of these things! My husband does our taxes and has already figured out if we should get a return or not. Lucky for me he takes care of all of that!

Karen Glatt February 22, 2014, 8:57 pm

Making sure to sign and put on SS numbers is what I always check before sealing that envelope. I do my returns every year, and so far so good. But, I have had them done before. These are very good tips to learn.

Shannon February 27, 2014, 10:03 am

Thank you for sharing this with us, very helpful tips.

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