Aside from nicer weather and cleaning up the house, spring means one thing for many people: tax time.
Peter Delis, spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), says it’s important to file your return. With lots of tax-credits, you might find yourself with more money than you think.
“We’ve got this campaign, where basically if you’ve earned it, claim it,” he says. “You’ve got charitable deductions, Metropass credits, a whole list of things that could help.”
But the process can sometimes be daunting. Local resident Mihir Sircar feels the tax language is too difficult to understand for the average person.
“The government has made the forms easy for themselves, they’re set up in [the government’s] format,” he says. “These forms need to be in plain English, it should be the government’s job to decipher our language instead of our job to figure out their complicated paperwork.”
Sircar feels it’s unfair Canadians don’t get paid to file our tax return, and CRA employees do. The worst part is that there can even be criminal offences charged to those who file late or improperly when they owe the government money. At the very least, there are fines.
“If you don’t get the forms in on time, there is a five percent penalty on the total, along with one percent added every month it is late,” Delis says.
“But it is really unnecessary, because you have a lot of time to do it,” he says. “Also, if you are self employed, the deadline is extended to June 15.”
Every spring Ottawa saves a lot of money by those who do not file on time.
For more details on filling out a form or potential tax credits, along with current tax rates, check out the CRA website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.