New CRA Scam: an Email Called Pending Tax Refund

Here’s the newest CRA-related scam trying to steal your money.

Budgeting for Retirement: How Much Should I Expect My Property Taxes to Increase Each Year?

I know our property taxes have gone up every year but how much should I expect them to go up per year once we’re retired?

Will a Scorcher Summer Ruin Our Budget for Electricity Or Will It Just Be the Astronomical Rate Increases?

Why use a strategy to reduce our air conditioning costs. Do you?

How Did My Income Tax Program Use Up All of My Tuition and Education Amounts So Quickly?

Once more the government’s trying to trick you by talking about big savings but giving you much much less.

How to Use the CRA My Account Auto-fill Feature to Add Info to your 2015 Tax Return Using StudioTax 2015 for Free

I wondered exactly *what* the CRA My Account auto-fill feature would upload into my 2015 income tax return if I tried it using StudioTax 2015. So I tested it out.

Finding Information on the CRA My Account Website to Prepare Your Tax Return

Before I try to use the CRA information download to pre-fill in my income tax return for 2015, I thought I’d better look at what information the CRA already has on file for me.

How to Download and Install StudioTax 2015 to Do and NETFILE Your April 2016 Taxes for Free

It’s time to get cracking on my taxes: that $2.18 refund should just about buy me 2 peppermint teas.

How to Contribute to Your RRSP at CIBC Investor’s Edge By Transferring from a Linked Account

It’s simple and fast to contribute to your RRSP at Investor’s Edge.

When Will I Get My Tax Refund after I NETFILE Using StudioTax or GenuTax Standard 2014?

Is NETFILEing really going to speed up getting your refund?

Can I Get the Maximum Family Tax Cut If My Lower Income Partner Contributes More to a RRSP?

Whenever the government changes the tax rules there’s always someone checking to see how they can maximize their profit.

You Think You’re Fine for Retirement But What Happens If Your Partner Dies Will You Still Have Enough Income? Part 2: Personal Savings (RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, Annuity) Retirement Income

Have you taken these steps with your RRSPs, RRIFs and TFSAs? Do you understand how combining RRIFs can affect your OAS or GIS? And is your partner ready to handle the money?

Should I Wait to Claim My Tuition Fees Until I’m Earning More Money?

Delaying some types of income tax claims can save you money; others don’t.

Writing Something Off On Your Taxes Does Not Mean It’s Free!

Why you shouldn’t buy a new printer for your office without some serious thought.

Does GenuTax Standard Free Software Calculate the New Family Tax Cut Income Splitting Reduction?

It’s too late now to make more money last year but if you had here’s a few cases and what GenuTax says you would have saved on your 2014 tax bill if you were a couple with a child under 18.

Does StudioTax Calculate This New Family Tax Cut Income Splitting Reduction For Me?

How much can we save with this new Family Tax Cut? Will it be dim sum or Disney?

How to Download and Install Free Tax Software to NETFILE Your 2014 Canadian Income Tax Return

It’s time to download tax software to prepare your 2014 tax return. Fortunately GenuTax Standard and StudioTax are still both free and both approved to NETFILE your return for free!

Think Twice Before You Give the CRA Your Email Address on Your 2015 Income Tax Return

I’m not giving the CRA my email address.

Who Should I Name as the Beneficiary for my Non-Registered Investment Accounts?

I trust that you already know the answer but if not, read on.

Getting Ready to File Your Income Tax Return for 2014: Forms and Free Software

Rather than mountaineering over snow banks why not order your tax forms and guides from the comfort of your own computer? And while you’re at it, you can download FREE software to NETFILE your 2014 income tax return.

How Can a Canadian Couple Legally Income Share to Reduce Taxes?

These two strategies allow some income-splitting between spouses regardless of whether they have any children.

Deliberately Misleading Government Ads About Tax Breaks Anger No-Young-Children Canadians Needlessly

Why is there no law requiring truth in “advertising” from our government? And how is antagonizing taxpayers without young children helping to unify our country?

How to Download Your Transaction History from a BMO Online Bank Account

It’s fast and simple to download your banking data from BMO but there’s one thing I wish they’d change.

How to Open a Tangerine TFSA Kick Start to Save in the Fall of 2014 for January 2015

If you got paid and therefore have new money to save which you couldn’t deposit to catch the last interest rate promotion from PC Financial or Tangerine, here’s another way to make some extra interest on it.

What Is a Non Registered Brokerage Account?

When is it worth investing the money for your next car in a non-registered brokerage account? And an overview of what these accounts are, who offers them, what you can hold within them and how taxes apply to them.

How to Change Your Income Tax Return by Mailing In a T1-ADJ Or a Letter

How I completed and mailed a request to revise my tax returns. And do you know why Shawinigan has a CRA office? (If you do you’re probably over 25.)

How to Change Your Tax Return by Filing a T1-ADJ Online Using Your CRA My Account

It’s worth claiming overlooked income tax credits and deductions: adjusting your tax return online takes only a few minutes and could pay you back handsomely.

How to Get Into Your CRA My Account Tax Information Online to Check Info or Send In Changes

How to apply for online access to your tax information from the Canada Revenue Agency. Once you have access you can print out a history of your TFSA withdrawals and contributions; electronically file a T1-ADJ for prior years’ returns; and check what you carried forward for capital losses or education amounts.

What Info (T4, Tax Owing, RRSP Limits) Can You See Online from your CRA My Account Website?

There is quite a filing cabinet of information now available online through the CRA My Account site. Ever wonder whether you claimed your Education amount in 2002? Want to know your TFSA contribution and withdrawal history, as the CRA believes it happened? It’s all in there. No waiting on hold required!

One Reason Why Spousal RRSPs Are Useful and How to Make a Contribution to an Existing Spousal RRSP at Tangerine

Is there any reason for a Spousal RRSP now Canada has pension income splitting? We think so which is why I just added to our Spousal RRSP at

How to Complete a Business and Personal Income Tax Return Using GenuTax Standard

Although I must have pressed the F8 key on my keyboard two hundred times to do it, I used GenuTax standard successfully to complete a test case of a personal and business income tax return. Would I use it again? Is it better or worse than StudioTax?

How to Review and NETFILE Your Business and Personal Income Tax Return for Free Using GenuTax Standard 2013

Here’s how to NETFILE your tax return using GenuTax Standard 2013. It’s a little simpler this year thanks to some changes at the CRA.

How to File Your Taxes for Free Using NETFILE and StudioTax 2013

This is the first time I’ve had to report how much interest income I earned from mortgages. Did your tax software prompt you for this info before you NETFILEd your return?

Completing a Simple Business Income, Personal Tax Return and Spousal Tax Return Using StudioTax 2013

I tested StudioTax 2013 with a pair of linked spousal income tax returns, one for a spouse with a business income and one for a spouse with employment income. There were only a few things I had to watch out for.

How Do You Fill Out Your Income Tax Forms?

When exactly does someone remove your cheque payable to the Receiver General from your tax return envelope? Do you think it happens right in the red Canada Post drop box, or is it a few minutes later?

Review of StudioTax 2013 for a Student and a Parent Claiming Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts (T2202A)

StudioTax makes it a bit easier than GenuTax Standard to iterate how much to transfer from a student to a parent on a T2202A form but only if you know where to look.

Testing GenuTax Standard 2013 for a Student and a Parent Claiming Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts

GenuTax Standard 2013 can be used to calculate taxes after transferring some or all of the Education amount from a student to a parent. It’s not perfect when a parent only needs to receive part of the Education amount to reduce their taxes to zero. The program also doesn’t warn you about one potentially upsetting circumstance if the student elects to carry forward the Education amount to use in future years.

Charitable Tax Receipts

Here’s a list of some of the charities using e-receipts and why it’s worth rummaging through your old email messages to find them.

How to Use StudioTax 2013 for a Simple Retired Person’s Tax Return (T4AOAS, T4AP, T4A, T4RIF, T5)

I tested using StudioTax 2013 to calculate an income tax return for a retired pensioner who receives a work pension, CPP, OAS and some investment interest. Here’s how it did.

Investing for Beginners: Don’t Buy Stocks, ETFs or Mutual Funds in a Non-Registered Investment Account Unless You Know How to Calculate an ACB

Please don’t set up a DRIP for a non-registered (not RRSP, not TFSA) investment if you don’t understand what an ACB is.
T3 and T5s Lull Unsuspecting Investors Into Expecting a Tax Form for Everything

How to Get Back Your Old Bank Balance from a Forgotten Account

Did you ever misplace a traveller’s cheque before you cashed it? You might be able to get the money back: from the Bank of Canada.
Or for you ET viewers, do you know this celebrity who can’t be bothered to claim his own money back from the Bank of Canada?

How to Get the GenuTax Standard 2013 Program to Do your Canadian Income Taxes for Free

It’s that lovely time again when we get to fill out our Schedule 7 and 11s from 7 till 11. Here’s how to get GenuTax Standard 2013 downloaded and ready to key in those T-slips.

Why Doesn’t PC Financial Make More of an Effort to Work Like a Real Bank (and Issue Proper T5s)?

In which I move up 7 levels in Fruit Ninja in order to get no where fixing my PC Financial T5.

How Does Naming a Beneficiary for Your RRSP Save Money?

Why I’d suggest if you inherit a RRSP that you ask the Executor for a copy of the federal tax Clearance Certificate before you spend any of the money; and other RRSP beneficiary facts.

Everyone Cheats on Their Taxes. Don’t They?

How many people do you know who will report the 38 cents interest they earned last year on their bank account?

Tracking Your TFSA Contribution Room Can Save You From Harsh Fines

Do you know what the penalties are for over-contributing to your TFSA? Do you use this method to avoid over-contributing?

How to Get StudioTax 2013 Software to Do your Canadian Income Taxes for Free

It’s that jolly season again when we have to sharpen our pencils or limber up our typing fingers to complete our 2013 tax return forms. For those looking for a free program to use to do the math and to NETFILE the answers, here’s how to download StudioTax 2013.

How Can I Check Whether My 2013 Tax Software Is OK with the CRA and NETFILE?

Do you have an odd nagging feeling that your ultra-deep-discount 2013 Tax Return Program by “Two Broke Guys Take on TurboTax” might not be fully certified? Here’s where to check what the CRA thinks.

Faster Receipts for ING Direct RRSP Contributions in the First 60 Days of the Year

ING Direct ( has been coding to improve their services again: this time to permit instant tax slip printing for RRSP contributions–but did it work?

How to Get Your Tax Slips (T5s, RRSP Contribution Receipts) for your PC Financial Accounts

Once more ING Direct beats PC Financial for convenience and timeliness.

How to Get Your Income Tax Slips (T5s, RRSP slips) for Your ING Direct Accounts

It’s easy to get your tax slips for your ING Direct (Tangerine) accounts but keep an eye on them. I found two accounts were not reported and one account type is reported in a way that doesn’t suit the CRA. A bit more worrying was the fact that the ING Direct (Tangerine) representative was wrong when they informed me how our joint USD account’s interest was being reported.

An Exploration of the Many Ways of Giving

Have you ever been the bully, the bullied or the bystander during a United Way campaign? Read on for this and other articles about charity and volunteer contributions.

Who Pays the Income Taxes on the Interest and How Can My Children Cash Their Canada Savings Bonds?

In which I reflect on income attribution rules, the benefits of bricks-and-mortar banks, and wonder just when *are* those retina scanners going to be ready?

How Much Can I Contribute to My TFSA? I Turned 18 or Arrived in Canada after 2009

Not everyone is 22 or older nor has been a Canadian Resident their entire life. If you’re a recent immigrant to Canada, a visa student, or you’ve just turned 18, you can check your TFSA contribution limit here if you’ve never made any contributions to a plan.

Get Ready to Die: Beneficiary and Successor Account Holder Forms for your Online Brokerage Accounts

Are you ready to die? Do you want to shout “hands off my money” at the government as you perish? Do you know the difference between a Successor and a Beneficiary and why it matters? If you’re not part of Canada’s Distinct Society I encourage you to read on.

Should You Save for Your First House in Your RRSP?

Why I disagree, rather vehemently, with Diane McCurdy’s opinion on whether you should save for your first home using the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan.

How to Report Your RRSP Contribution If You Don’t Want to Take the Tax Deduction Yet

Here’s which schedule to use and how to fill it in to report your RRSP contribution but defer using your tax-reducing deduction until another year.

Optimize Your RRSP: Contribute Now, Claim the Tax-Reducing Deduction Later

Were you on parental leave most of this year? Are you a recent graduate using tuition credits and moving expenses to reduce your taxes? Were you unemployed part of this year but have just started a great job? You may be one of the people who shouldn’t wait to contribute to your RRSP just because you’re in a low tax bracket this year. Here’s how you can optimize your RRSP contribution.

How to Make a RRSP Contribution Quickly and Easily Using ING Direct

If you want to contribute another $100 to your RRSP late one Sunday night in February, here’s how you can do it quickly and easily and even get your tax receipt immediately (if you have a printer.)

Can I Take Stocks Out of my BMO InvestorLine RRIF Without Selling Them?

When I have to make mandatory minimum withdrawals from my RRIF, will I have to sell my favourite income-earning stocks?

How to Save your Account Transaction History for a CIBC Investor’s Edge Account

You never know when you’ll face an audit, whether from the CRA or from your family financial wizard. Here’s how to keep a copy of your transaction history to settle the arguments.

Why Expecting Canadians to NETFILE Using Private Software is Unfair and Divisive

Private enterprise is great but there are limits to what the government should stop doing. The current system for tax filing electronically is creating two classes of Canadians which is unjust and costly.

How to Save your Account Transaction History for a BMO InvestorLine Account

Will a copy of the transaction history for your account help you if you’re audited? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it’s a simple report that may help you keep your facts straight while under pressure. I find it worth the few kb of storage space to download and save.

What is in the Transaction History for a BMO InvestorLine Account and What Should I Watch Out for?

InvestorLine’s Transaction History is a great little report so long as you know to be cautious about a couple of the things I mention in this article.

How Can I Check the Status of my 2012 Canadian Income Tax Return Refund?

Will baby be able to get a new basketball? And when? Inquiring minds needed to know so they went hunting on the CRA website to find out.

How to NETFILE a Tax Return from GenuTax Standard 2012 Online to the CRA for Free

After reviewing your income taxes you can send them to the Canadian Revenue Agency for free using GenuTax Standard 2012. Here’s how I did that.

How to NETFILE a StudioTax 2012 Return Online to the CRA for Free

Instructions for reviewing and filing your income taxes to the Canadian Revenue Agency for free using StudioTax 2012, including an important warning about commas.

Can I Claim a Charitable Tax Deduction Credit for a Donation Made Outside of Canada?

Curious about whether your charitable contributions to organizations outside of Canada can be claimed on your Schedule 9? Here’s some details I ferreted out, including whether you can claim your donation to the Palmer College of Chiropractic-West in San Jose or only to the Palmer College of Chiropractic-West in Sunnyvale. (Only one is eligible this year.)

How to Use the Free StudioTax 2012 Program for a Simple Business Income T2125 and Personal Tax Return

Please read how StudioTax 2012 handled a very simple business income (T2125) and personal income tax return. Includes who I think should and should not try using StudioTax. If you disagree, please speak up with a comment!

Using Free GenuTax Standard 2012 for a Simple Business Income T2125 and Personal Tax Return

Please read how GenuTax Standard handled a very simple business income (T2125) and personal income tax return including the few tiny quirks I encountered.

Find out your TFSA Contribution Room Using the CRA Telephone Information Phone System, TIPS

The how, when, where and what to watch out for of using the CRA TIPs system to check your TFSA contribution limit.

Rounding Up Info on 2012 Income Taxes

What do Donald Duck and a tax refund have in common? Read this week’s roundup and click the links to find out.

Using Free GenuTax Software to Calculate Your 2012 Taxes and NETFILE Online by April 30, 2013

Using a test case to try the free GenuTax Standard 2012 income tax software I identified a few strengths and weaknesses of the program. For more info on how long it takes to calculate taxes and who it is best suited to, please read on.

How to Download and Install Free GenuTax Software to Do and File Your 2012 Canadian Income Taxes

These instructions take you step by step through downloading and installing the free GenuTax Standard 2012 software to calculate and submit your Canadian income taxes online for free. This software uses an interview style to collect information from you to maximize your deductions and minimize your taxes.

How to Use Free StudioTax Software to Complete your 2012 Canadian Income Taxes and File Online

Using a test case to try the free StudioTax 2012 income tax software shows a few strengths and weaknesses of the program. For more info on how long it takes to calculate taxes and who it is best suited to, please read on.

How to Download and Install StudioTax Software to Calculate and File your 2012 Canadian Income Taxes Online for Free

These instructions will walk you through downloading and installing the free StudioTax 2012 software to calculate and submit your Canadian income taxes online for free. This software will allow you to calculate taxes on Business Income and other quirks.

Questrade the CRA and the Double TFSA 2011 Contribution Confusion

How a computer system change can cause massive confusion for investors.

The Dubious Joys of Taxes

This roundup of posts about income taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes and notorious tax dodgers shouldn’t be too taxing to read.

How to Make a TFSA Contribution to a BMO InvestorLine Account and How Long It Takes to Get There

Who knew it could take THIS long for an electronic contribution from BMO to BMO to land? Includes instructions.

RRSP Strategies Part 3: Keep it Safe to Start. Use Cash, Bonds, and GICs to Build Your RRSP Base

Why you need to have a safe base for your investing pyramid, how large it needs to be, and what you can invest in for the best results.

RRSP Strategies Part 2 Move the Money Where You Want to Keep It. Choosing a Long Term RRSP Investment Account

How to choose a long term RRSP investment account, including bank accounts vs brokerage accounts, and how to transfer short term RRSP savings.

RRSP Strategies Part 1: How To Best Get your RRSP Money Contributed Before the Tax Deadline

The RRSP deadline is looming and this year you want to contribute but you have no idea how or where. What should you do?

Stop those Monthly Statements from Arriving by Mail from CIBC Investor’s Edge

Be careful when following these instructions to stop receiving paper statements from Investor’s Edge, there’s something else you’re stopping too.

How Can I File My 2012 Canadian Taxes Online in 2013 for Free Using NETFILE if my Income is over $35,000?

Which software packages are free and approved for NETFILE for 2012 income taxes in Canada.

Optimize your Donations to Charity: Take Advantage of Taxes

How to take maximum advantage of the charitable tax credit and of the capital gains tax exemption.

How Health Spending Accounts (HSA) Benefit You and Save You Money

What is an HSA and how does it save you money on orthodontics, eyeglasses and other typical medical costs.

Four Overlooked Benefits of Charitable Donations and the Charitable Tax Credit

The tax credit for a charitable donation is well known, but there are some other factors to consider that increase the benefit.