“Tax season is just around the corner”
“Oh no it isn’t!”
“Oh yes it is”…….. oh wait, pantomime season was last month.
Depending on whom you are asking, “tax season” is closer than you think. If you are self-employed (or the spouse of someone who is) you may consider tax time to be June. However, did you know that you still have to pay your taxes by April 30th even though you don’t have to file your return until June 15th. How you are supposed to accurately tell how much you have to pay if you haven’t prepared your tax return, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve no intention of trying to figure out the logic of the Receiver General. Quite frankly I’d rather try and figure out what my dog is thinking!
To be honest, I really don’t understand why some people choose to file their returns in June rather than abide by the regular filing date of April 30th. I just don’t see a benefit to it. I can see many down sides to it. Procrastination simply means you:
- worry about it for longer.
- take longer to get your refund (and if you owe money you don’t get to pay later so no benefit there).
- have left yourself less time to mitigate the same situation for next year, if you do have a payable.
Not an awful lot of positives here are there?
So what can you do about it? In short file your tax return before the April 30th deadline. Each year you promise yourself that you are going to – so make 2016 the year that you do. Go ahead and set yourself a positive consequence when you do file on time. Perhaps make a plan to enjoy the time you usually spend worrying about it with family and/or friends instead. May is a lovely time to take the family to the zoo rather than spend the weekend piling through receipts. (January is the best time for being at home with the receipts. Your family just spend all of Christmas with you…. They’d probably be happy to get rid of you for a day or two!)
Now then, if you are going to have a positive consequence for doing a good thing then you need a negative one for not filing on time. Here’s a suggestion: Ask your spouse what is the one household chore they like the least and offer to do it for a month if you don’t file on time. Personally if I had the option of preparing the papers for my tax return or the threat of having to scrub the bathrooms for a month – that paperwork doesn’t seem too bad after all. (Or ironing…… I can’t stand ironing! Picking up the dog mess, another wonderful option!) Don’t have a spouse? Ask other family members, friends or even a work colleague. Maybe you could offer to prepare their taxes next year if you don’t do yours this year….. How’s that for inspirational?
A question for you. How many of you have read this and already come up with at least 3 excuses as to why you can’t file your returns? I bet most of you! Examples:
I don’t know how to file
I don’t have time to prepare my paperwork
I don’t know what I can claim through my business
I know I can claim certain things but I don’t know how to calculate them
I didn’t earn enough money
I can’t afford an accountant
I haven’t file prior year returns
I don’t have all of my other slips so why bother now
My papers are a mess and I don’t want to deal with it now
Another question for you. How many are now smiling and nodding? And I’m sure there are many more “excuses” that I can’t even think of. Fear not my good friends. Over the next few months I will be posting help and advice to answer some of these questions. No judging here!
Before I leave you, I’m going to ask that you hop over to my Facebook page. Why? If you had a question you would like to ask your accountant before you prepared your paperwork go ahead and leave it there. If I’m not able to ask it for you I’ll do what I can to track down an accountant and ask it on your behalf….. without the $250 per hour price tab!
Next up – Are you eligible to claim home office expenses and how to calculate them?