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Tax Refunds are EVIL!

Your tax refund is not free money. Your tax refund is the opposite of free money. That is a fact.

My friends are driving me crazy. Every day, I see status updates on Facebook saying how upset they are that they didn’t get a big enough tax refund this year. It’s that time of the year, I guess.

Now, I understand the psychological advantage of getting the tax refund (the whole “forced savings” thing is stupid, so stop thinking like that). But really. Let’s be honest. When you get a tax refund IT MEANS YOU PAID TOO MUCH TAX!!! The government is making interest off YOUR money. Isn’t it better for YOU to be earning that interest? One idea is that if you really enjoy the psychological thrill of having a tax refund, ask payroll to deduct $100 off every pay cheque into another account (separate from wherever it currently gets deposited). Then at the end of the year, you’ll have a big wad of cash sitting in there! And it’s money that you never saw to begin with, so you never had the chance to miss it. And you’ll have been making interest on it, not the government.

There are also tax forms you can fill out (Form T1213) that lets you request permission from the government to have your employer reduce the amount of income tax taken off of your pay cheques. If you contribute to RRSPs regularly, or if you have childcare expenses, or if you donate to charity, have rental losses, etc – you are eligible to receive more take-home pay on each pay cheque in lieu of a tax refund. Pretty sweet, eh? That way you can use all that extra money throughout the year to achieve your financial goals (while earning interest) – instead of waiting once a year to get back some money that you loaned to the government (lame).

I think BF said he got less than $200 back in taxes this year. He said he was disappointed because the previous year he got a bigger refund and was expecting about the same. I told him that he should be thrilled! He got nearly the maximum amount of money he deserved on every pay cheque.

I, on the other hand, always overpay on taxes. Not only do I contribute regularly to RRSPs, but I have a personal business to account for. Last year’s tax refund, because I contributed a ridiculous amount into my RRSPs (over $15,000), I got back about $4,500 as my refund. Not normal. This year’s refund, I think I’ll only be getting back $2,000. I’m not going to fill out those forms for 2009, but after we get back from traveling, I definitely will.

It’s tax time

Alright, I have all my tax paperwork ready to go. Now I need to book my appointment at H&R Block. I thought about filing my taxes myself, but I really don’t trust myself to do it. I would prefer a professional help me – especially because of my personal business. I don’t want to screw up!

VERY excited to get my taxes done! :)

In other news, I’ve been debating whether to buy Adobe CS4. I have CS2 right now (student version), but it’s not really doing me any favours. If I do end up buying it, it would be a huge investment and I would almost certainly have to find some major contract work in order to make it worthwhile (which I could definitely find – I’m just never in the mood to design after I finish a full day of work designing at the FT job). This would be about a $2,000 investment, so I’m really going to have to think about what I want to do. My first instinct is just to forget about it … but with some potential work coming down the line, I don’t want to screw myself over if I want to pick up those contracts.

I want to do my taxes right now

I’m just dying to do my taxes right now … but I have a ton of paperwork that I have to wait for, and up until now, I’ve only gotten one T4 from my PT job back at home.

I might have slightly miscalculated how much I’m getting back for my tax return. I forgot to factor in my personal business deductions, as well as the fact that last year I was making significantly less than I’m making now.

And … I still don’t know where I’m going to get my taxes done. I got mine done last year for $100. There’s an H&R Block on my way to and from work that would probably charge the same amount – and because my tax papers are kind of complicated, I wouldn’t get stuck with a new person (my biggest fear with H&R Block). So we’ll see.

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