How to Find the Right Tax Preparer

As the tax deadline looms on the horizon, I felt folks might need a few helpful hints on how to choose the right tax preparer for you, or maybe more accurately, which tax preparers not to choose (especially if you are in a rush, the wrong decision here could end up being quite costly for you).

Laughing Accountant

An Accountant with a Sense of Humor?
Image courtesy of iosphere at

If your prospective tax preparer has any of the following problems or character flaws, don’t choose them to prepare your taxes:

  • If they say that they are not very good with numbers, but that doesn’t matter much with taxes, run away from them very quickly
  • Should they mention in passing that it was nice of you to drop by, as they just got out of prison for fraud, you might not want to choose them to prepare your taxes, unless they are a relative. In that case invoke the, “I don’t do business with family”, clause.
  • If they ask you, “Now when is the tax filing deadline this year?”, you might want to rethink hiring them, for your tax preparation needs.
  • If the firm is called H&P Block that might be a dead giveaway they are trying to snare unsuspecting clients, assuming they are getting H&R Block.
  • If their motto is, “Only 1/2 our clients get audit’ed, and we were out of town when that happened“, that shouldn’t give you a lot of confidence in their skills.
  • A laughing accountant always worries me too, but that might just be my own experience going to school with future accountants.
  • If Canadian Tire started offering Tax Preparation services while I waited for my oil change, while convenient, I would avoid that service as well.
  • If they offer you an “Instant Cashback“, doesn’t that make you wonder how much more of a tax rebate they may have found for you? If you need your tax rebate that fast, you may have bigger problems than you think (financially).

Just a few helpful hints on who to avoid as your tax preparer for this year.


Active Investors Fight Back

At an undisclosed “family eatery” in Ottawa an argument broke out between warring factions of the Financial Blogging world, when Active Investors felt they had been pushed over the edge and fought back against the “… oppressive no fun antics of passive investors…”. What was supposed to be a civil discussion about current events and economic trends dissolved into a “Pier 6 Donny Brook”, when the subject of whether Active Investors could “beat the market” consistently.

One combatant stated, “I have had enough of all this, invest carefully, and grow your wealth safely stuff that is being espoused.  Did Buffett passive invest? Did JP Morgan? Did my Uncle Ralph? NO! they bought individual stocks and they got filthy stinking rich!”.

The staff at the local “watering hole” were taken aback by the antics of these alleged “Money Experts” and their crude commentaries such as:

  • “… active investors calculate their growth using slide rules!”
  • “… passive investors drive below the speed limit on the highway because they are satisfied not using the full speed potential!”
  • “… why would anyone not want to have the exhilaration of buying high and selling low?”
  • “… you need to lose money to make money”
  • “… passive investing is for losers who just can’t make a decision!”

And many other comments that cannot be included as they are far too crude in nature.

April Fools Alert!

Well part of the story is true, the N.C.F.B.A. did have a lovely dinner.

April Fools!



Financial Daylight Savings

Hopefully you have sprung your clocks ahead (if not, you are really late this morning), and with this in mind, I keep wondering the point of DST?  The best commentary I can find on this odd idea is:

“Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.” -Native American Leader


Daylight Savings Time? What a Crock!

That  sum it up nicely.

That idea, moving around things and then claiming you have more, really is a good commentary on today’s debt riddled lifestyles. You borrow money so you can have more things, and you are thus farther ahead?

I am going to make a finite amount of money in my life, however, I will give a lot of it to someone else so I can have some material things sooner, and thus feel like I have more.  – Big Cajun Man Corollary of Debt

Evidently the Monday after Daylight Savings time there are more accidents, so hopefully you drove carefully as well? I decided to take the day off, just to be safe.


Happy Year of the Sheep

Yes to my Chinese friends (and those that use that Calendar) happy year of the (Wood) Sheep or Ram depending on how you look at it.

What does this year mean? Here is one interpretation:

According to international Feng Shui expert Marites Allen, the Green Sheep is also a symbol of good fortune. Thus this year will be a period of good fortune, peace and abundance. Luck will be favorable to most Chinese animal signs in the Year of the Wood Sheep.

Works for me, oh and here is my terrible joke once more, enjoy the celebrations!

2015 the Year of the RAM

Happy 2015, I do so love Geek Humor


Money is Love 💰 = 💘

From what I can tell from the ads that have assaulted me for the past month (since the Christmas ads died down), the best way to show love is by spending money, and showing off that you have more money to give later.  If you aren’t spending a lot of money on someone you (claim to) love, then it is obvious that you do not love them (enough).

Yes, I have ranted about St. Valentine’s Day pretty much every year that I have written here (10 years?), but things seem to be accelerating in terms of your need to show love by spending money. I thought Christmas was bad enough, but now Love Day, is trying to surpass Christmas in conspicuous spending for your loved ones. These kind of vulgar displays of wealth always sickens me, but to each his own, I suppose.

OpenSSL HeartBleed Bug

No that is not a Valentine’s Heart, it is the Heartbleed Heart, don’t put this on any Valentine’s Cards either.

Maybe, what is needed is to think about things that will financially help your loved ones (without bankrupting you). To help you not fall prey to the ire of your loved ones, here are some Financial Valentine’s Day ideas that are useful, and won’t give you diabetes (or an allergic reaction to roses)

  • Put some money in your loved ones RRSP, if that doesn’t say love I don’t know what is. You want to make sure they can retire, and get tax refunds too, now that is saying love with cash, and I am OK with that one. How Banks haven’t hooked into this, since Valentine’s Day is in the middle of “RRSP season”, I have no idea. For the price of a dozen roses, you might get $40 in tax credits back, long after the roses have withered and died.
  • Put money in your children’s RESP, so they can have the option to go to University or a useful post-secondary program.  Giving your loved ones options in their lives is truly the greatest gift you can give them (and if that option includes them moving out of your house, and being able to support themselves, so much the better).
  • Needless to say a little money in a TFSA could always brighten a lover’s view of you (OK, maybe not, but it is better for them than a box of chocolate candies).
  • A more risqué present, which can be dangerous, is paying off your loved ones debts (or putting money towards it). Why dangerous? You paying off your lovers debts won’t help them in the long run, as they will just think that you will bail them out every time, so careful with this present. What you figured I’d suggest something out of 50 Shades of Grey? That movie’s release on Valentine’s Day is possibly the funniest idea I have ever heard.

Let me also recommend, that if you actually follow through with any of these ideas, I will not back you up, if you are crazy enough to get your Valentine’s Day gift ideas from a Financial Blogger, you can sleep in the bed that you made!

Other Fun Valentine’s Day Rants


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