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Taxes Done

As an update, I submitted my taxes on the 15th and I got my refund on March 20th, so that is quite the speedy response. I did e-file, which I think speeds up the process, but I thought because I had waited a little later I might not get that quick a response, but in fact, I got the expected refund as did my wife and my daughter, so the taxes for last year are now closed.

The major helper for my larger than average refund were the following tax deductions and credits:

  1. Mass transit bus pass refund
  2. Donations to my Church
  3. Active Child tax credit  (no longer applicable)

Since those are really my only non-standard tax deductions and credits (oh and my safety deposit box for investing). I should actually adjust my tax deduction schedule so that I don’t get such a large refund (and instead get the money back during the year), but every year things change so I like to carry a certain amount of “cushion” in case I have unexpected income (like my wife working part time or a sudden win-fall from my financial blogging 🙂 ).

As a point of information I used Quicktax platinum again this year, mostly out of laziness and they had a package where I got a new copy of Quicken a Quicktax Platinum for about $100, which fit my purposes. I am not endorsing or slagging Quicktax, it worked fine for me, but I would guess other programs might have worked fine as well. I have a very “vanilla” tax return these days (don’t think I really needed the Platinum either).

End of Quarter

Yes this week is that last week of this financial quarter, so I will need to put together an updated financial statement for my wife. It is always interesting and useful to do this for me, just to see where I have made progress and areas where I need to keep working hard.

Time to also look at starting a new financial plan, given my Lenten plan didn’t quite work as hoped, but that is why pencils have erasers, mistakes happen. Start a new plan and see if this is the one that maybe gets you back on track.

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Cheaper Day Care Alternatives

So after my posting about the cost of raising kids a while back a lot of folks pointed out the costs of daycare and how this is prohibitive for dual income families. To those who were so vociferous in your commentary about how I had missed the point, please watch the following video which I think puts forth a viable alternative to the high costs of daycare.

This really isn’t as funny as it was when I first saw it, given how much many families pay for daycare.

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Big deal $10

Big Deal $10, that was the response I got from more than one person I spoke with about the new child tax credit. They lamented how it wasn’t very much money, and why should they be bothered getting the tax removed at the source (and just wait for it as a nice rebate in March of next year). If you agree with that, I’d like to point out:

  1. To me with 4 kids it is actually $40 so per pay cheque, which I view as significant, maybe I am funny that way.
  2. Why do you want to loan the government more money (at 0% interest)? If you want to do that just put the money in your chequing account.
  3. If you think $10 is no big deal, send me $10 every two weeks, I’ll figure out what to do with it.

It’s always interesting to see how folks are so intense about saving hundreds of dollars in a few areas, but saving $10 in a lot of places, just doesn’t interest them? I can’t be bothered to get an extra couple of bucks? The amount of work I had to do was fill in a form and e-mail it to my HR group, and that was it. Interesting how people value money.

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My Wife is Worth How Much 2007

I have talked about how single income families do seem to get the dirty end of the stick, and this is another in a series about that topic, from 2007.

The past couple of years, I have used my Quicktax program as a financial forecasting tool (as well as an excellent, if somewhat expensive, tax preparation program). Every year I wonder what is the difference if both my wife and I worked and earned the same Gross Family Income, as compared to our current situation where I am the sole bread winner (by choice)? (a note for American readers, there is no concept of income splitting in Canada, until you retire, and even then…)

I have pointed out on this web site (and to my members of Provincial and Federal Government) that the Canadian Tax code is slanted toward dual income families and actually penalizes the “traditional” single income family.

Before I get posts about how I am against women in the workplace, or the same kind of arguments, I am the father of 3 daughters, and I am not against women in the workplace (I prefer female bosses, if you were asking my opinion), what I am saying is that single income families do not get the advantages that dual income families have.

Some of these advantages are:

  • Writing off day care costs. Now yes, this is legitimate costs of going to work, so I am not saying this is bad, however, they get to write off summer camps as well, however, I do not because my wife stays at home.
  • The “equivalent to married” non-refundable tax credit I get for my wife adds up to not very much (I’ll have that as part of my calculations in later postings).
  • A benefit of having two medical programs (which not all dual income families have) is that a lot of expensive medical procedures typically only covered as 1/2 on most medical plans, end up being covered completely by both insurance companies (e.g. Braces, Crown replacements, etc.,)
  • What happens with CPP? Both in a dual income family would get CPP payments, but does my wife get one, in a single income family? Don’t know, need to go find that one out.

There are other tax advantages as well. Now, a single income family like mine has other advantages as well (I am not complaining about the single income concept, I think it is good), so let’s not get into discussions like that I am looking solely at the Canadian Tax system. My family gets the “Beer and Popcorn” money and doesn’t get it clawed back!

Coming next, what do the numbers say?

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Don’t forget your UCCB!

Another blast from the past, back in the day when my son was young enough to get the old UCCB system, just a reminder to declare the income!

UCCB ?

Yes, tax time is coming folks and as I trip over the mistakes I have made, and things I have forgotten, I will post hints and reminders for you, so you don’t make the same mistakes that I might be making.

Last night we got our “Beer and Popcorn” money from the government again (said he belching as he types), or as it is officially called, the Universal Child Care Benefit (or something that gives an FLA of UCCB). It then dawned on me that it is important to show this benefit as income for your family, on your tax form for last year. Now I have it in my records that I was only running down to the Beer Store since July, so $600 worth of income, that you should claim on the spouse’s return with the lower income. If you both make a nice amount of money, you’ll be paying tax on it (ouch!), in that case the UCCB may not be your best friend.

To paraphrase a well known Oktoberfest song, “In Heaven there is no beer, that’s why we have to claim it on our income tax…”?!? Or something like that. UCCB, our new friend.

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