Tax Helper
  by Tony Copple

There are two types of taxes: those that are resented, and those that are really resented
- Margaret Atwood, Massey lecture on debt, broadcast 26 March 2009 on CBC Radio's "Ideas."

Most of us pay too much tax. More than even the government requires. Which, in a highly taxed country like Canada is a LOT!

For the first time in 1999, many Canadians were able to file 1999 tax returns over the Internet using Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA)'s Netfile service. If you are eligible, you will receive an access code and information with your tax return package. Use Netfile-approved commercial tax prep software to complete your return, then use Netfile to transmit it. Only straightforward returns can currently be netfiled. I am now using U-File tax prep software and find it very good. Nothing to pay or download till you are ready to Netfile or print.

If you are self-employed and did not file by April 30, and owe taxes, you will not be charged a late fee (5% of the total owed) if you file before June 15. You will be charged interest on what you owed since April 30. This concession also applies also to spouses of self employed taxpayers.

If you are a Federal Government employee, you have access to detailed information about your rates of pay and at

One way to reduce personal taxation in Canada is to have your own business "on the side". This allows you deduct expenses, which can reduce taxation from your "day job". There are limits to how far you can take this, and you should be aware of CRA's rules for taxation of proprietorships and partnerships on the side, particularly in their early years.

If you run a business, you would probably benefit from advice from an accountant at the beginning of your fiscal year so as to know how to structure your business to minimize tax. If you have investments you may be effectively running a business even if you don't realize it, and certainly may be able to reduce taxation. Get advice from your financial planner. Haven't got a financial planner? Get one! That's the best advice!

If you are an employee, you may be perfectly competant to do your own tax return, particularly if you use U-File (or similar) software. However, a tax preparation service will probably still save you more than it costs you, and give you the peace of mind of knowing that you aren't missing anything.

Here are some helpful sources for accounting and tax preparation:

  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in Ontario. What's taxable, and how much.
  • State pensions Service Canada - CPP, OAS
  • Guaranteed income supplement - GIS
  • The Freedom Initiative. Listen to David Van Noppen on Over my Head, broadcast on CKCU 14 April 2013
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • CRA TIPS line: 800-267-6999, for finding out your RRSP room (line 208)
        CRA telephone help lines: Employees: 800-959-8281;  Self-employed: 800-959-5525.
        Charities Directorate: 800-267-2384
  • Access to your tax information including TFSA room (total contributed) and RRSP room
  • CRA tax forms for individuals
  • My Service Canada Account - MSCA. Sign in with my bank.
  • GCKey - sign in, sign up
  • Corporations Canada (Part of Industry Canada)     Enquiries: 1-866-333-5556, or 613-941-9042 in National Capital area
  • Corporations Canada on-Line Filing Centre
  • New Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act
  • CRA guide to the NPO information return
  • Annual returns for Canadian Not-for-Profit corporations
  • Corporations Canada On-line Filing Centre, or use form 4022
  • Ontario Not-for-profit corporations - new regulations
  • Netfile lets you file your tax return over the internet.
        Netfile telephone help line: 800-714-7257
  • Video tutorial on corporation tax returns
  •, including . . .
           CPP and EI rates for employee and employer from 2004 > present
  • CRA Payroll Deductions online calculator
  • CRA Disability Tax Credit
  • The Charities File - CRA help for smaller charities
  • Business Window - for GST/HST questions and information (including charities) -  800-959-5525
  • Charities GST HST Rebate claiming ( - from CRA site)
  • Equifax - check your personal credit report
  • EI refunds - If you employ family members, you don't need to deduct EI premiums for them.
  • Sharing income - goal or dream?
  • Currency conversion
  • $Cad vs $US trend chart and other currency trends.
  • Fuel consumption conversion
  • Disability Tax Credit
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan
  • Pay and benefits info for Federal Government employees
  • Studio Tax - Free Canadian tax returns. Works just fine for most individuals.
  • UFile tax returns on line. I have used this for many years.
  • UFile-T2 for corporations
  • KPMG Canada Tax On Line
  • Tax Calculators - Ernst & Young
  • Marginal tax rate and income tax calculators - Walter Harder
  • Turbo Tax (replaced Quick Tax, HomeTax and Cantax)
  • Grifftax - preparation over the web.
  • Dr Tax - for professional tax prep firms
  • The Exchange - find ATMs - ATM network
  • Municipal Property Asessment Corporation, MPAC
  • MyService Ottawa - for general city information
  • Service Ontario - Renew your driver's licence
  • New simplified tax form
  • Tony's financial planning dream

  • Investment Executive - newspaper for financial planners
  • Are you an ex-pat British Pensioner? Join CABP - Canadian Association of British Pensioners
  • Charitable giving - general concepts
  • Financial Planning