4.22.2006

taxes, canadian edition

Last week we tackled the U.S. tax forms; this week we did the Canadian returns.

Despite what we had heard, they were not appreciably easier. The language of Canada Revenue may be somewhat clearer than that of the IRS, but other than that, there's not much difference. There are still multiple forms to fill out, arcane formulas to follow, and instructions that refer to other instructions ad infinitum.

Because we earned very little money in Canada last year - having landed on August 30 and then living off previous earnings for a while - we're getting a small refund. That's always welcome, and we'll be sure to put it right back into the economy. However, it might be the economy of Peru.

11 comments:

Scott M. said...

There are still multiple forms to follow, arcane formulas to follow, and instructions that refer to other instructions ad infinitum.

To be honest, I was surprised when you previously said that you were looking forward to doing Canadian taxes. It also puzzled me why you thought you could only do one return for the two of you... it's still one-for-one afaik.

But the good news is, after you get your Notice of Assessment, you will be all set up to use Netfile and the tax preparation software of your choice next year, and you can get your taxes done considerably easier AND have your refund direct deposited in as little as one week (that's my average when I put my taxes in at the beginning of March).

L-girl said...

To be honest, I was surprised when you previously said that you were looking forward to doing Canadian taxes. It also puzzled me why you thought you could only do one return for the two of you... it's still one-for-one afaik.

Because that's what people told us - (a) that it would be much easier than US forms and (b) we would file jointly. No to both.

I don't think I'll e-file. Since we'll still have to file both US and Canada - and we'll have both payroll and freelance income - and need a foreign tax credit - etc. etc. - I think I'll just work it out with pen and paper. Nothing needed besides a calculator and a big pile of receipts.

James said...

Remember that most of our knowledge of US tax preparation comes from US entertainment. :)

My taxes have always been dead simple -- one or two forms, maybe an hour's work, back when I did them myself. Now that I have investment income through a grandmother's estate held in trust, I leave that to an accountant, however.

I owe $55.27 thanks to the investment income this year.

L-girl said...

Remember that most of our knowledge of US tax preparation comes from US entertainment. :)

Right. :) I guess it all depends how much financial stuff you have going on. When your Canadian taxes were easy, chances are they would have been easy in the US, too. (Mine used to be...)

The more you have to account for, the more complicated it gets, obviously. And Canada doesn't seem any better than the US in that regard.

L-girl said...

And Canada doesn't seem any better than the US in that regard.

Oh excuse me, I feel the need to say: EXCEPT FOR WHERE OUR TAXES GO.

James said...

Semi-off-topic:

Northern Exposure: SU students admit they lack basic knowledge of Canada

Soogirl said...

Yikes! Good link. A little scary but not surprising.

Wrye said...

my day job involves tracking variastions in payroll taxes, and take it from me, the "US taxes are complex" idea isn't quite right, it's more that they vary immensely by state. About 10 of the states have no personal income tax, the middle 30 or so have a straightforward state income tax, and the bottom 10 have an unholy mix of state plus local/regional/municipal taxing authorities. And beyond that you have Pennsylvania, which has more taxing authorities than the other 51 combined, by about an order of magnitiude. (Almost 3000)

Seriously. Why does anyone live in Pennsylvania? It's like something out of the 1700s.

L-girl said...

Seriously. Why does anyone live in Pennsylvania?

Cheesesteaks?

Our New York State forms are always simple and straighforward. It's only the federal forms that are arcane and convoluted. If we had that mess on both fed and state... that would suck. More.

L-girl said...

my day job involves tracking variastions in payroll taxes,

Ah, I just noticed the detail here. You are someone, like me, who has the work that supports your life, as distinct from the work that is who you are? Interesting.

James said...

And beyond that you have Pennsylvania, which has more taxing authorities than the other 51 combined, by about an order of magnitiude. (Almost 3000)

I've done a lot of e-commerce programming, and everyone I've worked with has hated working US taxes into the project. For Canada, there are just the handful of PSTs, the GST, and the HST in the Maritimes. For the US, it's just a nightmare.