Do-it-yourself has, for years, been somewhat of a punk aesthetic; bands like Fugazi arranging for tours and merch without middleman labels telling them what to do. With the advent of the Internet, DIY has become much more common; we see DIY home repairs, DIY science experiments, DIY clothing; if you can think of it, you can find a way to do it yourself. There’s a few reasons why you might want to DIY: you can learn new skills, and have pride in work you’ve done. The biggest reason most people DIY, though, is to save money. There’s a plethora of resources to help you do your taxes alone, but filing your own taxes probably isn’t about a sense of personal pride; it’s probably about saving money. So will doing your own taxes save you money, or should you get an accountant?
Simple tax return? You should do it yourself. Simple tax returns are those that consist of filing income from any number of employers and…nothing more! When you don’t have a business, you don’t have a variety of assets, and there’s been no substantial changes in your life, tax filing software is usually user-friendly enough and accurate enough to make sure you’re getting all of the benefits you possibly can. Things like the Education Property Tax Credit and the Climate Action Incentive, which are claimable by most folks filing taxes, will automatically be offered by most tax software.
Things get more complicated when you’ve got a variety of other debts and assets that you need to consider. People with student loans might not readily understand what can be claimed; you can, for example, claim interest paid on student loans, but only student loans that were taken out within the last 5 years, and only if those loans weren’t combined with other non-student loans. In addition, only certain types of student loans are eligible. This is why it can be incredibly practical to have an accountant before tax time, and year round; people unaware of these rules might combine their student loans into consolidated payment, or claim the interest on their student loans when it would be more practical to wait for a few years.
When you own a property or other assets, make your money as a freelancer, or own your own business, it becomes much more practical to hire an accountant. After all, the point of filing taxes on your own would be to save money. The amount of time it will take you to file complex taxes, as well as the number of tax incentives and rebates you might miss, or taxes owed you might not be aware of – this can all be much more costly than the fees you’d have to pay to a CPA.
The point to be emphasized here is that Winnipeg tax accountants aren’t just practical during tax time, they’re practical year round so that the decisions you make all year will align with the right tax incentives. How you invest, when to invest, what types of debt to incur; an accountant can help you with all of this, and more.