If the words “tax season” send a chill down your spine, you’re not alone. Almost half (46 percent) of Canadian millennials don’t do their taxes on their own because they’re afraid to make mistakes, says a recent survey.
To make the process a little bit easier, we spoke to three millennial money experts and asked them 10 questions everyone has come tax time. With the tax return deadline fast approaching, their answers couldn’t be timelier.
Meet our three experts:
- Jordann Brown, @myalternateblog: creator of My Alternate Life. The 27-year-old personal finance blogger from Halifax paid off $38,000 in debt and now has $10,000 banked for rainy days and a net worth of $83,000.
- Jessica Moorhouse, @jessi_moorhouse: a personal finance blogger in Toronto and the voice behind the Mo’ Money podcast. She also runs v. popular Millennial Money Meetups.
- Desirae Odjick, @half_banked: an Ottawa-based marketer by day, personal finance blogger at night. The brain behind Half Banked is currently challenging herself to save 50 percent of her income (without giving up her daily latte).
Track, track, track, says Desirae Odjick (pictured left). “Start tracking your income and expenses before you think you need to, especially if you’re side hustling! Freshbooks, my accounting software, has been a lifesaver and made filing my side hustle taxes a breeze.”
Organization is your best weapon, says Jessica Moorhouse (pictured right). “No one cares more about your money more than you do, and that includes your taxes too. No matter how you decide to file, whether online or through a tax professional, it’s on you to be hyper-organized, having all the right documents and receipts on-hand and know what type of tax credits and deductions you might be eligible for.”
There’s no such thing as “tax season,” says Jordann Brown (pictured centre). “I know that sounds confusing—but stay with me. Tax season should be 12 months of preparation, not two months of scrambling around. That means you should be storing your receipts in a safe place and making regular contributions to your RRSP all year long, not just in the first two months of the year.”
And don’t forget to sign up with the CRA, says Odjick. “Sign up for My Account, your online CRA account, or go through the process of resetting your password if you can’t remember your password to save your life (like me). There’s so much that you can do online, from checking your RRSP contribution limits to setting up direct deposit, and you’ll be so happy you have an account. Then make sure to save your password somewhere you’ll remember to find it next year!”
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