Hey, you aren’t the only one scared of filing your first tax returns. As a millennial who’s a first-time filer, you may have some anxiety about the entire process. That’s why we wrote up this post with some of the best tips to make filing your tax return less of a task and more of a breeze.
1. No math skills required
Tax preparation has come a long way since your parents filed their first returns. Filing no longer requires hours of sifting through a huge stack of papers doing complex math equations by hand. Tax prep software like TurboTax has changed the game – now you just have to answer a few simple, easy fill in the blanks questions and the software will convert your answers to line numbers on your return.
Questions as easy as:
- “Did you work in 2016?”
- “Did you receive a T4 from your employer?”
- “Fill in the blanks with the numbers on your T4.”
TurboTax then takes these entries and fills out the proper schedules or forms for you. It’s really that simple. Plus, when you’re ready to file again next year, you can automatically import information such as your name, address, and unused credits straight into your 2017 return.
2. Use technology to your advantage
Sign up for a CRA My Account, and once you’re enrolled you ‘ll be able to use the Autofill My Return (AFR) service. AFR lets you import your data into the proper spots in your return. With a few clicks, your return can be synced with everything about you, from your T4 slips to all your unused tuition credits. Also, having a CRA My Account allows you to update your direct deposit information or new address details online in an instant. And if you receive a quarterly GST/HST cheque, then you can look up payment dates and amounts whenever you like.
3. Online help and support
From ordering a pizza to questions about cell phone bills, many millennials prefer using the internet to find answers over making a call – it’s just easier. That’s why AnswerXchange by TurboTax is the best place to look for quick answers to common tax questions. It’s an online forum of experts and community members that makes is so much easier to get the help you’re looking for.
4. Make corrections after you’ve filed
Picture this: you’ve submitted your return and then discover you made a mistake or left out a slip. Panic mode? Nope. Mistakes happen, and even experienced tax preparers have gone back to make corrections to a filed return. The CRA has a great system in place to cover scenarios like these. They’ve called “adjustments” and modifying it is easy:
- Wait until you receive your Notice of Assessment back from the CRA.
- If you are a CRA My Account holder, simply sign in and make changes by following the on-screen instructions. Keep in mind that any changes made to your tax return online usually take about 2 weeks to process.
- If you are not a CRA My Account holder, just fill out a form T1ADJ and send it to them. This does take up to 8 weeks to process, so we’d suggest you’re better off registering for a CRA My Account instead. Even with the time it takes to register, it’ll still be much faster to do the changes online.