Ah, January – The month we all dread as it’s typically cold, dark and post-holiday season. But did you know that the third Monday of January, also known as Blue Monday, is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year? To top it off, tax season is rapidly approaching.

But, the good news is – there are ways to beat the blues and get ahead of your taxes to help you feel organized and on top of your game.

Key Takeaways
  1. Beating Blue Monday can start with getting ahead on your taxes. Staying organized and starting early are crucial to getting ahead and overcoming low moods and anxiety. 
  2. Tax credits are available and it’s important to take advantage of them. The First Time Home Buyers credit, charitable donations, the amount for Eligible Dependant, and tuition tax credit are examples that can significantly affect your tax refund.
  3. Being aware of changes to tax laws and regulations, as well as considering professional help, can help take control of your financial well-being. By staying informed and getting the necessary assistance, you can navigate tax season with confidence and ease.

How you can beat Blue Monday 

One way to combat the blues is by being productive and getting ahead of your taxes. Taxes can be stressful, but by getting organized now, you can alleviate some of that stress come tax season. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Stay Organized

Being organized is the key to an easy and stress-free tax season. The first step to getting ahead of taxes is to gather all necessary documents, including T4s, T5s, and receipts for medical expenses, charitable donations, and tuition fees. Keep all your documents in one place, whether it’s a physical file folder or a digital folder. Keep track of receipts and expenses throughout the year that may be tax-deductible, such as charitable donations or work-related expenses like home office deductions. This way, you can simply add the figures together and fill out the necessary forms without the need to rummage through drawers or boxes.

2. Start Early

Have you ever had the realization on the day of the deadline that you forgot to file taxes? Or maybe you struggle to gather all the documentation necessary to file taxes in a rush, causing even more frustration in the process. Starting early means that you have time to gather everything you’ll need and figure out if there is anything you’re missing. Plus, filing your taxes early can mean getting a refund earlier since your tax return is already dealt with and ready ahead of time.

3. Know Your Deadlines

Tax deadlines are important, so be sure to mark them on your calendar. This includes the deadline for filing your taxes and for contributing to your RRSP. Make it a point to keep yourself updated on any deadline extensions and be wary of potential fees if you miss the new deadline.

4. Take Advantage of Tax Credits

The Canadian government offers many tax credits, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with them in order to maximize your tax return. Some tax credits you might be eligible for include the First Time Home Buyers’ credit, or Amount for Eligible Dependant or Amount for Spouse/Common-Law partner or Student Loan interest and the tuition tax credit. 

5. Be Aware of Changes

The Canadian government frequently changes tax laws and regulations. As a taxpayer, it’s important to stay informed and up to date with any changes that may affect your tax return. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency website regularly to keep track of any updates, news and changes. Staying informed can help you understand what new regulations might impact your refund and can help you plan out your finances accordingly.

6. Consider Professional Help

Navigating the tax system can be complicated and overwhelming, especially if you have a complicated financial situation. Sometimes it’s beneficial to bring in a professional tax preparer who understands the ins and outs of the Canadian tax system. A tax professional can help prepare your return, provide assistance with reviewing your documents and offer guidance on how you can maximize your refund.

Getting ahead on your Canadian taxes can completely change the way you experience tax season. Instead of stressing about deadlines, figuring out tax forms, and scrounging for documents, you can simply breathe easy and relax confidently knowing you’re fully prepared. It also places you in the driver’s seat regarding your finances, giving you the power to take control of your financial stability and build the future you dream of. 

So, don’t let Blue Monday bring your spirits down – start getting ahead on your taxes today.

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