Don’t you heave a sigh of relief when your income tax is done and filed for the year? But practically as soon as you’re done sighing, there’s the letdown. Now what? What can you possibly do now that you’re not hunting through the glove box of your car or ransacking rooms in your home looking for missing tax receipts?
Here are eight suggestions to help you get over tax season and move on.
1) Look at stuff on the Internet that’s not related to income tax deductions. Just because you can.
2) Run through the grass in your bare feet yelling “Woohoo! Woohoo!” (Warning: this is only suitable if you actually have soft green grass showing where you live and it’s warm enough to take your boots off.)
3) Prepare a special “Tax Freedom” barbecue. Invite friends to share. It’s not true that you don’t have to think about income tax until next year, but it’s a nice fantasy.
4) Use your tax refund to go somewhere nice. Book a Mediterranean cruise. Or an Alaskan one. Visit the Mexican Riviera. Didn’t get that much of a refund? Take a nice Staycation, dining at a local restaurant you’ve always wanted to try or visiting a local attraction.
5) Use your tax refund to do something new. What is it that you’ve been putting off? Learning Spanish? Taking up kayaking? Taking a cooking class? Now is the time!
6) Use your tax refund to get more tax deductions next year. Make a donation to a favourite charity. Enroll one of more of your children in arts or fitness programs that will qualify for the Children’s Arts Credit or the Children’s Fitness Credit. Put some money into an RRSP or a Tax-Free Savings Account. (Wondering which of these options is best for you? See What’s Best? A TFSA or an RRSP?)
7) Didn’t get a refund? Figure out how you’re going to get one next year. (TurboTax has lots of tax tips and advice to help.)
8) Get outside! It’s wholesome, it’s Canadian and it’s free. And now that tax season is officially over, there’s no stopping summer!
If you still haven’t filed your income tax, though, you’re going to have to put these things off a bit until you get the job done. The Canada Revenue Agency is still open for business and we’re still here to help. TurboTax’s Personal Profiling Feature Makes Doing Your Taxes Easy and you can NETFILE your 2012 tax return until November 30th.
(The sooner you get it done, the better though, as whatever tax-related benefits you are eligible for will be delayed and there are late-filing penalties for people with balances owing that are not paid by or on April 30th, 2012 (See 3 Good Reasons for Filing Your Income Tax by the April 30th Deadline).