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File my Return
March 14, 2018
7:56 am
Winnie
Ontario
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The Canada Revenue Agency is launching a new service for the 2018 tax‑filing season to help eligible individuals with low or fixed income do their taxes.

With the new File my Return service, eligible individuals will be able to file their income tax and benefit returns simply by giving some personal information and answering a series of short questions through an automated phone service.

Those who are eligible will receive an invitation letter in the mail in mid-February 2018.

I was not invited and did not received the File my Return invitation letter.
By the way, I liked TELEFILE before it was discontinued.

March 14, 2018
8:52 am
AltaRed
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If you did not get a letter, your return is not simple enough. I am guessing it will be limited to those with a T4 and/or T4A such as OAS and CPP and/or other social benefits. And just maybe a T5 with Box 13 Interest from Canadian sources. It would be interesting to hear the actual criteria.

Likely designed for those eligible for social benefit credits such as GST/HST refund that are not otherwise filing tax returns to get the credits.

Anyone else has ready access to any number of free online software tax preparation packages.

March 14, 2018
9:13 am
Winnie
Ontario
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AltaRed said
If you did not get a letter, your return is not simple enough.  

My return is super simple - only a few T5.
My friend's return - just one T4 and absolutely nothing else.
Our incomes are low and our situations remain unchanged from year to year for the last 15 years.
CRA did not invited us, apparently we're not eligible.

Eligibility for File my Return:
File my Return will be available for eligible individuals who have low income or a fixed income whose situations remain unchanged from year to year. Those who are eligible will receive an invitation letter in the mail in mid-February 2018.

March 14, 2018
10:02 am
Top It Up
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Since I've already filed, been assessed, and had the $112.73 overpayment in quarterly installments deposited to my bank account - I guess I won't be getting an invitation for File My Return, darn.

March 14, 2018
11:05 am
AltaRed
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Growing pains perhaps this year? Maybe there was no way to do a full roll out since it appears a large minority, maybe even a majority, of Canadians do not have taxable income.

March 14, 2018
6:29 pm
Loonie
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I know someone who would have been the perfect candidate- OPP, OAS and GIS only, for many years, income under 20K. But did not receive anything. It's the first I've heard of it.

I would have thought seniors, with incomes that include GIS, would be the first ones to whom they would have rolled this out, starting with the oldest. They are the ones who often either don't have access to or don't know how to use computers to send in their returns; and their incomes don't go up.

Maybe, as AltaRed suggests, they are just doing a small sample this year as a test.

March 14, 2018
10:31 pm
Top It Up
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AltaRed said

Maybe there was no way to do a full roll out since it appears a large minority, maybe even a majority, of Canadians do not have taxable income.  

That line of thinking puts the ever increasing burden of taxation, in this country, on fewer and fewer Canadians.

I have never had an argument against paying income taxes MY argument has always been with how governments squander taxpayers hard earned incomes. The Toronto Library system is a prime example of that squandering. The Toronto Library only generates $6 million per year of actual revenue, the remainder of it's $200 million per year operating budget is ALL taxpayer funded. Of that $200 million per year annual budget, $150 million per year is paid out in unionized employee salaries and benefits a full 75% - now that is a government squandering money - truly unbelievable.

March 14, 2018
11:03 pm
Doug
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Top It Up said

That line of thinking puts the ever increasing burden of taxation, in this country, on fewer and fewer Canadians.

I have never had an argument against paying income taxes MY argument has always been with how governments squander taxpayers hard earned incomes. The Toronto Library system is a prime example of that squandering. The Toronto Library only generates $6 million per year of actual revenue, the remainder of it's $200 million per year operating budget is ALL government funding. Of that $200 million per year annual budget, $150 million per year is paid out in employee salaries and benefits a full 75% - now that is a government squandering money - truly unbelievable.  

Ahem, pardon me while I clear my throat, but a public library is hardly squandering money. Many front line library workers are often part time or casual/"on call" without any pensions or other benefits. Libraries, like public transit, build community, economic development, and provide connections to educational and training opportunities. 🙂

If you want to talk about squandering money, one word: police

They continuously complain how "understaffed" they are. Instead, they should outright refuse to respond to petty (i.e., less than $1000) shoplifting crimes at major conglomerates like Loblaw or Wal-Mart and reallocate existing resources to the most serious crimes.

Better yet, how about real Criminal Code of Canada reform? Reform a whole schwack of useless, minor criminal offences by getting rid of them entirely or make them non-criminal offences (like traffic tickets) subject to administrative monetary penalties or other prohibitions that don't require trials and the whole bit. Criminal convictions for petty crimes ruin lives and police spending is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. 🙁

Cheers,
Doug

March 15, 2018
6:31 am
Kidd
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Morning,

Yeah this CRA program will cost a billion or two and then a 10 year old in india will hack into it. CRA... "we are sorry to inform you, all your data is out there in the real world for everyone to use. We will fix this issue."

A few billion dollars later, we have had to hire that 10 year old and he is writing our new tax program. "Hey, after you fix the tax program, can you fix our payroll program?"

"My mom says i have to be in bed by 8pm, i have school tomorrow."

March 15, 2018
6:41 am
Top It Up
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^^^ That's a beauty ^^^

March 15, 2018
8:46 am
AltaRed
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Top It Up said

That line of thinking puts the ever increasing burden of taxation, in this country, on fewer and fewer Canadians.

I have never had an argument against paying income taxes MY argument has always been with how governments squander taxpayers hard earned incomes.  

Well, yes indeed, but we keep electing the governments we deserve. I've paid enough income taxes over my lifetime to support a small town (okay, slight exaggeration) and it is a good problem to have...... but when we have prolific spenders in power, it is up to us to throw the bums out. That is a different problem than the millions of Canadians that don't pay any income tax at all.

March 15, 2018
8:54 am
Doug
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AltaRed said
Well, yes indeed, but we keep electing the governments we deserve. I've paid enough income taxes over my lifetime to support a small town (okay, slight exaggeration) and it is a good problem to have...... but when we have prolific spenders in power, it is up to us to throw the bums out. That is a different problem than the millions of Canadians that don't pay any income tax at all.  

I don't mind the idea of income taxes. I don't even have a problem with a 30-45% combined federal tax rate on upper middle class income earner. What I have a big problem with is the growth in public service payrolls and the reticence to undergo significant belt-tightening (with huge swaths of layoffs) like the private sector.

I often wonder how much of our economy is actually propped up by public service jobs, which, in itself, is a false impression of the goodness of a capitalist society.

Personally, my preference for tax collection would be for the Norway model: the government does your income tax return for you, for federal and provincial income taxes, and sends you either a bill or a refund cheque once a year. 🙂

Also, eliminate a lot of the non-refundable tax credits and deductions. I'd be fine with scrapping RRSPs, but since my generation doesn't have DB pension plans anymore, to offset the loss of that tax-deferred savings vehicle, I'd want to see the TFSA limit increased to $10,000 again and increased thereafter by $100-200 per year, depending on inflation.

Cheers,
Doug

March 15, 2018
1:25 pm
AltaRed
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Well, yes, but it isn't going to happen. Bloated government seems to be the way of the developed world.

March 15, 2018
1:35 pm
Kidd
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Federal, Provincial and Municipal. I have 50 people working me... and not a one ever hears a word i say. Every hick town in canada needs a mayor and a handful of councilors. Canada is worse off than Greece.

New York. Population 8.55 million. 51 councilors
Toronto Ontario. Population 2.8 million. 47 councilors

http://worldpopulationreview.c.....opulation/

https://council.nyc.gov/districts/

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/ca.....-1.3844180

http://worldpopulationreview.c.....opulation/

March 15, 2018
2:05 pm
Top It Up
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Population of the Federal Public Service by Province and Tenure

https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/innovation/human-resources-statistics/population-federal-public-service-geographic-province-tenure.html

Unionized public service employees with their gold-plated salaries and benefit plans will be the death knell of the Canadian taxpayer.

March 15, 2018
2:42 pm
JenE
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Top it up - who are these “unionized public service employees with gold-plated salaries and benefit plans”. As a former education employee, my highest full-time annual salary was under $32,000. This amount being achieved after 6 years of no raises. The benefits stopped as soon as I retired. My male cousin’s benefits ceased at age 65, after working for a municipality for 30 years, never making more than $55,000 per year. I wouldn’t say his or my salary/benefits were “gold-plated”.

March 15, 2018
2:57 pm
AltaRed
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It could be gold plated compared to the average employee making $20-25/hour and no extended benefits or DB pension plan. Public sector employees may be comparing themselves against each other rather than working stiffs at large.

But that is off-topic to the subject at hand. We don't know what CRA's criteria is for this 'new' service.

March 15, 2018
5:40 pm
Doug
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JenE said
Top it up - who are these “unionized public service employees with gold-plated salaries and benefit plans”. As a former education employee, my highest full-time annual salary was under $32,000. This amount being achieved after 6 years of no raises. The benefits stopped as soon as I retired. My male cousin’s benefits ceased at age 65, after working for a municipality for 30 years, never making more than $55,000 per year. I wouldn’t say his or my salary/benefits were “gold-plated”.  

Some context would be helpful. What was the last year in which you achieved $32,000 per year, Jen? Still, government salaries vary by province for sure. Some are far more gold-plated than others. Generally speaking, I would say that the federal government pension plans for public service workers are "gold plated," but workers don't necessarily make more in salary than their provincial counterparts.

I'm fine with generous salaries, if they'd just get rid of that DB pension plan fully indexed to inflation stuff - or maybe the employee pay at least 3 times what the employer puts in. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

March 15, 2018
5:42 pm
Doug
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They're eliminating TELEFILE, which was available to all. That's the larger issue here, as I see it. The rest is, well, "crumbs" (thanks Nancy Pelosi!). 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

March 15, 2018
6:49 pm
Bill
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Doug, you don't have to pay anyone to file your return, here's a link to CRA site that lists the authorized free (and pay) software:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/netfile-overview/certified-software-netfile-program.html

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