No More Automatic Mailing of Hard Copy Tax Forms: Canada Revenue Agency

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently gave notice that it would no longer be automatically mailing out hard copy tax forms. As John Duncan points out in a letter to The Ottawa Citizen: “I fear many seniors will be late or miss getting their returns in and pension funds will be lost”.

How to Print out Your Forms
Duncan also points out in his letter that the CRA website is nearly impossible to navigate. This page allows you to find the correct 2012 tax package for your province and get more information about filing online.

Request or Pick Up a Hard Copy Tax Package
If you don’t have a computer or prefer to fill out a hard copy rather than printing off the forms, you can request them here. They are also available at Canada Post and Service Canada outlets starting in early February.

Order a Tax Package On the Phone
Beginning in early February, you’ll be able to call the CRA at 1-800-959-2221 and request a 2012 tax package over the phone.

Finding a Good Accountant
If you’ve been doing your own taxes for years, you may want to consider letting an accountant have a peek at what you’ve been doing just to make sure everything is in order and you’re getting the funds back that you should be. It’s true that an accountant can cost a bit more than filing your taxes through a retail outlet, but the amount of money they can help you save is not inconsiderable. Seniors can have complex considerations such as taxes on RRIFs, RRSPs, trusts and other things that an accountant can offer expert advice on.

To find a good accountant, make sure they have an official designation like Chartered Accountant (CA), CGA (Certified General Accountant), CMA (Certified Management Accountant) or CPA (Certified Professional Accountant). Anyone selling accounting services without a professional designation should be avoided. Ask colleagues and family for referrals and you’ll probably turn up a good accountant in very short order.

Even if you only hire an accountant for one year of your retirement, you’ll be able to use their advice going forward for the rest of your retirement years. It’s worth making the call since they can save you a lot of money on your taxes.

If you are concerned about finances in your retirement, consider looking into a reverse mortgage with the CHIP Home Income Plan. It lets you stay in your home while freeing up equity you can use to travel, invest, cover debts, or anything at all. You only pay back the loan when you sell your home. Contact Horizon Equity today to find out more!