Heartbleed bug contributes to Canada's painful procrastination problem

 Heartbleed bug contributes to Canada's painful procrastination problem  Taxpayers intend to file early but few do, leaving their money with Ottawa  TORONTO, April 25, 2014 /CNW/ - The Heartbleed online security bug has  revealed two character issues that are costing Canadian taxpayers money. When  it comes to taxes, Canadians are wonderful at procrastination but horrible at  admitting it.  "Every year, more Canadians wait until the last moment to file their tax  returns, which means the government gets the benefit of their money longer,"  said Richard Brown, president of H&R Block Canada. "This year, with the  five-day filing extension due to the Heartbleed bug, many are going to let  Ottawa hold onto their money even longer."  The increasing tendency of Canadians to put off or delay filing their taxes  may also put last-minute filers in a bind. Many small tax preparation  businesses typically close their doors by May 1. For some taxpayers, that may  mean looking for help in the first week of May since the filing deadline was  extended to May 5 because of Heartbleed.  "H&R Block offices will be open with extended hours during the extension but  anyone who uses someone other than H&R Block may find they are on their own as  some preparers may not be accepting clients after April 30," Brown said.  In addition, the CRA also indicates on its website there may be delays in  GST/HST credits, Canada child tax benefit payments, and old age security  benefits for those who file after the original April 30 deadline.  As modern life gets more complicated, more taxpayers are delaying what many  consider to be an unpleasant chore - filing their taxes. In recent years,  according to Canada Revenue Agency statistics, almost one in four taxpayers  waited until the final week to file. Estimates this year show that could reach  one in three who wait until the final days to file.  But that's not what Canadians tell themselves. More than three quarters said  in a recent survey they planned to file before April 22.  That's not  happening, according to CRA statistics. The survey was conducted by Leger for  H&R Block Canada.  Besides delayed access to their own money - via their tax refund - last-minute  filing may mean taxpayers are leaving money on the table. For example, of  those surveyed, 77 per cent plan to claim a tax credit on their return.  Charitable donations, medical expenses and RRSPs top the list. But only four  per cent said they will claim the $500 Children's Art Credit.  "Tutoring, art classes, swimming lessons and the interest on your student loan  are all credits," said Brown. "Don't pay more tax than you need to just  because you find preparing your tax return to be confusing or intimidating."  Besides giving Ottawa an interest-free loan, by delaying their return filing  many taxpayers also are adding to their own interest expenses. Almost four in  10 of those surveyed said they will use their tax refund - which is typically  more than $1,500 - to pay down debt, thus reducing their own interest expense.  "The federal government is happy to have you wait until the very last minute  to pay your taxes because it gets to use your money interest free," said Mr.  Brown. "But the tax experts at H&R Block Canada are available to help maximize  your refund in as short a time as possible."  About H&R Block Canada In 2014, H&R Block Canada celebrates 50 years of preparing tax returns in  Canada as the leading tax preparation firm in the country. Headquartered in  Calgary, Alberta, the company serves Canadian taxpayers in more than 1,100  offices across the country. H&R Block Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of H&R  Block, Inc., a diversified company with subsidiaries providing a wide range of  financial products and services. Additional information about H&R Block Canada  is available at 1-800-HRBLOCK, or visit www.hrblock.ca, or follow us on  Twitter at https://twitter.com/HRBlockCanada for more tax tips.    SOURCE  H&R Block Canada Inc.  Tina Quelch Calador Communications 416-925-6034 ext. 22 tina@calador.ca  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2014/25/c5195.html  CO: H&R Block Canada Inc. ST: Ontario 
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