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
"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 email@example.com
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