I Filed My Taxes! (and a Cute Game Rec)

Death and taxes are supposed to be unavoidable, but this year coming off the COVID-19 pandemic they were especially challenging. We’ve spent the entire year patching together our finances with a combination of government relief funds and self employment income.

Like a good citizen, I always do my taxes. This is the first year I actually had to file them on time, though. You get charged a 5% late filing penalty if you owe on your taxes.

Which I forgot about until this week. Oops.

Thankfully things weren’t too difficult because I already had Quickbooks mostly up to date from remitting my GST. Yep, our company is that high roller that we get to charge tax.

But anyway, I filed my taxes.

I probably should use an accountant but I find that since I’m already entering everything into my accounting software it’s really not too much extra trouble to just file my own taxes. Despite being self employed they’re pretty simple – and let’s be real, Turbotax is easy.

It saves about $400 a year so it’s pretty worth it to be honest. Plus I don’t have to deal with another person.

Usually I get a refund. Often they’re pretty decent. I’ve been a low income earner most of my life – this year I actually made the most ever, again thanks to COVID.

Here’s the thing though – the CERB that we had here in Canada was taxable. And they didn’t take taxes when I claimed it.

That, on top of all the self employment income, means that we definitely owed taxes this year. Now granted our taxes were a lot lower than if we had been working full time!

What We Owe

I did our taxes together this year since we are technically common law. This means I’ll lose some Canada Child Benefit, but it’s a necessity to keep things legal. I’m pretty meticulous about that sort of thing.

In the end between my SO and I we owe just shy of $5000. Not too bad!

The federal government is giving everyone a grace period on the interest for 2020 taxes. That means we have all year to pay it back.

Of course, we have it saved! So we will get that paid off – but at least there’s no rush to get it in. Maybe I’ll spend it on Bitcoin.

Also they charge you a fee to pay by credit card. Rude. No extra points for me I guess.

I Was Stressing

Even though we owe quite a bit I’m SO HAPPY this is done. It’s something I’ve been stressing over for months. Worse, I’ve been worried about owing a lot more. This amount fell into the number range I felt good about owing this year.

Next year we’re probably going to owe even more if work picks up – but we’re also bolstering what we set aside to make sure we have enough to cover it.

Some Handy Tax Breaks We Claimed

  • Medical stuff – we claim our private health insurance since we’re self employed.
  • Digital News subscription – this one was a surprise! Apparently the Canadian government is trying to encourage digital Canadian new subscriptions so they’re giving a kickback.
  • Education tax credit – in Manitoba we get a $800 refund on our property tax but we automatically apply that to our taxes so it doesn’t affect the income tax.
  • Carbon tax credit – My ex and I split which kids we claim this for but it definitely helps. Again, Manitoba only.

A Fun Game Recommendation

On the subject of taxes, I have to recommend this adorable game that came out on the Nintendo Switch (and Steam) last week. It’s called “Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion”.

The game’s only a few hours long and pretty easy but I definitely had a lot of fun with it. If you need a little escape from tax season (or life in general) I highly recommend it.

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