Good News! It’s Tax Time Again

by Wayne Prins on March 26, 2013

Life is full of variety, but it’s lived within the familiar cycle of annual routines that characterize the various seasons and events of the year. We’re into spring now, and for many people this is a favourite time of year—except for the annual obligation to file your taxes.

I recently read an article about tax season that put a positive spin on what is typically the subject of much negativity. The article suggested that your annual tax return is more than just a mundane legal requirement; it’s a documented history of your life’s milestones.

Almost every significant event in your life is reflected in your tax returns: your time in school, your marriage, the birth of your children, where you lived, who you worked for.

Taxes are a necessary cost of living in a civilized society, where various services, programs, and infrastructure enhance everyone’s quality of life. But the perception of many is that taxes are merely a cash grab by governments looking to solve their fiscal mismanagement.

While complaints about governments having poor fiscal management have merit, the average Canadian isn’t exactly in a position to give advice. Personal consumer debt in Canada reached a record high at the end of 2012, and it’s increasing at twice the rate of inflation, which means the problem is only getting worse.

Simply put, Canadians are spending too much and saving too little. The average Canadian is only saving four percent of disposable income.

Granted, there are instances where compensation for certain jobs has not kept pace with the increasing cost of living. But the majority of Canadians are simply living beyond their means—something we readily accuse governments of doing.

We are each responsible for our own financial situation, and there is no better time for us to reflect on our own financial scorecard than tax time.

Are you spending too much? Not saving enough?

These are critically important questions, and CLAC can help with the answers. Through our retirement programs, CLAC members participating in one of these programs have access to professional financial advice and online financial calculators to help them stay on a sustainable financial path. Members covered under one of CLAC’s benefit plans have access to Ceridian Lifeworks, which offers numerous resources for financial planning.

Don’t let this tax season pass without it serving as a reminder to make sure you are managing your money properly.

 

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