CGA-Canada Releases Survey on Tax-Time Behaviour
54 per cent of Canadian taxpayers like preparing their taxes; 12 per cent would rather visit their in-laws.
The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) released a survey on April 11 about tax-time behaviour which found that 54 per cent of Canadians like preparing to file their taxes. Even more surprising is that 24 per cent of adults aged 18 to 34 say a parent compiles their tax materials while 25 per cent have a parent file their tax return.
“With the complexities of the tax system, it is great to see Canadians taking an active role,” says Anthony Ariganello, FCGA, CGA-Canada’s President and CEO. “In times of economic uncertainty, it is vital that Canadians identify deductions and make claims which don’t assume unnecessary risk – consulting a professional is your best bet.”
The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 79 per cent of Canadians who use an accountant do so to benefit from their expertise. Convenience and accountability were also identified as reasons for hiring a professional. Another reason to consider hiring out is that 61 per cent of Canadians who use an accountant are “very confident” that all eligible tax credits and deductions have been claimed, compared to the 48 per cent who self-file.
According to Ariganello, CGAs with public practices are experts on current personal tax guidelines and can ensure that all benefits and deductions available to individuals or businesses are maximized.
Among those who do not use an accountant, 36 per cent say they still check with an accountant when they come across something they are unsure of. Thirty-four per cent say they “err on the side of caution and in the government’s favour,” potentially overpaying in taxes as a result. Thirty per cent say they “err on the side of optimism and in my favour,” potentially leaving themselves at risk of an audit and penalties.
The majority of Canadians expect a refund this year: 62 per cent of adults aged 18 to 34 think they’ll get a refund, followed by 53 per cent of those aged 35 to 54, and 44 per cent of those 55 and older. Those with children at home are significantly more likely than those without to think they’ll get a refund.
While one in ten taxpayer claims that their tax filing system is non-existent, 57 per cent say their files are organized throughout the year and 31 per cent agree they could do a better job throughout the year. When it comes to compiling the materials, 20 per cent of men compared to 15 per cent of women, rely on their significant other.
For the minority who do not like organizing their taxes, 27 per cent of respondents prefer to clean the bathroom, 16 per cent choose to watch their home team lose and 12 per cent would rather visit in-laws. Only seven per cent elected to run a marathon and six percent would rather have a root canal than organize their tax files.