Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tax toothache

  • Print

In a survey conducted several years ago by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, some 52 per cent of Canadians said they would sooner take a trip to the dentist than fill out their income tax returns.

So far this year in Manitoba, 30,000 low-income people used a free service to fill out their returns because most of them found the task too complicated. In fact, only about one-third of Canadians calculates their own taxes, according to a study by the Fraser Institute.

Older Canadians remember the days when filing a tax return was a relatively simple affair that usually involved a two-page form. Anyone with a pencil and some basic math skills could do the job.

The task of satisfying the federal and provincial governments today, however, involves multiple forms and tax tables, with numerous deductions and credits.

The Fraser Institute study estimated Canadians spend up to $6 billion a year preparing and filing tax returns. That's money taken out of the hands of ordinary Canadians and given to experts and accountants.

The Taxpayers Federation and other consumer groups have called for a simpler tax system, particularly rates that are flatter and lower.

Everyone can agree the system is too complicated and should be simpler, but there's less agreement on how to reach that goal.

Canadians should be able to deduct the cost of paying someone to prepare their tax return. That's the least the government can do for the toothache it gives Canadians once a year.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 1, 2014 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Vendors say ugly Christmas sweaters create brisk business

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think it's a good idea for Theresa Oswald to enter NDP leadership race?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google