First time tax filer? Take control of your return

Every parent wants to set their child up for success as they grow, and that includes building their financial literacy and independence. For many young Canadians, filing their own taxes can be a daunting but empowering step towards becoming financially independent.

Whether you are a young adult or you live with someone who is, these steps will help young filers feel confident about their returns.

1. Prepare early. Tax filing, especially if it’s your first time, takes preparation and planning. It’s a long process, but one that can be streamlined and made easier with preparation.

2. Get organized. Get started now to track receipts, slips and government correspondence. Being organized in advance of tax season is the best way to ensure you have a successful filing.

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3. If you are a student, learn about the claims that apply to you and where you can get your tax information. For instance, tuition slips are sent by your school and often available online. Credits for books are calculated based on enrollment, not receipts, and moving expenses can be claimed if students establish residency in the new province and earn income.

4. Start learning about your finances. Put together a simple budget to track expenses and income so you have a basic understanding of your financial life. Build on that to educate yourself about your tax life so you can keep managing your own tax filing.

5. Find a filing method that fits your life and habits. If you do everything online already, consider filing your taxes online too. The H&R Block Tax Software, for example, is easy to use and completely free. To access free online filing software, visit hrblock.ca.

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