Weekend Reading – Tax returns, tax software giveaways and great blogs


This past week was busy at work, and at home.

On the home front, we submitted our tax return.  I’ve done my own taxes ever since I can remember – starting when I only had a T4 to worry about.  Things are a little more complicated now.  Beyond T4s, here are some other tax items we had to handle this year:

  • Obtaining our T83s – RRSP contribution slips for 2011 and for the first 60 days of 2012. 
  • Obtaining our T5s from our high-interest savings account and investments – statements of investment income.
  • Obtaining my T5008 – statement of securities transactions.
  • Determining self-employed income and related expenses.  
  • Obtaining my 2011 trading summary from the discount broker.
  • Obtaining our charitable donation receipts.
  • Determining our property taxes paid for the 2011 calendar year.

In another couple of weeks, we should get a small refund back this year.  A small refund is better than a large one since it means we didn’t give the government much more money than necessary.  We’ve got a big mortgage to pay down over the next 10 years and investments to make for our future.  When we get our refund back, I’m leaning towards putting all of it on our mortgage.  Putting the refund back into our RRSP is also an option, although for the RRSP to “win” over the mortgage, the RRSP would have to deliver a higher rate of return than the interest rate on our mortgage (assuming our marginal tax rate stays the same over a long period).   For us, the mortgage payment is a guaranteed rate of return of just over 3%.  I’ll let you know what we do and why in a few weeks.  Maybe you have the same decision to make?

Regarding tax season, this weekend reading roundup starts with a tax software giveaway.   I also read articles this week about things you should know when applying for a mortgage, how the original couch potato feels about investing, and how savvy investors often profit from a financial crisis.  Check out these and other great articles below.

Have a safe, happy and healthy weekend.  Thanks for reading!

Financial Highway reviewed TurboTax.  It was a great review but the best part is – he’s giving away a bunch of copies!  Click here for your chance to win a daily copy of TurboTax between February 28 and March 7th.  I use TurboTax as well and love it – very user friendly tax software.

Canadian Finance Blog wondered which is better:  renting or buying a house.

Dividend Monk shared 4 dividend growth businesses with natural monopolies.

Marissa wondered if mutual funds are worth the money.   I’ll say, for 90% of mutual funds, they are not worth the money.  Go with broad-market exchange traded funds (ETFs) instead.

BankNerd reviewed 2012 Quicken Home and Business edition.

Million Dollar Journey highlighted some scams from our modern world worth knowing about.

Big Cajun Man asked:  You want WHAT information?

Mich from Beating The Index listed 5 things you need to know when going for a mortgage.

Canadian Couch Potato released Part 2 of his interview with the original couch potato, Scott Burns.  It was a great interview.

Invest It Wisely had a guest post by Teacher Man entitled:  Why I wish I controlled my pension.  I can agree with some points made in this article but personally, I cannot support the thesis for my own financial situation.  I have a defined benefit pension plan, 11 years in, and I think I’m very lucky to have it.

Canadian Capitalist shared some good news on auto insurance premiums for 2012.  I like it when the words “auto insurance premiums” and “good news” are in the same blog title – that doesn’t happen very often.

Passive Income Earner suggested we define our emergency fund roadmap, even if the final decision is, we don’t need an emergency fund.  I liked his post, he had some good arguments for not having an emergency fund, but I don’t sleep well without one.

Dividend Ninja reminded readers that savvy investors often profit from a financial crisis.  Well written Ninja.

Balance Junkie reviewed The Richest Man in BabylonI have yet to read this book, but intend to later this year.

The Daily Thinker sees spare time as earning potential.

Retire Happy Blog had a blogpost entitled financial advisor or salesperson.  Like any profession or industry, I believe there are “good ones” and “bad ones”.  However, given the financial industry thrives on compensation and other incentives, I think some very good apples unfortunately get spoiled by many bad fruit.

Young & Thrifty had a post asking readers what your travel style is.  My wife and I are more adventurous when we travel, we want to do stuff, not just sit around in a new place.  I think some relaxation is always good while on vacation but we typically like to be on the move.  We’re starting to plan a trip to Central America, for winter 2012-2013 and we hope to bundle both relaxation and adventure for the trip!

GMBMFB provided us some good information when it comes to foreign currency conversion fees with debit and credit cards.

Michael James on Money shared some tidbits from Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders.

Prairie EcoThrifter gave us a couple of tips to minimize the impact on our environment by making smart financial choices.  Regarding one tip, transportation, my wife and I try to carpool every single day.  This reduces our carbon footprint and avoids random trips to places we don’t need to spend money.

Boomer & Echo gave us some finance alphabet soup:  A to Z. 

SPF said “The cost of college continues to rise — even in Canada. If you want to be able to help your child pay for a post-secondary education, you can do so with help from the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP).”  Click here to learn more.

The Blunt Bean Counter wondered if it is morbid or realistic to plan.  I’d say realistic.  Great post!

Preet Banerjee had a guest post discussing the Dow hitting a psychological barrier of 13,000 recently.  Does that matter as much as we think? 

101 Centavos provided a gardening interlude for his readers.  I need to write 101 soon – we’re going to be building a square foot garden in our backyard this spring.  I’m convinced 101 has some tips for us!  Probably you too!

Mark Seed is the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own financial advisor, I've grown our portfolio from $100,000 to well over $500,000. Our next big goal is to own a $1 million investment portfolio for an early retirement. Come follow my saving and investing journey by subscribing to my site. Delivered by Subscribe Here to My Own Advisor

16 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Tax returns, tax software giveaways and great blogs"

  1. Thx for the link. Good on you for preparing your tax return already. However, a pet peeve of mine is the late issuance of many Tslips, so hopefully you don’t have a straggler T3 for an income trust that will not be issued unitl the end of March or even a T5 issued yesterday.

  2. Yep – looks like a income tax weekend for me too! Time to calculate the income/expenses from my rental property. I’ll have to be proactive in keeping track of the running total throughout the year!

    1. I remember those days. We used to have a rental property as well, now we just have REITs. It is challenging keeping the math running throughout the year, but definitely saves you time and effort at year-end. Good luck with the return!


Post Comment