I’m a great believer in making a list for those times when you just can’t get at it -- whatever “it” is. Lists are your one-stop solution to a bout (or permanent case) of procrastination. It’s oh-so reinforcing to cross off tasks as you progress.
This is particularly true in the world of money. The trick is to break the job down into easily achievable steps.
According to an H & R Block poll released April 13, 10 per cent of filers plan on doing their taxes this week, just days before May 2, and many more won’t make the deadline. As a public service to those procrastinators, here’s my income tax preparation list to get you going.
If you’re using tax software, sign on -- some banks offer a discount rate with the major providers, such as TurboTax through RBC and UFile through CIBC. You can also do-it-yourself with H & R Block software. Otherwise go to www.cra-arc.gc.ca, click Individuals then 2010 Tax Package to download and print, or go to the post office for a paper copy.
- Gather expense receipts and separate into major categories; medicaldental, child, education, donations, RRSP, rental (if you own a rental property) and so on. Total each and note it on the file or envelope.
- Gather income slips and clip together based on category - T4, T4A, T5, etc.
- Clear a desk or table surface -- I’m talking all clear!
- Assemble writing implement, paper, calculator and stickies.
- Turn off or unplug phones.
- Begin. Mark what you don’t understand with a stickie (for paper filers) or make a note (for e-filers) and return to it later.
- Complete form.
- Smile if there’s a refund due.
- Mail or net file form.
- Pay tax owing at your bank.
Now if only I could get my husband to start making lists.