A lot of people are so scared of the entire idea of tax season, that they rush right down to the tax preparer in the mall, and pay them to make it all go away. These guys charge anywhere from $40 and up.
Some people use tax preparation services that offer refunds right on the spot. This is where things can get costly.
If you file your return online, under normal circumstances you should have your refund in a week or two. If you get your tax return prepared by the instant refund people you get your money right away. The cost you pay for this convenience is ridiculous. You can pay up to 15% of your refund for this service.
You should also know that if you pay someone else to do your tax return, and they make a mistake, it’s not their problem. It’s yours. CRA will make you fix the mistake, and you will have to pay any penalties, interest, or late charges yourself. The guy in the mall has no responsibility.
Some of these tax preparation companies have also begun to encourage customers to accept their instant tax refund in the form of a preloaded debit card instead of a cheque. These debit cards are so loaded with fees and charges that they reduce the real cash available in your pocket.
My advice? If you decide to do things this way, ask for a cheque, avoid the debit card. Best advice? Get a simple tax preparation software program, and do it yourself.
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