Eleventh-hour taxes

Sandra is rushing to meet the April 30 income tax filing deadline and wonders: Have you completed your return yet?

Just as the shoemaker’s children have no shoes, the offspring of this personal finance writer have yet to benefit from our income tax refund. That’s because Matt and I haven’t gotten around to filing our income tax returns. With the deadline looming, needless to say Income Tax Filing was our big project over the weekend.

I know, I KNOW, believe me, I know. It all could have been out of the way weeks ago. But we do have some legitimate reasons for being late to start. Both Matt and I received our T4 slips — the very necessary reciepts that break down how much salaried employees earned in total, how much was collected by their employer in taxes and premiums, etc. — at the last possible moment (by law, they must be sent to employees by the end of February). Plus, work has been crazeeee!

Although you are NOT supposed to do this, I keep thinking about how to use our refund. This is the same as spending money you don’t have. Generally, I try to treat my refund as money I can’t spend — so, no plans to upsize our TV or buy a new dining-room table. But I can’t decide whether to put it towards the mortgage, which would shave a significant sum off of the total interest we’ll pay over the years, or put it in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), or simply stash it in the high-interest savings account we use as our emergency fund.

What about you — have you already received your income tax refund? What are your plans for that cash?

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