Family life

Eleventh-hour taxes

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

By Sandra E. Martin
Eleventh-hour taxes

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?

This article was originally published on Apr 23, 2012

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