Tax filing deadline for Canadians quickly approaches

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — With the deadline for taxes approaching, many Canadians continue to wrestle with the country’s increasingly complex tax system.

That’s the core conclusion of a new Fraser Institute study, which examined the size of the tax code between 1971 and 2014 and quantified how complicated the countries personal tax system has actually become.

In addition,to the problems with the federal system, the study also noted the increasing complexity of provincial tax forms, with the number of total lines in the forms of every provincial jurisdiction also increasing in the period from 2000 to 2015.

Lamman says simplifying the tax code would not only reduce the time required to annually navigate it, but also drop the compliance costs for accountants, lawyers, and software programs.

The study confirmed how each new addition to the code can add to the complexity of an already complicated system. Between 2001 and 2014, the number of federal tax credits, deductions, and other special treatments — known as tax expenditures — increased by 24 per cent.

In 2013, the last year of available data, the cost of those expenditures was $5,918 per filer.

Lammam says, “Canada is in a unique position to simplify the tax code by reducing or eliminating most of these tax credits and other special treatments, making available resources that would allow the federal government to dramatically reduce personal income tax rates.”

When the filing deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it must be postmarked on the next business day for it to be on time if you have a balance owing. There are now several online payment methods, including online banking, debit card, pre-authorized debit, third party service provider, and credit card.

The deadline for taxes is Monday, May 2.