Each year I find I am impatient for my employer to deliver my T4 slip, so that I can get started on filing my taxes. I always get a pretty good refund because I usually have tuition or student loan write-offs, as well as RRSP contributions to decrease the amount owed. This will be the third year that I will file my son as my dependent, which lowers my tax bracket.
When I filed for 2007 I learned that I was still being taxed as a single person (single as in, without a dependent) and could amend my paperwork with payroll to deduct less tax, which put an extra $200 in my pocket each month. It would have been nice to continue paying the high tax and receiving the substantial refund (last year it was close to $3000 but I had to keep it in the bank to supplement my income, which was difficult), but it's much nicer to have a little more to budget with each month.
For the past few years I have filed online with UFile, and this year they have emailed me a $5 off coupon, bringing the price down to $10. Also, I have looked into QuickTax, which is $15, and has a nifty tool called the RRSP Optimizer, "which analyzes tax situations and identifies money-saving strategies. The built-in slider-bar instantly reveals the effect of different RRSP contributions on net income, average tax rate, taxes owed or refund due."
I still have some time to decide. I think I might make the time to play with all the online options and then choose the one that works best for me. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to enter all the information for free and see how much the refund will be. Most sites won't charge until the thing is actually filed. I'll try a few and let you know how it works out.
My employer is notoriously late with the T4 slips. I'm expecting that when it's all said and done I will have my refund in the bank by March. I'm hoping for about $2000, half of which will go into RRSPs, and the other half onto my line of credit. No fun money for us this year!