54% of Canadians admit they actually like organizing their taxes
VANCOUVER, April 11, 2012 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) today released a survey on tax time behaviour which found that 54 per cent of Canadians like preparing to file their taxes. Even more surprising is that 24 per cent of adults aged 18 to 34 say a parent compiles their tax materials while 25 per cent have a parent file their tax return.
"With the complexities of the tax system, it is great to see Canadians taking an active role," says Anthony Ariganello, CGA-Canada's President and CEO. "In times of economic uncertainty, it is vital that Canadians identify deductions and make claims which don't assume unnecessary risk - consulting a professional is your best bet."
The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 79 per cent of Canadians who use an accountant do so to benefit from their expertise. Convenience and accountability were also identified as reasons for hiring a professional. Another reason to consider hiring out is that 61 per cent of Canadians who use an accountant are 'very confident' that all eligible tax credits and deductions have been claimed, compared to the 48 per cent who self-file.
According to Ariganello, certified general accountants with public practices are experts on current personal and corporate tax guidelines and can ensure that all benefits and deductions available to individuals or businesses are maximized.
Among those who do not use an accountant, 36 per cent say they check with an accountant when they come across something they are unsure of. 34 per cent say they "err on the side of caution and in the government's favour", potentially overpaying in taxes as a result. 30 per cent say they "err on the side of optimism and in my favour", potentially leaving themselves at risk of audit and penalties.
The majority of Canadians expect a refund this year, 62 per cent of adults aged 18 to 34 think they'll get a refund, followed by 53 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 and 44 per cent of those 55 and older. Those with kids in the house are significantly more likely than those without to think they'll get a refund.
While one in ten claims that their tax filing system is non-existent, 57 per cent say their files are organized throughout the year and 31 per cent agree they could do a better job throughout the year. When it comes to compiling the materials, 20 per cent of men compared to 15 per cent of women, rely on their significant other to compile the materials.
For the minority who do not like organizing their taxes, 27 per cent of respondents prefer to clean the bathroom, 16 per cent choose to watch their home team lose and 12 per cent would rather visit in-laws. Only seven per cent elected to run a marathon and six percent would rather have a root canal than organize their tax files.
Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada serves 75,000 Certified General Accountants and students in Canada and more than 90 countries. Respected accounting and financial management professionals, CGAs work in industry, finance, government and public practice. CGA-Canada establishes the designation's certification requirements and professional standards, offers professional development, conducts research and advocacy, and represents CGAs nationally and internationally.
Note: Ipsos Reid poll conducted this online survey between March 8 and 13, 2012, on behalf of the Certified General Accountants Association. For this survey, a sample of 1,028 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.
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