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December 09, 2021

Time to test your tax knowledge

There's a reason hundreds of thousands of people use popular tax-preparation packages like QuickTax, StudioTax and Ufile.

They save them a lot of money in accountants' fees and, with their friendly, intuitive interface, they’re reasonably easy to use — particularly if you’re a salaried employee with a fairly straightforward return. 

Most point out potential deductions, red-flag potential audit items and accurately crunch otherwise tricky calculations. But they’re not as much use when it comes to looking ahead. 

When it comes to taxes, it's not what you know that's important. It's what you don't know — or, more accurately what you think you know and really don't.

That’s why a good human tax preparer may be able to suggest tax-saving strategies — both now and for the future — that you and your software might miss. Either way, to get ahead of the game, you should probably start your planning this month, not next April.

Pretty sure you have the skills to handle your own tax affairs? Good for you. Then you shouldn’t have any trouble getting an “A” on this short quiz CIBC tax expert Jamie Golombek designed to test advisors on how well they understand tax concepts and current tax laws.

So, do you still plan to do your own taxes this year?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...