Accountant's office building
Accountant’s office building

Yesterday was the last official day for Canadians to get their tax returns in to the government. The deadline has been extended to May fifth due to a wording error on the government’s notice. It’s often the busiest day at Revenue Canada since people tend to put off that dreaded annual chore. The question is occasionally raised by libertarian-minded folks regarding whether or not we should claim all we’re entitled to. I don’t see any problem in doing so, do you?

I believe that citizens are much more adept at spending their money than the government gives them credit for. We know our limitations and the consequences of chronic debt. Most folks spend wisely and they know what they need verses what they don’t.

Not so with bureaucrats. Their department gets a set amount of money. At the end of each fiscal year, they must turn in any unspent dollars. Instead of assessing whether departments need the same, less, or more money, government bean counters subtract the money turned back from the next fiscal year’s allotment. This causes a frenzy of spending in March on all sorts of unnecessary things. That way, the department reports the same amount of money for the next financial year.

I also believe there’s nothing wrong in taking legitimate tax breaks because we’re promised them by the government. It’s our money to start with so why should we let those wasteful bureaucrats have a penny more than is allowed?

Here’s an example of how I received bad advice but got what I was owed. Back in the eighties, I had my taxes done by volunteer accountants at the CNIB. They misread the disability tax credit to mean that all the mentioned handicaps had to be present in the taxpayer before a credit could be given. I learned later that the list was meant to outline separate disabilities and wasn’t inclusive of them all. I received about eight-thousand dollars in back taxes which I used to pay off my charge card bills and part of my mortgage.

There’s nothing wrong with donating to charities and political parties either. Claiming those deductions is our right as free people. Society is helped and donors are rewarded for their generosity.

By the way, Canadians must separate charitable donations from the receipts for political donations. Provincial and federal receipts must be separated as well.

Of course this isn’t meant as a give-to-get scheme. The minister of an aberrant house church tore a verbal strip off me for suggesting that we should donate more to get more back from the government. He assumed that I was greedy when all I wanted to do was spread the gospel further.

I wrote about the mental abuse I suffered in that pseudo-church and how the heavenly father led me to a proper knowledge of himself in a book called How I Was Razed. Read more about it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s books.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.


  1. Can you ‘tax designate’ there? A religious right (as in option, not “The Religious Right”) we have here is tax designation. Its usually fairly simple to designate what your government may or may not spend your money you give for the common good or you don’t have to give at all. Designating “Veterans benefits only” instead of approving it for use for the expansive budgets of war, is a simple shift consistent with many citizens actual values. Their hard earned money must be spent according to their consent.

  2. You’re fortunate, Nicole, to be able to designate what your tax money should be spent on. We have no such choice here in Canada. We can write our Member of Parliament for free but usually we just get a form letter back. We can contact our provincial and municipal leaders but often times, they’ll just have a form letter sent off to us.

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