Canadians hate taxes not just because the Canada Revenue Agency collects a big chunk of our incomes. Taxes are complicated, the rules change constantly and quite frankly it is a boring and dreary topic. But a basic knowledge of our tax system is critical not only to avoid overpaying but also to arrange our affairs so that we pay as little taxes as possible.
Just in time for the tax season, Robert Smith and Michael Cavanagh have taken the challenge of explaining taxes in simple and concise terms and have succeeded admirably in their new book. They use simple analogies to explain complex concepts like tax brackets, effective and marginal tax rates and cleverly classify tax deductions into gold, silver and bronze. Of course, we want as much gold as possible, but if we can’t get gold, silver or bronze ain’t so bad. Also, they have ignored the minutiae and mind-numbing detail that puts people off taxes in the first place and firmly keep the focus on the important concepts.
The book is organized around significant life events (hence the title) and allows the reader to just skip to the relevant chapter. If you just got married, skip to Chapter 6 and if you are already having a baby, just refer to Chapter 7. The tax rules that apply to each life-stage are explained clearly and helpful sections point out where many make mistakes, which forms to use when filing the tax return and where to get more information.
The book can be ordered from the Dollars From Change website for $24.95 plus shipping and handling and would make an ideal gift for anyone wanting to get a handle on their taxes. The book’s Table of Contents is available here.