As tax day approaches, we have some grave and bone-chilling news for you Canada: Almost nobody else in the developed world has this much trouble filing their taxes.
Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden and as many as 30 others live under “no return” income tax systems.
Indeed, when a Brit or a Kiwi moves to Canada, one of the biggest culture shocks is that our tax filing system is so needlessly terrifying.
The standard “no return” system works thusly: Employers withhold income tax throughout the year and every 12 months revenue authorities automatically add up an individual’s eligible deductions and calculate their tax burden.
The process of filing taxes essentially involves nothing more than looking over a government-prepared invoice.
If the taxpayer has unique circumstances — such as self-employment income or a unique deduction — only then do they have to file a return. But for most taxpayers, the system is so easy that they may actually start to forget when tax day is.