In this week’s video clip, tax expert Tim Cestnick talks about the good news about personal income taxes in the recent past: decreasing tax rates, pension income splitting and of course, the introduction of the TFSA.

  1. With bond yields heading up, the big banks decided to rise the interest rates on fixed rate mortgages this week. TD, for instance, boosted 5-year fixed rate mortgages by 0.25% (as did RBC, BMO and CIBC). If your mortgage is up for renewal consider locking in a lower rate still available through many mortgage brokers.
  2. The Task Force on Financial Literacy put out its report this week and independent observers are not very pleased with the initiative. Ellen Roseman writes in The Star that involving financial institutions in financial literacy initiatives is a bit like having the fox guard the hen house. Rob Carrick of The Globe and Mail commented that Canadians can become more savvier with money with better disclosure of fees, rates and fine print.
  3. The proposed “merger” of the TSX with LSE was also in the news this week. David Olive of The Star says that the deal is unlikely to happen.
  4. In a series of posts, Sustainable PF explains how she saved $9,300 by purchasing a 2011 Subaru Outback south of the border.
  5. A Canadian Money Forum member is very happy with cellphone plans from new entrant Mobilicity provided you are satisfied with the limited coverage.
  6. Michael James offers a reasonable explanation of why those who chose to save for their retirement in a RRSP grumble about paying taxes when the time comes to withdraw from it.
  7. The T-slips have just started rolling in. Money Smarts Blog offers an useful tip for Ontario residents: don’t forget to claim the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit for the 2010 tax year.
  8. TFSA or RRSP? Jim Yih says do both if you can. If you can’t he offers some thumb rules on where to save.
  9. Larry MacDonald sees aggressive mandatory RRIF withdrawal rules as a valid reason for disenchantment with RRSPs. There may be some legitimate complaints here but we shouldn’t throw th RRSP baby out with the RRIF withdrawal rate bathwater.
  10. With Valentine’s Day coming up on Monday, Canadian Financial Stuff offers a humorous take on some of the ways to express your love and the financial ramifications.
  11. Preet Banerjee says that a person who drives responsibly and pays attention to routine maintenance is going to come out ahead if they buy a car instead of leasing.

TurboTax Giveaway

I received three review copies of TurboTax this year — one each of Standard, Premier and Home & Business. I’m going to test drive TurboTax Standard but I simply don’t have the time to try out the other two copies. That’s where you come in. I’m going to give away one copy of TurboTax Premier (list price of $69.99) and one copy of TurboTax Home & Business (list price of $99.99) to two readers picked at random from among those add their comments to this post. Entering your name in the giveaway is, as always, super simple. Just leave a comment in this post (please do not send an entry via email) and don’t forget to include your email address. If you are reading this through your favourite RSS Reader or via e-mail, you have to click on the headline, get through to the website and scroll to the bottom of the page and type in your comment. Some quick rules: (1) Deadline for entries is 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. (2) One entry per person please. (3) Canadian residents only. (4) I treat your privacy very seriously. Your email will be used for the sole purpose of contacting you if you happen to win. (5) I’ll pick one entry at random and announce the winner after the deadline. Thanks for entering and good luck!

This article has 104 comments

  1. Wow – thanks for the mention here CC! We’re honoured. Just a note tho – we’re a husband and wife team and the article was written by Mr. SPF.

    Really glad you found and enjoyed our car import posts – there are huge savings to be found especially while our dollar is @ par w/ the US green back. The process is remarkably simple once you’ve read through our articles. Are you considering importing CC? Drop me a line if you’d like any advice / opinions – or leave a comment on the site. We don’t get a lot of comments on that series but it is by FAR the most viewed articles on our site …
    Cheers!

    (oh yes, please include us on the turbotax draw. I’d be happy to write a review for either of the remaining two versions and until last year I used their product annually)

  2. TurboTax for me please!

  3. Free is the best price for tax software. Count me in!

  4. Hope to win a free copy of Turbotax

  5. I’m also gunning for free TurboTax software. Free is the best investment! 😀

  6. Thanks for the chance to win!!

  7. Thanks Ram! I don’t want the Turbo Tax program. I just want to say thanks for the support.

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  9. Thanks Ram, humorous somewhat, mostly just old and crotchety.

    Have a great weekend.

  10. I would like to get the TurboTax Premier. Please count me in.

  11. I find your blog very helpful

  12. Read your blog daily. Great!
    Please count me in for the Turbo Tax software.

  13. turbo tax has always been easy to use

  14. I could use a copy of TurboTax!

  15. After taking over the work of doing our tax returns from a professional last year, my husband’s key lesson was that having the assistance of a tax application would make the process easier.

  16. I always use the Basic version. But would love to try the others.

  17. Thanks for the mention. No need to include me in the TurboTax draw.

  18. Free is good!

  19. Great timing, I was just about to buy it and I guess I’ll wait to see if luck is on my side.

  20. Count me in….

  21. Please enter me into the draw. thanks!

  22. sign me up! thanks.

  23. this would help with doing taxes…

  24. Please count me in for the turbo tax draw! It would be amazing to win the Home & Business one – I started a tiny business this past year!

  25. Enjoy the site! Just entering to win Turbotax…thanks!

  26. mmmmmmmmmm free software!!!!

  27. Count me in … thanx

  28. Gilbert DesBecquets

    Gilbert says:
    count me in for the freebee

  29. I use ufile for $15, would love to try turbotax

  30. Count me in for the draw

  31. I’m using StudioTax which is free, but free is free and I wouldn’t mind running a comparison.

  32. Thanks for the mention, Ram.

    No need to enter me in the draw.

  33. I want to try Turbotax.

  34. I want to win Turbotax!

  35. Turbotax. I’m always up for trying new things.

  36. Count me in for the Turbotax draw CC!

  37. Nice articles – I’d love a free copy of TurboTax – need the Home+Business version for my situation

  38. pretty much the only contests I enter

  39. I’ve used it the past two years – love it!

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  41. Great articles. Hope to win!!!

  42. Would love to win a copy! Otherwise I was thinking of doing my taxes manually this year.

  43. I would love a copy !

  44. Count me in!

  45. Please enter me in the draw!

  46. Other program good also.

  47. George says:
    February 11, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Free is the best price for tax software. Count me in!

    Gotta agree with that!

  48. Love reading your articles. Count me in for the draw.

  49. Add me to the candidate list pls.. Thanks!!

  50. I hate doing my taxes, but this might make it easier. Please count me in

  51. Hoping to win!!

  52. Thanks for mention, Ram.
    Maybe I’m just a dinosaur but I’ve always done my taxes on a spreadsheet. Do these tax packages save people a lot of time and effort by comparison? Count me in the draw if you think they do.

  53. Please include me in the draw. Taxes are getting more complicated this year, as my daughter started college in 2010, and not sure how to make the best of the tax rules. Hopefully a tax package will explain it more clearly.

  54. Please enter me for the TurboTax draw. Thanks for the opportunity!
    I have usually used QuickTax Standard but tried UFile 2 years ago. Both are good but I like QuickTax better. Either one is a big time saver

  55. count me in…

  56. I have always dreamed with a free tax bill! 🙁

  57. Free is just right!

  58. Its a pity that witholding tax apply if investing in U.S. stocks in a TFSA.

  59. I’m interested in a copy of TurboTax. Thank you.

  60. Haven’t used TurboTax for several years now, would be great to give it another go! 🙂 Thank You!

  61. Love to take Turbo Tax for a spin.

  62. Thank you for offering up the free copies. Keep up the great articles!

  63. Love the weekly roundup and would love to try out TurboTax

  64. I was thinking of buying tax software for the first time this year, please save me the cost!

  65. I always enjoy your articles and quickies. Turbo Tax me please.

    Corey

  66. Thank you for the tax tips.

  67. Would love to try out the Turbo Tax Premier version.

  68. count me in please

  69. +1 for Turbo Tax giveaway. Thanks

  70. I enjoy the regular hard work you put into your blog. I would also like to try e-filing.

  71. Count me in!

  72. Thanks for the updates — and the contest!

  73. Hoping to win the Turbo tax!

  74. winning would make the tax season a little less stressful

  75. Good roundup. Will have to read the car import post.

  76. CC: I always enjoy reading your blog.
    Getting a free Turbotax would be just a sweet icing on the cake!

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  78. I would love a copy of TurboTax – huge fan of the website, thanks!

  79. If I win I will do my own taxes for the first time ever! Why should calculating how much you owe the government cost us money anyways?!?
    Thanks for the contest!

  80. Please include me in the draw!

  81. Just what I need at this time of year, cheers

    Carl

  82. I need to learn to do my own taxes, my father has done mine for the past 10 years. This would be a great opportunity!

  83. Fernando Margueirat

    I would love to have a chance at getting some free tax software!

  84. I was just telling my coworkers about the 20% discounted online versions of TurboTax 2010 from RBC today. And then I continued my weekly routine of reading through the financial news blogs, including Canadian Capitalist of course, and I’m happy that you’re giving them away for free!

    Please pick me for the Home and Business version! =)

    Cheers

  85. It’d be nice to try it.

  86. This will be useful to my family, as we always pool our tax filing together.
    I’m glad they’ve kept the number of returns at 8 this year…

  87. Turbo Tax Home and Business would be nice. I’m still using Quicken 2001.
    Count me in.

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  89. I like studiotax and will be using it again this year, but would like to see what people are paying money to use.

  90. Sign me up pls.

  91. Count me in for the giveaway!

  92. Count me in please!

  93. Count me in!

  94. I loved the tongue-in-cheek story on Valentine’s Day and Finances, by Canadian Personal Finance Blog. No fence-sitting here!: “Am I saying you shouldn’t buy anything for Valentine’s Day for your loved one? Yes, I am.”

    What gets me (as a woman) is the idea that men are supposed to spend large amounts of money, and women are to receive the fruits (or pout if they don’t). Perhaps this plays off the historical idea of women being dependent on a male breadwinner – hey, if we’re going to socially enforce excessive spending we can’t afford, let’s at least do it to everyone equally! 🙂

    Please consider me for the Turbo Tax (Premier) giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity.

  95. I would love to try this software out.

  96. I’d like to try it out

  97. Sign me up!

  98. Great blog. Would love a copy.

  99. Thank you to everyone who entered in the Giveaway. I’ll pick two winners shortly and contact via email.

  100. Love to read everything you have to say.

  101. The winners picked out using the random.org random number generator are Dean and James (comment # 2). Thanks again everyone!