T1 General Software for All Canadian Residents
Free! No Limitations!
But No Netfile and No Quebec TP-1-V
Version 1.2 Ready!
Version 1.2 should be the final version. I've added more warnings and squashed the bugs that showed up during the tax season (get the important details below at Bugs and Version History).
It took until mid-January for CRA to release its all new RC381. This form is only for those who earn employment income in Quebec but don't live there, or for Quebecers who have earnings from outside Quebec. CRA's RC381 is six pages long and is mainly convoluted math which decides how much goes to the CPP and how much to the QPP. I was hoping I could ignore it — incorporate the math but not have to do the form — but no such luck. This form doesn't just figure out CPP/QPP overpayment, it replaces Schedule 8 which is at the heart of the program. Massive last minute changes without adequate time for testing — isn't that what happened with the Obamacare website?
And though I know nothing about the Senate, I do know a bit about lying on government forms, so let me put my two-cents in. Diddling with your expense claims is one thing, but I don't think the senators in question have the cojones to defraud the government and steal tens of thousands of dollars. I bet they were told that everyone did it and it was okay. I think they're innocent. We treat them as uber-humans — they have to believe we owe them a living. Surely the whole Senate is one big boondoggle. How are those poor folks to know when the perks turn into misdemeanours and then into crimes? I bet if we audit every senator we'll find crimes galore. As Pollyanna said to the preacher — if you look for the evil in mankind, you will most surely find it.
But all this masks the big question that no one is asking: Why don't these fat-cat senators have enough money to bail themselves out? They all had good jobs before. Were they able to save nothing? They may not all be getting cushy pensions, but the base senator's salary is $135,200 and they can get more if they actually do some work. And they only have to pay back the extra stuff they stole. Why can't they just call up the broker and sell some shares and be done with it? Where's it all gone? Either these guys are funneling funds back to their Führer, or they are partying at a level you and I can only dream of. Parliament Hill has subsidized cafeterias that are to die for — are we to believe that the rest of their money is all going to scotch and cigars? They'd be dead by now. To eat up the kind of dough these guys are raking in, we have to be talking about a serious addiction to gambling or whores. How else can you explain it? Crack doesn't cost that much. These people hold themselves up as the apogee of fiscal prudence and yet they seem to be living paycheque to paycheque. Shouldn't we be adding their names to the growing list of Canadians needing to cleanse their image with a short stay in rehab? So many rich people need to be saved from their money! If they would just raise the income tax rates, we could save them all.
On the homefront, I finally jumped from XP all the way to Windows 8. The instant on/off alone makes Windows 8 worth the price of admission. That is, once you figure out how to turn it off. I read through all the books in the library but it's still a mystery. Magical things pop up when my mouse strays too far, and everything I used to use is now hiding on me. I guess my program may give you the same experience. You never know what's hidden behind a control, until you double-click it.
And does old Access 97 install on the latest Windows has to offer? Sí, se puede! Access 97 was easy; the rest of Office 97 had issues. It only took me three days to install and that's par for the course. Every time I've upgraded, there were files to hide and workarounds to be worked. Computers demand problem solving — that's why the PC is dying. Regardless, I'm now up-to-date and hopefully better able to troubleshoot your problems.
Taxman 2013 only comes as an Upgrade so you must already have the full Taxman installed on your computer (any year's full version makes all upgrades work).
Taxman2013 Upgrade Version 1.2 (13setup2.exe, 1.7 MB)
Download Upgrade Version 1.2 Now!
Revised Sept 18, 2014 — corrected everything that popped up during the tax season (see below at Bugs and Version History for more)
Pressing Download gets you the option of saving or opening the file — you want to save it.
After downloading, just double-click 13setup2.exe to install. Your data files are 13tables.mdb and taxbiz.mdb — back'em up! During an install your data files, if they already exist, are never replaced, but an uninstall will deleted them forevermore. If you used Taxman in the past, go to 'Tools\Data Transfer' on the menu and press 'Get Basics from past year' to update 13tables.mdb with the unlikely to change stuff in 12tables.mdb. The structure of taxbiz.mdb is unchanged so the best bet is to hide the new taxbiz.mdb and continue using the old taxbiz.mdb (look up 'Data Transfer' in the Help index for more).
The sound files are huge and so have been separated out into their own install program. These are the same sounds as last year, so if you already did the download then all you have to do is copy the sounds into the Taxman2013 folder.
If you want the complete and total mystery tour, click below:
Taxman Sounds Version 10 (sounds10.exe, 5.2 MB)
Download Sounds Version 10 Now!
Pressing Download gets you the option of saving or opening the file — you want to save it.
After downloading, double-click sounds10.exe to install and be sure to change the destination folder to Taxman2013. When you open up Taxman, press Tools on the menu and then click at Sound on/off to turn the sound on.
New for 2013
The government is scared to death that all the babyboomers are going to get the Guaranteed Income Supplement and break the bank. (In truth, catering to babyboomers will be the only thing keeping the GDP up.) To get more people paying their own way, we now have pooled registered pension plans, which are the same as RRSPs. PRPPs have a Line 205 where you enter employer PRPP contributions, which reduces your annual RRSP deduction limit on Schedule 7.
In another silly scheme, the plan is to coax money out of those who haven't given to charity in the last five years. These parsimonious folks will be reinforced for being cheap and get an extra 25% super credit for the first $1,000 of donations made after March 20, 2013. For those clever enough to have used Taxman in the past, if you double-click the new Line 343 on Schedule 9 the program will search through the last five years of returns and see what donations were made.
In 2012, people receiving a CPP or QPP retirement benefit still had to chip in to the CPP. But if you were 65 to 70 years of age you could elect to opt out. This year there's now the option of revoking a prior election. Accordingly, Worksheet has a spot to enter the year/month when you revoked a prior election. It doesn't matter if you have both dates in there; the last one to happen is the one that matters. There's probably no one out there who is electing and then revoking because that would mean they want to start paying into CPP again after previously opting out — and who would be that stupid? But I hope there is someone because it took me a week to write the code.
The dates you enter on Worksheet relate to elections made through your employer and affect both self-employment and T4 income. But you can also make a separate declaration relating only to self-employment income on Schedule 8 (except for QC). To keep track of a prior election, at the top of Schedule 8 I've added a check-box which tells the program you are exempt for the whole year from contributing to the CPP on self-employment income. Tick the box and pensionable net self-employment earnings on Schedule 8 will be zero. If you used Taxman last year, then use Get Basics to update this year's database and the program should figure things out and tick the box for you. Everyone else is on their own.
The Election to Split Pension form added one new entry that completely complicated the math. Line 6806 is for amounts from a retirement compensation arrangement, which can be split with the spouse but they're not eligible for the pension deduction. This means you have to remove Line 6806 when calculating the pension deduction. That one change took two weeks to work throughout all the split-pension code. And I doubt I'll ever meet anyone with a retirement compensation arrangement! Regardless, for the user it's simple — just press the AutoFind button and the answer is revealed.
Last year I made a mistake at Line 250, other payments deduction, and so I reprogrammed Line 250 to automatically set itself. CRA's guide says if you received the federal supplement and there's clawback then you have to call CRA for instructions. But you won't have to make that call, I already did and the program knows what to do.
There's a new Line 103 to enter what you have, after 1967, put into your own wage-loss replacement plan. In my experience, the employer either pays for everything or the employer has no idea what your contributions are. Last year a big institution could only provide records going back a dozen years. A few years ago a hotel downtown was so indignant at the request, they were going to charge their employee $80/hr to figure out what her contributions were. I wonder how they're going to come up with the numbers now?
A more vexing problem for me is: How do you spell it? CRA has it with one hyphen or no hyphen — but shouldn't it have two hyphens? Doesn't wage-loss-replacement all modify plan? And I've never seen CRA put a hyphen in, but shouldn't it be income-tax return? The Economist spells it that way, and they set the standard for British punctuation.
If you have a business you must include with your return a Statement of Income and Expenses, but it doesn't have to be CRA's forms. No one cares what you send in, just so long as you send something in. With Taxman you just send in three pages, but CRA's T2125 has now ballooned to six pages. The new addition this year is a section on your internet activities. It asks about your money making on the internet and they want a list of your main webpage addresses. What do they want to know that for? Are they going to enter your URLs into the big computer and monitor your activities? Admittedly, I've smoked more pot than Justin Trudeau, so maybe it's just paranoia, but if it's easy to do why wouldn't they? There's no privacy on the internet and CRA won't be the first to exploit that fact. I say, if Big Brother wants to get me — google me like everyone else.
Bugs and Version History
- Version 1.2 is the result of the postseason overhaul and it fixes a dozen minor glitches and one serious problem. The problem happens when you use Get Basics (to bring in the basic data from 2012) after you've already created a 2013 tax return for someone who elects to stop paying into CPP. Get Basics will put an "X" in the box at the top of Schedule 8, indicating that that person has elected for the entire year to stop contributing to the CPP on self-employed income, which may be wrong. Normally you only use Get Basics once, before you start any tax returns, but it is a handy tool if a new client has to be added to more than one tax year. So if you used Get Basics more than once, then check the Schedule 8 of anybody who is 65-70 years of age, self-employed, receiving a CPP/QPP retirement pension and may have elected to stop paying into CPP in 2013.
- In the subform on Persons a record is created with the carryforwards for the year. Version 1.0 was either changing last year's record or creating a new record with a tax year of 12 and not 13. Version 1.1 puts in a record with a 13, but you still have to deal with the 12-record that's there. If you did not use Taxman2012, then before you open a 2013 return just change the 12 to a 13 and everything should be ok. If you did used Taxman2012 and had a valid 2012 record that was altered, then taxbiz.mdb has a bad record in it. If you're using the new 2013 taxbiz.mdb and you used data transfer to fill it up, delete the 12-record and then use Get All and data transfer again. If you're using the same taxbiz.mdb you used last year, then you have to return to Taxman2012 and open T1 General and then exit back to Persons. This will reset the carryforwards and everything else should be right except the time.
Version 1.1 also warns BC residents that the $75 sales tax credit has returned.
- Data transfer doesn't work for some: they get Error 3163 ("field is too small"). For possible cures go to: 2011 Bugs
Why aren't your friends giving this free program a spin?With Taxman — You're good to go!
They won't be asked to write out a cheque for $90,000
and they don't need to first phone someone for permission.
Tell them what you already know: