The Poor Man's Accountant

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Taxman 2020

Version 1.8 is Ready!

I may not be perfect — but I am persistent!

Warning! If you are installing directly over top of Version 1.0, before installing Version 1.8, find the file 20tables.mdb (usually the path is similar to C:\Program Files(x86)\Taxman\Taxman2020) and rename it. This will hide the file so the install program will install a new file. When you first open Version 1.8, on the menu use 'Tools\Data Transfer\Get All' to copy in all the data already in the renamed-20tables.mdb.
The business and farming forms now have a field for electricity used to charge your zero-emission vehicles. So the structure of 20tables.mdb has changed and must be replaced to use these forms.
See below at
Bugs and Versions for more detail.

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by the removal of this Duke of New York. In the end it was Trump's base that brought him down (aided massively by his vanity and pride). I would never have guessed that his adoring fans could disgrace him. Being accused of rape hasn't disgraced him. In his life he's gotten away with everything. But inciting the storming of the Capitol and five dead may be a bit too much. Trump famously predicted that he could shoot someone and get away with it — well we'll have to see about that. Americans don't mind their presidents assassinating foreigners or causing a Ukrainian airliner to lose all souls. But putting your feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk is crossing the line.

As a kid I thought that by 2021 we humans would be sufficiently civilized that there wouldn't be runts like Putin, Kim Jong-un and Mohammed Bin Salman throwing their weight around. Half the world is still run by potentates who jail or bump off anyone who gets in their way. Trump kowtows to these tyrants because he envies their power — real power he can only dream of. If you can't bully your own people, what's the good of being in charge? Surely our former governor general, Julie Payette, would agree with that.

Rush Limbaugh tells his audience that half of America hates them for what they believe. 'Hate' is a divisive word that he uses way too much. Instead of having to have their news filtered through Walter Cronkite, people can spend their whole life watching news especially tailored for them — justifying all their beliefs. And worse still, there's the great majority with whom the news goes in one ear and out the other. There's no chance of reconciliation if everyone is living in their own reality bubble.

If the economy weakens all this will get worse. We live in a world where the underlying problems don't get solved, yet somehow the ship keeps afloat. We should all remember that we are hurtling around the sun at 900 miles an hour and the core of this planet is molten. We scramble around on a thin crust full of holes trying to grab as much stuff as we can. Picture that and you'll have a more accurate view of where we're at.

P.S. I failed to mention you-know-what because I'm fed up with you-know-what!

Before mailing in that tax return, just to be safe, come back and download the latest upgrade.
Your security software doesn't know about my program and it will warn you that Taxman could be dangerous. Taxman isn't dangerous. You have to either tell your security software Taxman is safe, or ignore the warnings, or turn down your level of security.

If you already have the full Taxman program installed on your computer (it doesn't matter which year just so long as it works), then you only need:

Taxman!  Taxman2020 Upgrade Version 1.8 (20setup8.exe, 2.1 MB)
Revised Apr 10, 2022, for more see:
Bugs and Versions

Warning! If you already have Version 1.0 installed, see above...

Download Upgrade Version 1.8 from Amazon!

Pressing Download takes you to Amazon Drive where there is one file listed. Click that file and a download icon will appear at the top-right of the window — hit it. You then have the option of saving or opening the file — you want to save it.

After downloading, just double-click 20setup8.exe to install. A shortcut to run the program will appear on your Start Menu, your Desktop and in the folder where the program was installed. Your data files are 20tables.mdb and taxbiz.mdb — back'em up! During an install your data files, if they already exist, are never replaced, but an uninstall will delete 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 20tables.mdb with the unlikely to change stuff in 19tables.mdb. After Get Basics runs you'll be asked if you want to update taxbiz.mdb, say No because the structure of taxbiz.mdb is unchanged so the best bet is to hide the new taxbiz.mdb and then point the program to the old taxbiz.mdb (look up 'Data Transfer' in the Help index for more).

Otherwise you must get the full program, the El Gordo version:

Taxman!   Taxman2020 Full Version 1.8 (20txmf8.exe, 7.3 MB)
Revised Apr 10, 2022, see Bugs and Versions for more.

Download Full Version 1.8 from Amazon!

Pressing Download takes you to Amazon Drive where there is one file listed. Click that file and a download icon will appear at the top-right of the window — hit it. You then have the option of saving or opening the file — you want to save it.

After downloading, double-click 20txmf8.exe to install. The first time you install Taxman, if asked, do not replace any newer files that you already have on your computer. Only replace files if Taxman fails to work. Save the file 20txmf8.exe, it may not always be on the internet. A shortcut to run the program will appear on your Start Menu, your Desktop and in the folder where the program was installed. Your data files are 20tables.mdb and taxbiz.mdb — back'em up!

    Announcing!       Notably New for 2020

CRA has taken what used to be Schedule 1 and has spread it over 3 pages and blended it with the rest of the return. Every year CRA's paper returns have a new look, which is easy for them to do. What's easy on a piece of paper is much harder to duplicate with a tax program. The old Schedule 1 was a separate entity and it has to remain that way. So I've broken with CRA's 8-page return and I've shed a page. My return is now compressed and doesn't exactly match, page for page, with CRA's. Thus I've had to come up with a new way on the menu to describe where we're going. Everything is in the same order, but both you and I will have to suffer the learning curve until we figure out what the new menu items really mean.

There's a new COVID employment expenses form, T777S, for those who had to work from home. It's a simplified version of T777, which has more deductions and you're allowed to use it if your employer will sign T2200. The COVID form has a simple option of a measly $2/day with no forms to sign, or you enter in all the details and your employer must sign a T2200 Short. The T2200 forms don't get mailed in. And if your employer charges customers GST, you should be able to fill in the GST Rebate form, GST370, and claim back the GST in your expenses. With millions sending in these forms, if there ever was a year to cheat and get away with it, this is it.

Trudeau has dished out a myriad of COVID benefits, but it's only the Canada Recovery Benefit that gets clawed back (if your net income is over $38,000). So there's a special spot on the Worksheet for your CRB-T4A box 202 and you have to use it or the clawback at Line 23500 won't be calculated. Don't enter any other COVID benefits in the CRB control, use one of the Line 13000 controls just above it.

The basic personal amount at Line 30000 now varies between $12,298 and $13,229 depending if net income is over $150,473. And whereas in the past you had to enter your dependant's Line 30000 on Schedule 5, now you put in your Line 30000.

Students, with the new Canada training credit, can get part of their tuition paid back to them.

It's now possible to donate to registered journalism organizations and you can claim up to $500 for amounts you paid for a Canadian digital news subscription (showing that politicians really do love journalists, their fame depends on them).

The most colossal news is that all my letter writing to CRA, bitching about what the words "excluding losses" means, actually had an affect. On Schedule 6 and with the refundable medical supplement, CRA has added an explanatory note totalling four lines long and full of bold print. Holy cow! This is my 15 minutes of fame. I'll be able to show the grandkids how I made the world a better place to live in. I'll retell the tale again and again about how the gutsy underdog took on a heartless bureaucracy and gained a glorious victory: getting a note added to the official forms in two different locations! I can rest on my laurels now.

Sadly though, the problem hasn't actually been solved. Even if a taxpayer did read the note and did correctly remove all the businesses with losses, coming up with the right number won't help him. The staff processing paper returns won't enter his number into CRA's computer, the computer will figure that number out for itself. But the computer has to be told about the businesses with losses and CRA's staff aren't doing that. It's like a car accident: being in the right doesn't mean you don't get run over.

At least CRA's staff will now know what "excluding losses" means. I phoned them four times and got four different answers. I thought it was obvious what the meaning was — but clearly some people read English differently.

Also, "excluding losses" is how you figure out "earned income" with childcare expenses. My complaints never mentioned childcare, so CRA has yet to catch on to that one and to add in another note. I suppose I'll have to pile onto my fame and bitch about that too.

So the general warning is that CRA can be wrong. This is also shown by the recent fiasco where people without sufficient net business income still got the CERB. CRA staff failed to correctly differentiate between gross and net income. Personally, I've noticed that after CRA took the jobs from Surrey and moved them to Winnipeg (I bet a lot of people didn't make the move), that the data-entry errors have dramatically increased. If you don't get the exact refund my program says you should, scrutinize your Notice of Assessment and find out why.

                  Bugs and Versions

The only significant legislation passed by Trump was a tax cut for corporations and the rich. The rich get richer and they make sure that the politicians join the club (what could be fairer than that?). It's the middle class who will pay for Afghanistan and Trump's unfinished wall.

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