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Martha Leah Nangalama, Moncton, Canada

Monday, April 13, 2020

Starting this week, the US govt is sending $2400 to every family whose reported income last year on the tax filing was $150,000 or less. They are sending $1200 to single people who filed income tax of $75,000 or less.

The key thing is if you submitted your tax return.

Some people do not file taxes yearly because they fear to pay Caesar. Those roads, the hospitals, the schools, ambulances… these things cost money. Consequently, you need to pay your share.

I do community tax filings for free for anyone who asks me as long as their income is $25,000 that year or less. The Canadian govt has an excellent program to help with this. Intuit (Turbo Tax, Quicktax) all charge money to buy their software for tax filing. However, they allow you to file unlimited tax returns for people earning $25,000 or less per year. This program works very well for helping elders who are retired and earn around $15,000 per year from CPP (Canada Pension Plan) and also for students who tend to earn only around $5,000 per year doing summer jobs and part time work while going to school.

I draw examples from the USA and Canada because Canada is also starting to send money to people this week to the tune of CAD $900 (US approximate $750) every two weeks for 4 months. Canada is sending that money to people who filed their taxes over the last 2yrs. Actually, my little ones always file their taxes from their earnings while in school. The cut off for students is if a kid earned $5,000 last year and the year before. For families, I think the cut off for the CAD $900 every two weeks is an income of $48,000 per year. JT is dealing with this issue as even thousands who filed last year earning over $100,000 have now become unemployed. Consequently, the rules are being changed weekly to ensure that people get money to buy food.

Meanwhile, you will be surprised how many people in USA do not know how to get their money. Perhaps not everyone is on the Internet. Yet, some likely do not know how to go about it. A few years ago, one of my friends in Los Angels who is a CPA was doing taxes for one of his Hollywood client. When he was done, he called me saying “my client shot some films in Toronto and Vancouver. Do for me the taxes for her”.

Holly cow!!! By the time I was done looking the receipts from that actress, she was owed something like $13,000 from Canada. She had been shooting movies here and was being charged the nominal tax rate in Canada (CRA – Canada Revenue Agency gives the withholding amount for your work). Now, this actress, all that money had not taken into account that she was paying for hotel, food and security guards. These are expenses she could claim. We did it.

Moncton, Canada
Bududa, Uganda
*** Please file your tax return. You never know when the government will help you in a crisis.

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