Is there money hiding in your old tax returns?
Last August, H&R Block tax pros reviewed more than 300 tax returns in the town of Aldergrove, B.C., as part of the new reality TV show Million Dollar Neighbourhood. We found more than $50,000.
With the economy still uncertain, it seems like everyone is finding ways to save a little money, pay off their debt or just be more careful with how they spend their dollars. And it seems like every TV show is about money and how to manage it. The new reality show Million Dollar Neighbourhood is a social experiment to see if the net worth of 100 families can be raised by $1,000,000 in 10 weeks.
H&R Block was invited to be part of the show last summer; we offered to perform our free Second Look review service for the town. The show invited not only the families involved with the show but other residents to drop off their returns for a professional review. We expected to find some missed credits and deductions but even we were surprised when we found more than $50,000 in missed tax refunds.
We found one-third of the participants had made errors on their returns. Some people owed taxes but the majority had missed deductions or credits. Out of the people who received refunds, the average amount was $1,571. It is a nice surprise to find money hiding in your tax return.
The missteps included not claiming the GST rebate on employment expenses, missing the amount for eligible dependants, thinking they did not qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and miscalculating farming expenses.
Our H&R Block tax pros were featured on the first episode and got to experience first-hand the reaction of local residents when they are told of their refunds. And there are still nine weeks of the show to go.
If you think you may have made a mistake on your tax return, the money is not lost. You can file an adjustment to correct any errors or claim the correct credit. Requests are sent to the Canada Revenue Agency using a T1 Adjustment Form. It has to be mailed and all supporting documentation must be included – just make sure you keep copies for yourself.
You can take advantage of our free Second Look offer at any of our participating offices. We will review up to three years of previous returns at no charge to see if any credits or deductions were missed.
Million Dollar Neighbourhood airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. EST on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada)
Senior tax pro and national spokesperson