May 8 2006
In Québec you have to pay tax twice, once to the province of Québec, and once to federal Canada. The total amount is comparable with the amounts I paid in the Netherlands, but higher than in other provinces, and much higher than in the US of course. But I’m not going to complain about that. Other people can do that much better than I do.
But this also means you have to file taxes twice, and fill out a lengthy form for both Canada and for the province of Québec. And those forms are horribly bad designed. Maybe I’m spoiled with the, in my opinion, excellent Dutch forms, but this is just ridiculous. If the forms where better designed, people would make less errors and processing the forms by the poor people who work at the tax office would also be faster and cheaper. When they introduced the new forms in the Netherlands they paid their cost back in 4 years.
I would have liked to include here, as a comparison, a link to a Pdf of the Dutch forms and one to the Canadian tax forms (the Quebec forms are slightly better designed). But I can’t because the Dutch forms are personalised and are not available online. Online they only have a link to a computer application that you can use to file your tax electronically. And even though it’s free and available for all major operating systems, it’s not exactly well designed. But I found a couple of images that show at least a glimpse of Dutch tax form design.
Because we were a bit behind with filing our taxes (I won’t go into details) I went to the respective tax offices to deposit the envelopes in person. Unlike in the Netherlands, you have to put stamps on tax envelopes here, and because I had to include a lot of attachments, being self employed and having a lot of medical receipts last year due to my accident and major dental work, going in person saved us quite a bit of money on stamps.