Cleo Hamel
As a Senior Tax Analyst, Cleo Hamel brings a wealth of financial and tax experience to the Tax Advisory at H&R Block. In her role, she is part of a team responsible for ensuring H&R Block tax associates are informed and trained on all tax laws as well as providing commentary on tax-related issues.

She is also the national spokesperson for the Tax Advisory at H&R Block and has been interviewed across the country. From explaining how the Federal Budget impacts Canadians to having fun with Gerry Dee on CBC’s The Hour, Cleo enjoys the opportunity to provide straightforward information about taxes.

Cleo joined H&R Block in January 2000 as a tax associate and was steadily promoted within the organization. She was a tax course instructor, an Assistant District Manager and District Manager before taking her current position in 2006.

Prior to joining H&R Block, Cleo was an independent financial advisor with a broker’s license in the Calgary area.

She attended the University of Calgary and studied French, Italian and Spanish with a minor in Business and is fluent in French and Italian. She continued her education with the university and completed her Management Certificate in 1994.

Cleo currently lives in Calgary with her husband of 16 years and their two daughters, aged 13 and 12. They also share their home with three year old Bear, a Husky Chow mix.

Entries by Cleo Hamel

Don't Wait Until "April 35" to File Your Tax Return

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 5:50 PM

Taxes and procrastination are a natural combination. There is always something more interesting to do than your tax return. And tax procrastinators received a boost from the Heartbleed Bug, which shut down the Canada Revenue Agency's electronic filing system for five days and resulted in a new deadline: May 5,...

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Want a Good Relationship With the CRA? Learn to Communicate

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 12:30 PM

Communication is the foundation of any relationship, whether in love, in life or at work. One relationship that's important to keep on an even keel is yours with the Canada Revenue Agency.

It's hard to admit, in any relationship, that you are wrong. With the CRA, the...

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Do I Really, Really Have to File a Tax Return? (Yes)

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 9:03 AM

Tax time is stressful, especially for those who haven't got their paperwork together, or, worse, suspect (or know) they're going to owe a substantial amount of money to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Stress begets procrastination, and procrastination begets more procrastination. Eventually, there's denial: I don't really have...

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Five Steps Towards a Golden Retirement

(1) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 5:22 PM

A third of Canadians expect a lottery win to play a part in funding their retirement plans. Consider that the odds of holding a winning ticket in a 6/49 format lottery are more than 14 million to one. You're more likely to be struck by lightning (which might eliminate the...

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If You're a Single Parent, Make Taxes Work For You

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 5:38 PM

They say it takes a village to raise a child, so when you're trying to do it on your own, you're entitled to a little exasperation. But the government and the Canada Revenue Agency recognize the financial challenges of being a single parent, and the tax code has...

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Cashing Out RRSPs Early Can Leave You With a Hefty Bill

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 5:26 PM

Only first-time homebuyers or students can access RRSP funds without penalty

The deadline to contribute to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) has passed, ending a flurry of last-minute contributions for another year. RRSPs were designed to be long-term savings plans, but a recent study by

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Handy Tax Tips for First-Time Filers

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 12:19 PM

What paperwork you need, when you need it, and how to calculate your refunds

Of all the milestones in your life, filing your first income tax return probably isn't the one you look forward to most.

It's no wonder. Byzantine rules, deadlines and the possibility of a big hit to...

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Filing Your Taxes Online Gets You Your Return Faster

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 5:41 PM

The taxman continues to encourage taxpayers to file electronically to reduce costs and make the process more efficient.

There was a time when a tax package would arrive in your mailbox at the beginning of the year, or you'd head to the post office to pick up a booklet filled...

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The CRA Wants to Help With Your Taxes -- But Only Online

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 7:47 AM

You may like the personal touch but the CRA is pushing people towards its My Account online information portal to cut costs.

The Canada Revenue Agency shuttered its local inquiry and payment desks last October. The agency has abandoned the practice of mailing hard-copy tax return packages except...

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Tax Returns: Giving the Tax Man the Slip

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 2:35 PM

After you file, the CRA's slip-matching process checks all returns.

So you filed your income tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) well in advance of the April 30 deadline. Everything went without a hitch and you have a refund cheque in your hands, or directly deposited in your...

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Why a Spousal RRSP Is Worth it

(1) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 11:21 AM

With the introduction of pension income splitting in 2007, couples may not see the need for a spousal RRSP any longer. But there are good reasons to consider this other income splitting option before retirement.

Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) may not look as attractive now that...

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Don't Miss Out on Family Tax Credits This Year

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 11:55 AM

It's expensive to raise a family. Canadian governments recognize this, and have historically tried to ease the expense at least a little by offering parents with dependent children tax credits and deductions that others don't get.

In the last few years, the federal government has enacted additional small changes to...

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RRSPs: Still Saving After All These Years

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2014 | 2:50 PM

After almost six decades, this rare Canadian tax shelter is still saving Canadians money.

The Canadian government first created the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) in 1957, to promote savings for self-employed individuals and those without an employer-sponsored pension plan. It's now 2014, and that makes the

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Learn About This Tax Shelter From the Storm

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 3:37 PM

Although they are almost five years old, many Canadians are still confused about the rules and benefits of Tax-Free Savings Accounts.

Tax shelters are few in Canada, so it's important to understand the ones that are available. The introduction of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) in 2009 was met with...

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The Most Important Day for Your Tax Return Is Approaching

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 11:35 AM

December 31 determines many factors influencing how much tax you pay.

New Year's Eve. Champagne toasts and countdowns. Kisses at midnight and Auld Lang Syne. It's a time to look forward to the year ahead, and reflect on the one just past. Especially your taxes.

Sorry to rip you out...

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Holiday Bonuses That Could End up on Your Tax Bill

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 4:38 PM

Gifts and awards exceeding $500 for the year are considered taxable benefits and will be
reported on your T4.

"Though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say,...
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Why You Shouldn't Cheat the Taxman

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 11:43 AM

Making a little income on the side that you're not reporting on your tax return? Worried that the neighbours might find out? Chances are, they're not going to turn you in.

It is hard to meet a Canadian who doesn't complain about taxes. Even though we know the money pays...

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Why Tax Refunds Aren't a Good Thing

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 10:53 AM

According to the Canada Revenue Agency, the average tax refund in 2011 was $1,583. It is nice to receive a cheque from the government but a tax refund is not good, because you are only receiving your own money back. Your tax refund is money you have overpaid the government...

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Do I Really Need to File a Tax Return?

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 7:58 AM

Filing your tax return may seem like an unnecessary task if you earned little to no income during the year. Or if you are expecting a refund, your attitude may be that there is no rush to file by the April 30 tax deadline. However, there are some very good...

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How Life Milestones Affect Your Tax Return

(1) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 12:43 PM

It is amazing how much your life can change in the span of a year. Perhaps you graduated and are now working full-time after moving to a new place. Or you bought your first home. Or you may have welcomed a new addition to your family in 2012. All these...

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