02/16/2018 00:01 EST | Updated 02/08/2019 09:18 EST

Why You Should DIY Taxes This Year

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"It's too complicated." "I'm not good with numbers." "I want to save time." "My dad's been doing my taxes for years." We've all heard, (okay, used), the excuses for not doing our own taxes. Sometimes it's fair: If you're self-employed or are new to Canada for example, you may require a tax professional to ensure you don't miss out on important tax credits or deductions. But the truth is, filing your own return is not nearly as intimidating as you may think and can come with a variety of benefits. If your situation is simple or consistent from year to year, it's a great time to give DIY filing a shot. With a range of options including hands-on help, H&R Block's Online Tax Software is a great place to get it started — and finished.

Here are five simple reasons why you should put on your flannel PJs, brew your favourite coffee and relax this tax season.

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User-friendly online tools

Tax software has never been easier to use. Step-by-step guidance, online tutorials, help forums and live agents will make even the most timid first-time filers feel confident throughout the process. Best of all, once you've completed an online return, the next time you file there's the option to import last year's return with a simple click. That means if your tax situation is like last year's, you can fast-track the process.

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Another benefit of tax software is that the calculations are done for you with 100 per cent accuracy. Even better, yearly updates are made to the software to reflect new tax laws, so you don't have to worry about doing all your own research beforehand. H&R Block's Tax Software also offers audit protection. Meaning, if you're being audited or reassessed, you can count on a Tax Expert to help you through the process, every step of the way.

Freedom and Flexibility

DIYing your taxes means you can file at your own pace and do it from anywhere in the world (this is where those PJ's come in!). If you decide to file early, you'll have ample time to double check you've claimed every possible credit and write-off — which could mean a bigger refund in the end. You'll also be able to financially plan for the following year, and if you owe money, you'll have time to sort out a payment plan.

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Express Refunds

Sure, we may procrastinate when it comes to filing, but we all want to receive our refunds quickly. Patience doesn't have to be a virtue if you opt to file online; you can jump on the process the same day Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) opens, which this year is February 18. This means you can find out the results of your tax return faster, including your final refund or amount owing, your tax assessment summary and explanations of any changes. You'll also receive your refund within as little as eight days after filing online.

Knowledge is power

Having a general understanding of how to do your taxes is a great asset. It may not seem important when you're young, but later in life you may find yourself acquiring property or starting a business. Doing your taxes will open your eyes to what your financial situation looked like over the course of the year, including how much money you made and how much you spent.

Every person's tax situation is unique. H&R Block's software is designed to accommodate all types of different tax scenarios. Regardless or your work or home circumstances, H&R Block's online tax software solutions are up to the task.