It may come as a surprise to you, but doing your taxes is best done with your artist’s cap on. Doing your taxes doesn’t just mean rifling through piles of receipts and forms and crunching some numbers. It means being creative and thinking of it less as a task you just want to get over and done with, and more as a game with a huge prize at the end. 

For me, doing my taxes every year is just that — a game. When I go into tax season organized (thanks to my handy tax preparation checklist) and aware of the latest tax credits and deductions, I know that my chances of filing my taxes before the deadline (April 30th) and getting the best possible tax return back are through the roof!

And it’s because I take that extra time to think outside the box and find new credits and deductions I may not have otherwise considered taking advantage of, I win the annual tax game and get awarded the big prize at the end — a cheque with my name on it.

To give you an idea of some ways you could think outside the box and win the tax game in 2016, below is an infographic from the tax experts at UFile outlining 5 surprising ways you could save on your taxes this year.

ufile-tax-credits-opportunities-infographic

To summarize some of UFile’s key findings, here’s a quick breakdown:

You Could Save on Food

This was something I’d never thought of before, but it totally makes sense! If you’re a courier, heavy labourer or another occupation that necessitates you to have additional nourishment for you to be able to perform your job properly, you could claim that food as a business expense.

You Could Save on Your Dog’s Food

Who knew your dog could be a business expense? Well, maybe you would know if your dog wasn’t just a pet who liked to spend his days chasing birds, but instead guarded your farm or helped your business in a specific way. Make sure to take advantage of this deduction if your dog fits the bill!

You Could Save on Your Golf Membership

Some people love golf, and some people are forced to play because of their profession. Whether you like it or not, if you have to hold a golf membership for work, that means it’s a business expense you can claim on your taxes. Fore!

You Could Save on Gifts

Some gifts can be considered income from the CRA, but if you can prove that a gift you’ve receive from a client or customer is in fact just a gift, then you can avoid paying taxes on it.

You Could Save on Gambling

Not that I condone gambling in any way (I am a personal finance blogger after all!), if you do gamble as a way to make income, you do have to pay taxes on it. However, if it’s not a source of income and you just hit a lucky streak at the casino, you may have a case for avoiding paying taxes on your winnings.

UFile is available in-store and online at Staples, Best Buy, Loblaws, The Source, Walmart, Rexall Drugs, Jean Coutu (Quebec). Visit www.ufile.ca for more information and join the conversation on Twitter @UFile and UFile’s Facebook Page #TaxesYourWay

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This post is sponsored by UFile, however the views and opinions expressed represent my own and I only work with brands & products that I trust and believe in.

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