Getting to Know Thyself – Tax Lessons in Self Awareness

One of the greatest catalysts for self awareness occurs when personal tragedies are experienced. In the course of my mid 30’s, I encountered four such tragedies the latest and greatest catalyst being my brother dying while playing hockey. John died in Toronto at the age of 39 doing something he loved only second to spending time with family and friends at the cottage.

I could not help but to analyze my own life more deeply as I questioned universal purpose and why we need to have the life lessons we get. Over the course of the last 15 years, I have read countless books on self awareness (cynics label as spiritual), joined men’s groups, self awareness groups, learned to meditate, and have had meaningful conversations with close friends and family. In the course of that time, I often did a self-check with myself to ask if I would trade the gain of knowledge of myself for having John back. For the first ten years the answer was yes, I would trade that for having him back. But I did reach a tipping point where I can be thankful for the experience as it has made me what I am today. Self awareness has taught me that our “chance” encounters and events will write the biographical pages needed to know ourselves. I would like to teach others what I have learned.

One of the reasons I started Agustus is to provide people the opportunity to take the first step into self awareness by introducing the concept of understanding their tax biography. Tax biography is a phrase that I have coined which describes the uniqueness of every individuals tax scenario. It takes into account the quantitative elements (income sources, amounts, family profile, age, etc) of an individual and their goals for the purpose of educating individuals to let them know what they are entitled to. In my over 15 years as a seasoned tax accountant, I have never come across the same tax scenario twice. This has led me to the conclusion that everyone’s tax blueprint is as unique as their fingerprint. As such, everyone deserves to understand their own tax biography so that they can :

  1. keep more of their money by making eligible claims for deductions or applying for credits that they were not aware of
  2. reduce anxiety with any correspondence from CRA since they would have spoken to an Agustus Tax Counsellor
  3. make informed decisions of the tax impact related to significant purchases or lifestyle changes.

Another element of self awareness at Agustus which callers have taken advantage of is that of pursuing their lost passions. Lost passions can also be described as hobbies as that is often what the callers tell me. Did you know that there are sections within the Income Tax Act written to encourage individuals to pursue their passions? This means that with effective knowledge of yourself and the reasons behind your passions, there are opportunities to reduce your annual taxes to pursue a “hobby”. Agustus Tax Counsellors can further educate you to navigate the administrative waters of the Canada Revenue Agency so that you claim your fair share of costs related to pursuing your gifts.

Most of my callers, former clients, men’s group members, family and friends would tell you that conversation with me often results in different perspectives on life. I attribute that to the catalysts of my self awareness journey of which I am very grateful. My passion is talking with individuals one call at a time to exchange stories so that I can teach and learn and ultimately connect with people. Of the people who have used Agustus so far, 100 percent have said that they would use it again in the same year. I hope that you will trust me enough to give it a try or tell your employer that this is a benefit worth having.

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