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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Tax season is not taxing for newcomer

Our first time filing taxes was exhilarating as well as a learning process. I discovered I needed our property tax amount to file my tax returns.

The City had sent a letter with the amount, which I filed away carefully. So carefully, that I couldn’t find it when I needed it urgently.

My wife Sujata suggested I call the city and ask.

“They are not going to just hand the information over to us,” I said. I was very irritated with myself for not having been as organized as I took pride in being.

Sujata persisted, saying there was no harm in trying and with no other viable option in hand, I made the call.

The very helpful lady I was put through to gave me the information I was seeking – over the phone, and in two seconds flat.

I was astonished they didn’t need to verify who was calling, that there was no need for me to prove my identity, etc. I could have been just anyone, seeking to access this information.

When I said as much to the lady, she in turn was astonished that I expected them to check.

“Why would anyone but you be interested in the numbers?” she asked. “Why would anyone other than the homeowner call?”

Then it struck me that while many of us come from a place where there is a culture of mistrust, of doubting the others’ intentions, here, they work from a place of trust.

It felt good, filing my taxes in Canada.

– Saurabh Sharma

What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Apr 1, 2016

June 2019

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016