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Scott Hennig

President & CEO, Canadian Taxpayers Federation

The Grumpy Accountant accomplishes an almost unimaginable literary feat: it’s funny and it explains the Canadian tax system. Yes, there are real-life tax tips. And yes, there are intriguing tax policy ideas. But best of all, it’s packed with hilarity as characters bumble through Canada’s maze of tax regulations and provoke searing satirical rants from the grumpy accountant. It’s like watching a hit sitcom that’ll get you a bigger tax refund.

Moshe A. Milevsky, Ph.D.

Finance Professor, York University

The personal tax system is a complicated muddle of expanding rules & forms that probably enriches the accounting industry more so than government. Neal’s book does a great job of shining a light on this godawful mess in a humorous manner, as well as offering some suggestions on what might be done about it. If you are a tax-paying citizen this book will either enrage you or result in an attempt to convince your kids to become tax accountants so they too can secure a lifetime employment annuity – or possibly both.

Hugh Segal

Mathews Fellow in Global Public Policy
Queen’s University

“The clear reasoning, trenchant analysis and solid advice in ‘The Grumpy Accountant’, should shape an aggressive tax reform agenda for Canada, and the sooner the better! “

Jack M. Mintz, C. M.

President’s Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

“It is not easy to find a book on taxation that is fun to read as well as educational. Neal Winokur’s Grumpy Accountant is the story about how an accountant tries to explain a very complicated personal tax system to a hard working individual who understandably has no clue about taxes except they are deducted from his paycheque. I was impressed that the accountant had a pretty good idea about the reasons for many provisions in the tax system — not many do! The argument that the personal tax could be simplified by eliminating special deductions and credits resulting in a substantial reduction in tax rates is one we have heard before but hopefully Winokur’s book will make the persuasive case.”

I have a dream – book excerpt read by the author

What’s the deal with this book?

Listen to the Audiobook retail sample

INTRO – 
The Making of a Grumpy Accountant

When I started working as a young, naïve accountant, I was eager, enthusiastic and excited for the career that lay ahead. I slogged through four years of drudgery to obtain my professional designation. I then spent the next seven years, at the time of this writing, running my own accounting practice.

I have filed countless tax returns throughout the course of my work. During this time, I have become increasingly frustrated as I came to understand how complicated and inefficient our tax system is.

I have seen how honest, hard-working people get ensnared in the maze of an uncompassionate and faceless bureaucracy. Canadians spend approximately $7 billion every year to file their individual income tax returns, averaging $501 per household.

I have seen how maddening and convoluted it can be to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which has an annual budget of $4.3 billion and growing. The CRA employs 40,000 people whereas the Internal Revenue Service of the United States employs 80,000 people even though the population of the United States is 10 times the size of Canada.

Many other countries, such as Spain, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Iceland, have very simple tax systems in which the majority of taxpayers are not required to file a tax return. Ninety per cent of taxpayers in England, 87% of taxpayers in Denmark and 74% of taxpayers in Sweden do not have to file tax returns. In Estonia, it takes the average person five minutes to file their tax return. New Zealand has become the master of tax reform.

If all these countries have a straightforward tax system, why don’t we?

My dream is for the tax system to be massively simplified, at least for the majority of taxpayers and especially for those on the lowest end and in the middle of the income spectrum. People should be able to file their own tax returns without the need to purchase software or hire grumpy accountants like me.

Imagine if we could make changes to our tax system that resulted in a revenue-neutral impact to the government, such that government spending could remain at the same levels they are at now. Imagine if the system of collecting individual income tax was streamlined to a point where millions of Canadians could save hundreds of dollars a year on accounting fees, as well as saving the time, stress and effort involved in filing their tax returns.

Canadians from across the entire political spectrum must rally and work together on this very important issue. Even if Canadians disagree on whether or not we are paying too little or too much tax, we must all agree that the system under which we are obligated to file our tax returns must be made less complex and more efficient.

I wrote this book, because every night I lie awake in bed, unable to fall asleep, thinking about how strange it is that I have a job as a tax accountant. I truly believe it is shameful that my job is necessary.

I can no longer stand idly by while millions of us continue to suffer under this stress-inducing and expensive tax-filing regime. I feel a moral obligation to publicly call on our politicians to massively simplify our tax system as soon as possible.

Until my dream of a straightforward tax system comes true, The Grumpy Accountant will share critical tips on how ordinary Canadians can survive the mess of our tax system. These are based on my experience of seeing the most common pitfalls and tax traps that people fall into.

This book is written in plain, easy-to-read language so every single Canadian can understand. We will see how Jerry, a fictional character symbolizing the average Canadian, experiences the inefficiency of the tax system as a student, an employee, a married man, a parent, an entrepreneur, a retiree and even as a dead guy as he is taxed beyond the grave. The tax traps, mistakes and nightmares that Jerry faces are based on real-life, true stories that my clients have experienced. Jerry’s grumpy accountant, George, will be there every step of the way to help him along and propose ideas on how to streamline the system once and for all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Neal Winokur, CPA, started his practice in 2013 and his grumpiness has grown ever since. An active blogger, several of his articles have been published in the National Post. Neal feels a moral obligation to speak out against the inherent flaws, unfairness and needless complexities that define Canadian tax.

His dream is for the Canadian tax system to be massively simplified to the point where his job as a tax accountant would no longer exist. His wife won’t be too happy about this, but it’s for the good of the nation.

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I can no longer stand idly by while millions of us continue to suffer under this stress-inducing and expensive tax-filing regime. I feel a moral obligation to publicly call on our politicians to massively simplify our tax system as soon as possible.

Until my dream of a straightforward tax system comes true, The Grumpy Accountant will share critical tips on how ordinary Canadians can survive the mess of our tax system. These are based on my experience of seeing the most common pitfalls and tax traps that people fall into.

This book is written in plain, easy-to-read language so every single Canadian can understand. We will see how Jerry, a fictional character symbolizing the average Canadian, experiences the inefficiency of the tax system as a student, an employee, a married man, a parent, an entrepreneur, a retiree and even as a dead guy as he is taxed beyond the grave. The tax traps, mistakes and nightmares that Jerry faces are based on real-life, true stories that my clients have experienced. Jerry’s grumpy accountant, George, will be there every step of the way to help him along and propose ideas on how to streamline the system once and for all.

The Grumpy Accountant – Commercial

How Do We Simplify the Tax System?

Why Did I Become a Grumpy Accountant?

Why Did I Write The Grumpy Accountant?

To get in touch with the author...