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Senior math whiz crunches taxes

By March 19, 2022No Comments

Kay Hauer is an 87-year-old with a physics degree who does free tax returns at the Legacy Centre for low income individuals and other seniors like Harry Kostuik, left. Geoff Lee Meridian Source


Kay Hauer is probably one of the oldest, most accurate and overqualified tax preparers in Lloydminster, and one of the most modest, too.

The 87-year-old Lloydminster resident is in her 26th year preparing tax returns for low-income seniors and residents at the Legacy Centre, with certification from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Who knew she also has a bachelor of physics degree from the University of Saskatchewan where she attended from 1952-55?

Hauer reluctantly revealed the source of her love and knack for numbers during an interview at the Legacy Centre on International Women’s Day.

“Physics is all to do with numbers,” said Hauer, which makes tax returns a labour of love.

“I enjoy numbers, but I also enjoy helping people.”

She could probably help anyone with their algebra and calculus problems, too, if any came up.

Hauer admits she was a whiz at math growing up.

To her knowledge, there were only two other women before her to graduate in physics, but she didn’t make a career out of it after graduating.

“I continued to work in research at the university until I married a farmer and came here to live,” said Hauer.

The couple retired 30 years ago and Hauer received a 25-year certificate last year from the CRA.

She says to file tax returns for others, you have to apply to the CRA each year.

“You have to have a police check and there are modules of training I take,” said Hauer.

She laments there are fewer tax deductions this year for seniors.

“The biggest thing I’m finding this year is the climate incentive or refund for the carbon tax is not payable at this time of year to reduce your tax owing,” said Hauer.

“It’s going to pay out like GST on a quarterly basis and we haven’t been told how much that is.”

Hauer does tax returns at the Legacy a couple of mornings a week by appointment, and there is a demand because it’s free.

Business students from Lakeland College also offer free tax returns for individuals at the Lloydminster campus and the Legacy Centre by appointment.

“It’s not just the seniors; we do anyone low income,” said Hauer, who is doing it on her own this year.

Clients are asked to bring in tax documents such as pension T4 slips and interest income T5s etc.

“However, I do have the ability to go online and get that information for them,” said Hauer.

Hauer is set up to only do basic tax returns for individuals only.

“They come in we have a visit and I learn about them, if I don’t know them already,” said Hauer.

She says if she finds out they have some complicated tax issues, she will refer them to a tax service. 

“We’re not supposed to do anything that’s difficult, like no businesses or capital gains or that type of thing,” she explained.

“If it’s just a matter of two or three slips, we can do that quickly. In half an hour, I can get it sent in.”

Hauer can’t say how many more years she’ll be doing tax returns for others.

“At my age, I do things one year at a time,” she said.

Hauer admits it also catches everyone by surprise when they learn about her past schooling in physics. 

“I have a grandson who has a PhD in physics. His supervisor met me one day and he was so surprised I was in physics way back in the 50s,” she said.  

Her LinkedIn page lists her degree along with her current experience as a business manager for Saskatchewan Square & Round Dance Federation, and her past role as treasurer and membership director of the Lakeland Senior Games Society. 

Hauer is also Zone 7 president of Alberta 55 plus and a member of the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society.