At just one-and-a-half years old, Carlie Weinreb was learning how to count. By age three, she was telling time on an analog clock. And by four, she was doing taxes.

“The whole tax system is about utilizing primary- [and] junior-level math from grades one to eight — and she just nailed it,” says her father, Lorne Weinreb, a chartered accountant.

While most parents teach their kids how to add and subtract using items like oranges and apples, Lorne taught Carlie using T4s and T5s.

Read: 12-year-old girl warns banks

It’s important to follow a regimented process when teaching children, he says. “It takes a 50-step process, and if you skip one step out of 50, it’s all going to fall apart. You’ll frustrate your child and they’ll get turned off. So you have to find a balance between frustration and progress.”

His method worked, he says. Today, eight-year-old Carlie is lecturing university students about Canada’s tax system.

And, like many Canadians, if she could change one thing about our tax system it would be lowering rates. “Maybe I would make it a regressive tax,” says Carlie.

She provides these three tips during tax season.

  1. If clients donate money, tell them to give a large lump sum on their first donation (instead of donating a little each year), so they can get the First-Time Donor’s Super Credit.
  1. If clients are married, claim all donations on either spouse’s return, instead of separately. This way, clients can claim a higher non-refundable credit.
  1. Track medical expenses, so clients can claim the maximum amount at year-end.

Additional advice for advisors who are overwhelmed as the tax deadline approaches? “Hire someone like me,” she jokes.

Also read:

Don’t let clients forget these tax credits

Who will benefit from new family tax regime?

Are wealthy clients affected by further changes to top tax rate?