CPA junior

Carlie Weinreb may only be eight years old, but she can prepare tax returns without using software or even a calculator.

Lots of kids follow in their parents’ career footsteps, but few do it while they’re still in elementary school. Then there’s Carlie Weinreb — a third-grader in Toronto who can prepare tax returns without the use of software or even a calculator, thanks to years of guidance from her father and self-employed accountant, Lorne Weinreb. As soon as Carlie could count, he taught her to tell time. By age four, she was learning multiplication through skip counting and patient, consistent repetition. “Lots of parents want to rush it, but it’s all cumulative and you’ve got to go slow,” says Weinreb. Now age eight, Carlie spends about a half-hour a day on income tax calculations and teaches university students how to do their own tax prep. Her achievements have landed her in the press and on TV, including spots on CBC and CTV. So, could you raise your own tax expert? Absolutely, says Weinreb. “My kid is totally normal — it’s all about exposure.” The proof? Carlie’s six-year-old sister can already fill out three-quarters of a tax return.