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Advanced Planning Helps Simplify The Tax Process

prepared Be Prepared for Tax Season

As the new year starts, simplifying your tax filing process can be easily done by planning. When you take the time to prepare, it can speed up the process of receiving a refund, not to mention reducing the cost of services provided by your CPA as they get things done to meet the tax filing deadline.  

REVIEW

Note any big changes in the past year. Things like a change in marital status, legal name, address or where you work. Ask us how they impact your return. If you sold your principal abode, you have to report the sale, even though it is not taxable. 

Individuals whom self file often miss information when submitting the annual tax return. Your accountant or tax preparer must be made aware of any changes. 

CHECK WHAT'S MISSING

  • Deductions or credits from last year
  • Medical expenses
  • disability tax credits (DTC)
  • Canadian caregiver credit (CCC)
  • union dues
  • licensing fees
  • tuition credits
  • moving expenses

These are often missed by Canadians. Be sure to bring in any receipts that can be used for deductions for which you qualify.

Some new considerations are

  • Tax on Split Income (TOSI)
  • The new Climate Action Incentive rebate for eligible provinces of
    • New Brunswick
    • Ontario
    • Manitoba 
    • Saskatchewan

ORGANIZE

Speak to your accountant in advance, so you understand what to provide rather than showing up with a shoebox full of receipts.

Make sure you have all the necessary details when coming in. Documents can be accessed digitally or by hard copy. If you find anything missing, check your online accounts and contact anyone responsible for providing such information.   

Download our Tax Checklists from the links below. Either one will help you organize everything. An accountant is only able to include what they are made aware of.

CATEGORIZE

Regardless of whether you are self-employed or not, organize your paperwork into categories. Use a spreadsheet, or document it in a paper ledger, then summarize it. This will make the whole process more efficient, ensuring you get the best results. 

Here's a tip. Start collecting paperwork as you receive it and store it in one location. That way, you will be ready for the next tax season. 

EDUCATION

Educate yourself on what details are used to file your taxes. Be aware of how income is calculated, what eligible deductions are and how everything adds up to a refund or a tax bill. 

Once the person preparing your taxes is done, make sure you review it with them and ask for explanations on matters you do not understand.

Sign up for a CRA "My Account." When you are logged in, you will be able to see your tax history and all other relevant information. This way, you can make sure it is always up to date.

RESPONSIBILITY 

In spite of what may seem like an inconvenience, filing your tax return is a legal obligation. Your accountant must adhere to the Income Tax Act when trying to reduce what you owe, but in the end, the responsibility is on you. 

GET HELP WITH YOUR TAXES

Start by either downloading our Tax Information Checklist or our Personal Tax Organizer.

The checklist is a fillable form that you can complete and save to your computer.

The organizer is more comprehensive, and suited to self employed clients.

Once you complete either form, attach all applicable slips, receipts, lists, and other supplemental information and submit it to our office. This will save us time in preparing your tax return.

As a CPA, my office will guide you with professional expertise. Contact us any time to get started.

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Sunday, 25 February 2024