Tax Time Doesn't Have To Be Taxing

Do you often find yourself scrambling for receipts tax return slips right before the due date for your Canadian tax return? Preparing and filing your tax return can be daunting. Even more so when you put off getting your documents in order until the very last minute. It’s 2017! Start the New Year by creating a detailed filing system that allows you to organize and file important receipts and documents as they come in. This includes tax information slips, along with supporting documents such as bills, credit card statements and receipts from your car, home office and business expenses. You can also track expenses relating to home, business and rental property, childcare, donations and education.

Maintaining efficiently organized and complete finance records will not only minimize your tax exposure and prevent you from missing out on any valuable deductions you may be entitled to, but will also help to ensure your income tax return is complete and accurate.

Here Are Some Insightful Tips To Consider As You Get Organized
For Tax Season:

Stock-Up On The Organizational Tools

Introduce your home, or office (or both) to filing and storage solutions that will be suitable for your needs. If you are self-employed or run a small business – a small filing cabinet could make your organizational goals a lot easier. What else do you need? Think file folders, binders, highlighters, post-its and post-it flags. The more organized you are, the less stress you’ll have to face down the road!

Make Sure You Receive All Tax Information Slips

This includes receipts for RRSP contributions and charitable donations. It also includes:

  • T4 slip – if you are an employee,
  • T1 slip – if you are a sole proprietor of a small business,
  • T2 slip – if you are a corporation,
  • T4A – if you have received pension income, lump-sum payments, self-employed commissions or annuity income,
  • T3 – if you have earned income from a trust, and
  • T5 – if you have received investment income.

All slips must be issued by February 28, except for the T3, which is issued 90 days after a trust's tax year-end.

Decide If You Need Tax Preparation Assistance

Do It Yourself tax preparation is becoming more and more popular as individuals and businesses alike are looking to hold onto their dollars. If your tax return is fairly simple you can likely prepare it yourself using a sophisticated tax preparation software like Turbo Tax which will help you identify tax saving opportunities to ensure you get the most out of your tax return.

If your finances are more complicated or overwhelming, you might want to seek out a professional tax advisor. Fees are often calculated on an hour. Be sure to ask for a fee estimate when you go in for a consultation.

Hold Onto Your Tax Records For Six Years

The Canadian Revenue Agency actually recommends you hold onto your tax documentation for a period of six years for your own protection. If you are selected for a review, having organized receipts and supporting documents by tax year will make for a seamless process, putting you less at risk of unexpected penalties.

Remember Your Due Dates

Personal tax returns must be sent by mail or filed online by April 30, 2017. If you have a business which is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you will also be required to file your return by April 30, 2017. If you are self-employed however, you have until June 15th, 2017 to file your income tax return.

When a return due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday, your payment is considered to be made on time and your return is filed on time if it is received by the CRA or postmarked on the next business day.