Do you scramble at tax time? The last week of April doesn’t have to be stressful! Taking the opportunity now to be ready for your tax preparation will mean everything is in order for your accountant. Here’s what you can do to prepare throughout the year.
Sign Up For A My Account With The CRA
Make sure to sign up for My Account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) if you haven’t done so already. It lets you check on the status of a refund, outstanding balances you may have, contribution room for RRSPs and TFSAs, and keep the CRA up to date on your address. You will also be able to get any Notices of Assessment we might need.
Keep Your Paperwork Organized
You must keep a file or folder system to organize all the slips, receipts, and documents you receive throughout the year. Much like planting a tree, while the best time to start a file is the beginning of the year, the second-best time is now. Some of these documents can be downloaded directly from the CRA into your return. Every year, make sure you provide:
- Employment and other Income slips, including T4s, T4As, T5s, T3s, T5008, T4AOAS, and T4P
- Mortgage and property tax statements
- Receipts, including RRSP contributions, dues, donations, and medical, childcare, and moving expenses
- Disability certificates
- Business or rental income and expense information
- Student tuition and interest documents
Be Prepared To Note Your Personal Situation
Life changes impact your income taxes in ways that might take you by surprise. You must inform your tax preparer of any changes you went through in the last tax year, including:
- Marital status changes – did you get married, separated, or divorced in the last year?
- Dependencies – these are persons who rely on another, especially a family member, for financial support.
- Moving, buying or selling property, and accessibility renovations.
- Did you start collecting your CPP retirement pension after turning 65?
- Your academic status or that of a dependent.
- Did you or someone you care for become disabled or seriously ill?
- Did you start a business? It can include side gigs like driving for a rideshare program, selling baking, or even making income as a social media influencer.
- Did you start renting out a room in your home or a property you own?
Track Down What You’re Missing
Look over the preceding lists and make a note of what you might be missing (or consistently forgetting to save). The sooner you note what you’re missing, the more time you have to track down receipts and forms.
Medical expenses, for example, are a kind of deduction that many people forget to take advantage of, often because they lose their receipts and don’t have proof of what they’ve spent.
A tax expert will know the questions to ask, filing your taxes correctly and with all the opportunities for savings and returns. If this is the year you want someone else to do your taxes, make an appointment with a member of the Trillium team!