February 26, 2018

Tax Tips

DO:

  • Register for My Account and/or My Business Account with Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to have on-line access to your tax slips, status of your refunds or balances owing, etc. You register by calling in to 1-800-959-8281, with a copy of a recent tax return or Notice of Assessment available to respond to queries to verify your identity.
  • File on time. File your tax return on time to avoid penalties – April 30th deadline for filing and payment of individual tax returns. Self-employed individuals file by June 15th BUT must pay balances owing by April 30th.
  • Include all income. Remember you must include all income whether or not you receive a tax slip. This includes items such as tips, bonuses, sale of certain investments or assets, missing tax slips, etc.
  • Check Tax Tips on the “CRA” website at canada.ca. You may find information to assist you with filing your return or knowing when to consult a tax professional. Examples include students, seniors, new parents, changes to deductions for the current year, etc.
  • Contact a tax professional. For more complex tax situations, a tax professional such as a CPA can provide advice to ensure that your return is filed correctly and you obtain applicable benefits and deductions. This includes situations such as a new business, foreign income, new disability claim, sale of personal residence or other capital asset, deceased return, etc.
  • Respond to queries from CRA promptly to avoid losing a claim or deduction for failure to verify information requested.

DON’T

  • Make claims in error for credits or deductions where you are unable to support the claim with receipts, you are reimbursed the costs, or the deductions are not valid, etc.
  • Fail to file your return because you are concerned you will not be able to pay the taxes owing or you do not have income. Failure to file may result in penalties and interest which will increase the amount owing or missed benefits where no income.
  • Avoid paying taxes owing. It is important to contact CRA if you have a balance owing to make payment arrangements. If the balance owing is overwhelming, you may wish to consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee regarding your options. A free, confidential financial assessment is available. Take the first step and call in for an appointment.

Debora Kwasnicky