It’s not too early to get tax ready for your accountant! We’re nearly three-quarters into 2016, and there’s lots you can do today to save you from the stress of tax time in January.
HOW TO START GETTING 2016 TAX READY NOW
BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR ACCOUNTANT
Forget last minute panic in February/March! Now is the best time to see your accountant – when they’re not up to their necks in other people’s tax paperwork.
Let your accountant know of any changes to your situation (i.e. new job, promotion, changes to common law status, major purchases you’ve made or are planning to make) and bring a list of questions: Am I eligible for any of these child and family tax benefits? How will a second job affect my tax return? What receipts can I claim?
MAKE A LIST
Download this T1 Tax Checklist and make a list of the documents you’ll need to gather and send to your accountant. If you’re filing for your small business as well, here’s a Small Business Tax Checklist.
GET YOUR RECEIPTS TOGETHER
Whether you’re going to log your own receipts or hand a shoebox of them to your bookkeeper or accountant – start by gathering them all in one place. If you’re DIY-ing, spend a rainy Saturday indoors typing up the receipts you have so far. The more organized you are, the less you’ll have to do in January, and the faster your accountant can file your return.
If you’re handing your receipts to a bookkeeper, get them in as soon as possible.
Here’s a list of the types of tax receipts you may be able to claim:
- Tax receipt from your accountant from last year
- Medical expenses
- Meals and entertainment
- RRSP contribution slip
- Transit pass receipts
- Moving expenses
- Rent/property tax receipts
- Charitable donations
- Political donations receipts
- Home office expenses
- Travel expenses (gas, mileage, repairs)
- Tools (for tradespersons)
- Exams for professional certification
- Professional or union dues
- Interest paid on student loans
- Child care expenses
- Adoption expenses
- Child support receipts, alimony payments
- Disability expenses
- Support for child, spouse or common-law partner
- Carrying charges and interest expenses
Make regular back ups of your documents. Should you ever be audited, the CRA will look at all your receipts and documents from the past 6 years (from the end of the last tax year). So keep your documents organized in a safe place, and back them up electronically to a hard drive. (Consider keeping the back up at another safe location in case of fire or flood.)
SET A REMINDER
Your 2016 income tax paperwork should be submitted to your accountant by March 31st, 2017. Yep, that’s earlier than the actual April 30, 2016 income tax deadline, but remember, your tax return isn’t the only one in the queue!
Get 2016 tax ready and don’t leave your taxes to the last minute this year! You’ll be panicked and stressed, and that’s usually when important things get missed or mistakes happen. To learn about how our bookkeepers can make your life easier, or to make an appointment with Signature Financial in person or via Skype, call 1 807 623 1915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.