Tax Tips to Make Your Accountant Fall in Love with You!

It’s that time of year! The weather is changing, spring is on the way. You may be planning March Break activities, finalizing Easter plans or getting that last run in on the ski hill. While you’re excitedly making plans, it’s easy to let everything else fall by the wayside. But there is one other person in your life longing to be noticed. Waiting, patiently, for a note from you. An email. Even just a phone call. Something…!

This February and March, please don’t forget… Your accountant.

That’s right! It’s also tax time and if you want to make your accountant gush with joy, impress them by following these tax tips and submitting your paperwork by March 15.

STEP 1: Download Tax Checklist

First thing on your list: download this 2015 T1 Checklist. It will tell you what you need to submit to your accountant. If you’re filing for your business too, here’s a Small Business Tax Checklist.

STEP 2: Gather all Paperwork

Use your checklist to jog your memory. You’ll need to gather all your T4s, any CRA notices, and your tax return from last year.

STEP 3: Organize Receipts

If you’ve been filing your receipts each month, then you’re already ahead of most other suitors. But even if your receipts are in a shoebox, it doesn’t matter so long they’re all together. Just get them to your bookkeeper or accountant as soon as possible.

If you’re filing receipts yourself, you could try receipt tracking apps like Wave which store your receipts electronically, categorize your expenses, and export a spreadsheet at the end.

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)
  • Education/books
  • Tools (for tradespersons)
  • Exams for professional certification
  • Professional or union dues
  • Interest paid on student loans
  • Children’s fitness receipts
  • Children’s arts receipts
  • 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

STEP 4: Benefits

Are you eligible for any of these child and family benefits? It’s good to check if your circumstances have changed since last year (i.e. you’ve welcomed a new baby, or moved across the country for work). Ask your accountant if you’re not sure.

STEP 5: Submit by March 15

Once you’ve gathered everything, email or drop it off to us no later than March 15th.  If you need to speak to your accountant before they start working on your return, it’s critical to schedule an   appointment.  If you insist on popping in unannounced, make sure you’re prepared for messy desks, short meetings, or for the fact that your accountant might not be available at that exact moment.

Your taxes must be filed by April 30, but remember your taxes aren’t the only ones in the queue. So the sooner you can get yours in, the bigger the smile on your accountant’s face!

If you have any questions about filing tax, bookkeeping services, or want to learn how to be more organized for next year, call us at Signature Financial on (807) 623-1915 or email admin@signaturefinancial.ca.

This article is about taxes, tips

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