04 Feb 2014

Boy, those are enough words to get some people stressed out!

It is time to start thinking about getting your taxes done. Now, that may not be as stressful to some people, especially if you only have one or T-4 slips and no deductions.

However, you might have boxes overflowing with receipts and bald patches on your head where you pulled your own hair out from the frustrations.

So let’s get better prepared for doing our taxes this year.

First, here are the tax deadline dates everyone should know for 2014:

  • Personal income tax: on or before April 30, 2014
  • Self-employed income tax: on or before June 15, 2014
  • RRSP contribution: before March 3, 2014

The Canada Revenue Agency is making it easier to file your taxes electronically, too. More and more Canadians are using the online filing service every year.

The CRA has created a new website to walk you through online filing. All you need to file is your social insurance number and date of birth.

Filing your Canadian income tax electronically means you receiving your refund quicker … and who can argue against that?

Get it together

Now to get everything ready for preparing your tax return.

If you haven’t already, you should register for My Account and sign up for direct deposit.

If you’re filing an individual tax return, make sure you have these items ready for your tax preparer:

  • Your legal name, date of birth, address and phone number
  • Your spouse or common-law partner’s name, date of birth and SIN number
  • Dependent children – names and dates of birth
  • All T4 slips for employers
  • All other income slips (T3, T5, T4E, T4A, T4AP, T4RSP, T4RIF)
  • Charitable and political donations receipts
  • Investment receipts (share buy and sell along with statement)
  • RRSP tax receipts
  • Health bills (pharmacy, massage, chiropractic, natural healing, dental) for the family if not claimed by spouse
  • Public Transit passes
  • Childcare (nanny, daycare, school receipts, child tax credit)
  • Child support payments or alimony payments
  • Tuition & Education amounts/tax receipts, interest paid on student loans
  • Revenue properties information, if applicable
  • Moving expenses, if applicable
  • Declaration of Conditions of Employment (T2200) and receipts for work expenses if you are not reimbursed for them
  • Old Age Security and CPP benefits and other pensions and annuities
  • Employment Insurance benefits, Workers’ Compensation benefits, or Social Assistance payments if applicable
  • Notice of Assessment for the last tax year filed and a copy of your tax filing for the previous year
  • Any other tax-related correspondence from the government for the current year

If you’re self-employed and filing a T-2125, Statement of Business or Professional Activities, you should create this checklist for yourself:

  • Copies of all invoices and receipts
  • Business bank statement, business credit card statement, business line of credit (or statements of any accounts used for business expenses)
  • Deposit slips and cheque stubs
  • Summary of expenses and/or an electronic file with any bookkeeping you have done
  • Phone bills, business cell phone, fax, long distance (for business)
  • Internet bills
  • Vehicle expenses – gas, car washes, parking, insurance, lease/bill of sale, payments with interest, repairs, maintenance, registration
  • Mileage log or kilometres driven for business and kilometers driven total
  • Office equipment, cleaning, supplies and furniture purchased
  • Mortgage interest or rent
  • Property tax payments
  • House insurance payments
  • Gas bills and other utilities
  • General home maintenance (e.g. carpet cleaning, furnace cleaning)

Now you’re all set! Does that simplify things and take away some of your stress? Don’t forget to let the tax preparers at A1 Accounting help take even more away by finding you deductions and credits you didn’t know you could claim.

Here to help

A1 Accounting, a Calgary accounting and bookkeeping firm, is here to assist you with your taxes and planning. We specialize in personal taxes and small-business accounting and financial services. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you optimize the tax benefits and credits available to self-employed individuals and small businesses.

Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 403-226-8297.