Shed Some Light: What you need to Prepare for Tax Time

In Canada, taxes have been collected for nearly 100 years, when they were first collected as an effort to fund the First World War. Today, tax dollars are spent federally and provincially (or territorially) on programs designed to support the Canadian Public.

Filing your taxes can definitely be a time consuming and stressful period for many people. At JMH&CO, we have tax experts who can Shed Some Light on your tax strategy to make sure you’re compliant – all the while ensuring you’ll pay the least amount of tax possible.

When meeting us to talk about your tax strategy and return, there can be a lot of documents and slips we’ll need to determine how we can find all your tax credits. Here are a few important pieces of information you should track down and prepare before filing taxes.

Tax Filing Information

Although this does seem really obvious, portions of client’s tax filing information are often forgotten about, or lost, when we meet with people. It’s important to have the previous year’s Notice of Assessment and tax return with you. These copies are needed to obtain important carry-forward balances such as RRSP contribution limits or unused tax credits.

Also, if you’ve had any communication with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), get copies of your correspondence.

Tax Slips

For most people, tax slips are prepared by their employer or administration and are used to report income to the CRA.

Depending on the types of income you receive there may be multiple tax slips that are required to complete your return and they will arrive various times between January and April.  Some examples are:

  • Employment income – T4
  • Investment income – T3 or T5
  • Pension & other income – T4A
  • Partnership income – T5013
  • Tuition – T2202A

With so many T-slips being issued, it’s easy and common to have some slips go missing, especially since many are issues at different times throughout the year. The CRA receives copies of all T-Slips and attempts to match them all to ensure all income is reported. If you believe you may be missing some, contact the CRA or log into their My Account service to check which T-Slips you should be reporting, and follow up on slips that could be outstanding.

Be vigilant about reporting your income.

Receipts

Receipts make the difference between a poor tax return, a good tax return, and a REALLY good tax return. There are so many potential tax savings if you keep and record receipts for tax deductible expenses.

These include:

  • RRSP contributions
  • Child Care Expenses
  • Student Loan Interest Payments
  • Medical Expenses
  • Charitable donations
  • Union Dues
  • Child, Spouse or Common-Law Support
  • Transit Passes
  • Moving Expenses

There are many more deductions and tax credits you can claim to lessen the amount of taxes you’ll have to pay. Visit the CRA’s page on all deductions, credits, and expenses to find more information about what kinds of receipts and records you should be keeping.

Other Information

No individual tax filing is ever the same, and so the information we require for your tax filing could be different. If you own and operate a small business, if you have rental income property, if you sold any stocks, bonds or real estate, if you receive disability tax credits, or even where you live could affect your tax return.

Regardless of your tax situation, JMH&CO’s partners and associates are tax professionals. Whether you’re a company owner who operates both North and South of the border, or if you’re just one person wanting to maximize your return, or if you deal in highly specialized commodity taxes – we have a partner who is ready to help with your tax strategy.

So get your documents together and give us a call. We’ll make sure your tax season is as stress free as possible by making sure you aren’t paying any unnecessary taxes.  After all, we have been doing what we do for over 100 years.