Shed Some Light: Tips for Filing your Tax Return

The deadline for filing taxes in Canada is right around the corner, a mere six weeks away.  April 30th is the day most individuals need to have their personal income tax filed. If an individual, including self-employed individuals, has a balance owing, it’s generally due on April 30th as well. Lastly, April 30th marks the due date for filing and remitting Goods and Service Tax/Harmonized Services Tax (GST/HST), applicable to businesses.

Every year, Canadian taxpayers make crucial mistakes when it comes to their taxes, which can be very costly, both in time and money, in the long run.

Here are six tax time tips that will help ‘Shed Some Light’ on your personal taxes:

  1. Do your taxes!

It seems obvious, but every year it happens for whatever reason. If you don’t file, you won’t be eligible for tax credits like the Canada Child Benefit and the GST/HST credit. You’ll also be committing tax evasion, which is a crime. There’s nothing against the law to have tax debt, but failing to file can lead to heavy penalties.

  1. Report all your income!

Again, this may seem like common sense, but every year, Canadians fail to report all income. Not only do you have to make sure you have all your tax slips, but if you’ve sold your residence during a tax period, it must also be report even though it may not be a taxable event.

  1. Only claim what you’re entitled to!

There are many non-deductible amounts, like funeral expenses, wedding expenses, loans to family, a loss on the sale of a residence, and other similar claims which are deducted in error. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will determine an error was made and will adjust returns accordingly.

  1. Don’t miss out on tax credits, benefits, and deductions!

The Government of Canada has many different credits, benefits, and deductions that apply to many different tax situations. There are a plenty of tax measures to take advantage of, so before you file, do your research, or come talk with us about what you can claim to help save you money.

  1. File on time!

Mentioned earlier, the deadline is April 30th. If you have a balance owing and miss the deadline, you’ll be penalized by the CRA. The penalty is 5% of your balance owing on the date of your return, plus 1% of your balance owing for each month your return is late, up to 12 months. Even if you can’t pay your entire balance, avoid further penalties by filing on time. The CRA will work with you to resolve any tax debts.

  1. Keep your receipts and records!

It’s recommended all documents and receipts be kept for six years, in case the CRA chooses to review your return and you need to support your claims.

Remember these simple tips as the deadline to file your taxes draws closer and closer. If you’re feeling stressed or concerned about your tax situation, or you just want to have peace of mind everything will be done to according to the CRA’s and the Governments regulations, contact us to Shed Some Light on your personal taxes.