Ok, maybe enjoy isn’t the right word. Filing your taxes isn’t usually on the top of peoples’ list of favourite activities. But with a few pieces of advice you can get this time of year over and done with and start thinking about the fun stuff, like the sunshine that’s starting to come out a little more each day.
1. Make it easy on yourself
Don’t wait until last minute to start gathering your paperwork. Give yourself time to get together what you need and make sure you set aside ample time to get it done, preferably well in advance of the deadline to file your taxes.
2. Know the forms you need to prepare
Everyone’s filing will be different but some common things you’ll want to have ready include:
- T4 slips
- Employment insurance benefits
- Tuition and education amount forms
- Old Age Security and CPP benefits
- Workers compensation benefits
- RRSP contribution receipts
- Charitable donation receipts
- Transit pass receipts
- Child care expenses
- Children’s arts and sports activities
3. Know about your taxable income
With some exceptions, investment and interest income is considered taxable income. Financial institutions will send you the appropriate slips if you earned investment income of $50 or more, but you’re required to report it even if you don’t get a statement.
This investment income includes interest received from savings accounts, term deposits, and so on. Investors also need to report their capital gains and RRSP withdrawals. TFSA withdrawals are not taxed.
4. Lean on the pro’s
If your tax situation is complicated, it may be best to rely on the professionals to do the job. But always make sure you do your research and look for a professional that provides good value in cost and quality.
5. Go online to save some time
For those less complicated (or maybe you just love doing things on your own) tax filings, there are lots of software products available online to help you file your tax return. Most of them have made the previously daunting task much simpler by breaking it down piece by piece and asking you simple, clear questions.
The deadline for individuals to file their tax return is April 30, so it’s time to get busy. And hey, if you’re a Coast Capital member, you get up to 25% off on TurboTax Online products at turbotax.ca/coastcapitalsavings.