April is here and it’s time to stop procrastinating and pull together all of your tax slips, donations, child care receipts, medical receipts and work-from-home office expenses to prepare your tax return.
I do think that it is important for people to prepare their own tax returns. If your situation is complex or if you really REALLY hate doing it, then sure, you can hire someone like us to prepare the return. But I do think that it is important for you to understand how the money you earn is taxed. So if you do hire someone to prepare your return, please take the time to review it.
If you are preparing your own tax return this year, here are some tips for you:
1. Use the Auto-Fill Feature that your tax program utilizes. This is the connection that the tax program establishes with the CRA and will download all of your T-slips into the tax program.
a. In order to take advantage of this feature, you do need to have access to your CRA account.
b. Use this link and click on “My Account” https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/cra-login-services.html
c. If you don’t have a login ID with the CRA, use the Sign-in Partner button. You can use your Online Banking information to create an access point.
d. You will be sent a password in the Mail from the CRA, so you should do this sooner rather than later as it can take a week or so for that code to arrive. (See March Blog Post)
2. Create files for your Charitable Donation receipts, Child Care receipts and Medical expenses.
a. Most of the requests that are sent out in the summer to taxpayers to provide additional support for their expense claims on their returns relate to these three categories.
b. The easier that these receipts are accessible, the easier it is to respond.
- You can scan these receipts and have them ready to upload to the CRA site as well through your online CRA account.
3. The Work from Home Expenses that we were able to claim the last couple of years are really restricted this year.
a. You can only claim this deduction if you were required to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. If you took some training courses this year, you may be able to deduct those fees as an expense. Check out whether or not your course costs meet the requirement to be claimed as a Canada Training Credit (CTC)
Good luck and make the best out of this month. Just think, if you can get your return completed in the first half of the month, you can actually enjoy the rest of the month! You won’t have to worry about your taxes for another year!