We know how overwhelming tax season can be for most Canadians, it happens to be our busiest time of year as well! It can certainly feel hectic, so to help you, we’ve compiled 25 useful tax tips that will allow you to tick every box off and prepare yourself for filing taxes, maximizing your return and saving you money!
WHO NEEDS TO FILE FOR TAXES?
It’s important to note that age is not a requirement to file taxes. Basically anyone who makes more than $10,000 in Canada should file a tax return in order to get their refund.
You must file taxes if:
- You owe the CRA money
- You earned self employed income
- You make rental income
- You make farming income
- You contract work income
- You sold taxable property, such as a house, art’s investments (Including Crypto Currency).
- You want to apply for social benefits like GST
- You want to apply for Child Care Benefits.
- You want to apply for OAS
- You want to apply for Workers Benefit
- You have taken money out of your RRSPs for the year
- You owe money under the Home Buyers Plan
- You owe money under the Lifelong Learning Plan
WHAT ARE THE FILING DEADLINES?
There are government set deadlines to produce, receive and submit slips and receipts for tax purposes. Most of these tax forms are mailed while some may be found online. It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to log in and print them. If you do not report them or receive them, the CRA will not accept that as an excuse.
Note that the CRA can audit taxpayers for the 3 previous years, and under certain terms they can go back 6 years or more. On the other hand, taxpayers have up to 10 years to adjust tax returns to receive unclaimed benefits.
- Tax filing deadline: April 30
- RRSP contribution deadline: March 1
- Business & farming returns are due June 15, for both the spouse and the business owner, even if the spouse does not work in the business
- T4’s must be filed and mailed out by Feb 28
- T5’s also must be filed and mailed out by Feb 28. This means that you should have T4’s, T5’s and other tax slips by Mar 15
- Investment Income Tax Slips – T3’s and T5088’s are not required to be filed until March 31, so these may arrive as late as April 15
- Tuition receipts must be completed by Feb 28, however most schools make them available on their online portal, so they are not mailed out
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE ALL MY TAX SLIPS?
- Make a checklist of all your employers
- List all required documents for each one
- Call and ask your Tax Preparer or Financial Advisor
- Check with your financial advisor to see what tax slips you should expect. This includes asking them for a realized gain and loss report, foreign business holdings report, and how many T3’s, T5’s or RRSP receipts you will be receiving
- Look at your last year’s tax return. For our clients, the very last page is a Tax Slip Summary that shows all the tax slips you had the previous year, which you may use as a comparison
For additional guidance, reach out to the professionally trained and qualified advisors at OBS Financial to assist you in establishing a personalized checklist, review required forms, report all earned income and claim all tax deductions you are eligible for, all the while granting you peace of mind.