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Top 5 Tax Tips

March 15th 2017- Betty Anne Flynn

Tax season is upon us, and with just over a month until the tax filing deadline, here are some helpful hints.

1)    Tax Receipts

Put all your tax receipts in one file.   Most T-slips for income will be mailed to you in the first 2 months of 2017, for the 2016 year.  However, receipts for such claims as donations, medical and transit passes are accumulated throughout the tax year and may be time consuming to duplicate if misplaced.  Staying organized will ensure that you are not missing any receipts and will ensure a quick and smooth process when it comes time to prepare your tax return. 

2)    Notice of Assessment

Your Notice of Assessment from the previous year contains valuable information to assist with your tax filing.  Carry forward amounts appear on the assessment along with RRSP deduction limits.  Not claiming these carry forward amounts could result in lost tax savings. 

3)    Pension Income Splitting

Pension income splitting could save you a huge amount in income tax.  You can split up to 50% of your pension income with your spouse or common-law partner, and this option is available to you on your tax return.  You can also split up to 50% of your RRIF income for those 65 and over.  It’s best to prepare both spouse’s tax returns at the same time and your tax program or tax preparer will calculate the optimum amount to transfer between spouses.

4)    Deadline

The tax filing deadline in Canada is April 30th, 2017.  For self-employed business owners, the deadline is June 15th, 2017 however, if you owe income tax, the deadline for payment is April 30th,2017.  If you are late in filing your taxes, or you don’t pay the outstanding amount by the deadline, you could be faced with penalties and interest. 

5)    Tax Software

There are many great tax preparation programs available and you can find a list of these on the CRA website.  These programs are user friendly in that they ask you questions to prompt you to fill in the correct forms, or skip over unnecessary forms.  These programs can be helpful in that they may remind you of income or deductions you may have forgotten about, or they may remind you of claims for which you were not aware.

We hope the above tips have been helpful.  There are many more topics on this subject that can be found on the CRA website.  This is a great source in answering questions you may have about income taxes.