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Tax Season – Four Steps to Help You Get Organized

It’s hard to believe that we’ve entered another personal tax season. In fact, April 30th is just 42 days away! To make tax season as stress free as possible, here are four steps to help you get organized.

STEP #1 – READ YOUR PERSONAL TAX LETTER

A few weeks ago, we sent an email to our clients with a personalized tax letter attached. That letter outlined items that were applicable for your return last year that may also be pertinent this year. This is a great start to ensure you don’t miss sending us anything important. If you don’t remember receiving this letter, please contact us so we can provide you with a copy.

STEP #2 – ORGANIZE YOUR DOCUMENTS

  • Tax slips – Based on last year’s slips, determine the slips that are applicable this year. For missing slips, contact the issuer or your investment advisor immediately. 
  • Medical expenses and donations – Prepare a summary of all medical expenses and donations and be sure to provide us receipts for backup. If you have medical expenses from pharmacies, the pharmacist can provide you with a summarized print-out. This removes the worry of misplaced prescription receipts.
  • Self-employed or rental income information – When providing current year figures, please highlight them clearly so they stand out. This saves valuable time as we sort through it all.

Once you have all your documents organized, place them in an envelope or folder. Include a note for any slips that are no longer applicable or any new slips for this year. We suggest you create a separate envelope/folder for each family member as this avoids confusion.

STEP #3 – NOTE CHANGES TO PERSONAL INFORMATION

  • If you have a change of address, marital status, employment, or new family members, be sure to include reference to this in your package.
  • We also need to know if you sold your principal residence during the year. This must be reported to the CRA even if the gain on your sale is tax exempt. Failure to report the sale means big problems for you, so keep us posted!
  • Please include information for children now in post-secondary school or who are earning part-time income so we can prepare their tax returns. If they’re paying rent, property taxes or have minimal income, they may be eligible for certain government benefits. That spells cash in your child’s pocket.

STEP #4 – SEND US YOUR DOCUMENTS ASAP

For your convenience, our office hours are extended until April 30, so feel free to drop off your documents in person. You can also courier them to us or send them online through ShareFile. Whatever your preference, it is imperative that we receive your documents as soon as possible. This puts us in the best position to efile your return on time and avoid late filing penalties.

Following these steps will reduces stress, saves us time and you money! If you have any questions as you get organized, our team is just a phone call or email away. Let’s work together to make this the best personal tax season yet!

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