Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Many Hats of Small Business Owners

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If you’re the owner of a small business, to say you multi-task is an understatement! The various “hats” you wear can include accounting, marketing, information technology and human resources – which aren’t exactly small tasks in themselves.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the constant juggling act, out-sourcing your accounting functions can take some of the pressure off. That’s where we can help!

Scarrow Yurman & Co. has had the pleasure of supporting small business owners for over 30 years. Our support includes providing taxation and financial reporting services to ensure your accounting needs are organized and compliant. We worry about the tax rules and numbers, so you don’t have to!

Our vast experience with small business has also impelled us to write some monthly blogs. Whether you are one of our clients or not, we want to hear from you. Tell us what financial related topics interest you.  Here are a few from our archives:

A Business Use for GPS Systems

Benefits of Job Costing

Cloud-based Bookkeeping Software – A Word of Caution

Do You Need a Financial Advisor?

Incorporation of The Business; The Advantages

Mandatory Requirements for Efiling Personal & Corporate Tax Returns

Personal and Corporate Tax Instalments

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed as a small business owner, let Scarrow Yurman & Co. take on the “accounting hat”. Give us a call today (905-475-5200) and hats off to hats off!

Tax Season – Four Steps to Help You Get Organized

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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!

TFSAs – Do You Have Room?

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In November 2016, we blogged about Tax Free Savings Accounts. Since inception, CRA has been auditing TFSA accounts and this has resulted in penalties to taxpayers who have unknowingly over-contributed. How can you be sure you have room for your TFSA contributions? Here are some tips.

Understand TFSA Withdrawals

Let’s say you’ve withdrawn funds from your TFSA. This has left room to re-contribute later, right? Not necessarily. If you withdraw funds from your TFSA, you must remember that this does not create corresponding contribution room until the next calendar year. If you contribute sooner – you could be penalized.

Ensure TFSA Transfers Are Done Correctly

If you wish to transfer funds from one TFSA to another, the transaction should be processed as a “direct transfer” by your financial institution. Otherwise, it could be viewed as a “funds withdrawn” and “funds contributed” scenario. When the latter happens, contribution room for the withdrawal will not be reinstated until the next calendar year. So, when funds are not transferred correctly, and you contribute too soon – penalties may also apply.

Keep Up-to-date with Changing TFSA Room Limits

You can have more than one TFSA at any given time, but the total amount you contribute to all your TFSAs cannot be more than your available TFSA contribution room for that year or you could get dinged with a penalty. It’s good to check each year to see if the annual limit has changed:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account/contributions.html.

Always Be Aware of Your TFSA Balance

CRA has made it easy to ensure that we don’t over-contribute. Before you contribute, log into CRA’s My Account for Individuals  >  Click RRSP and TFSA tab  >  Contribution Room  >  Next.

This takes you to your TFSA page where you can find out your contribution room as of the current taxation year.

Following these simple tips can help you save money without worrying about unexpected penalties. Happy saving!

 

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