Posts Tagged ‘personal tax’

COVID-19 Interest Relief for Personal Taxpayers – But Penalties Still Apply!

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Under normal circumstances, CRA will be begin charging compound daily interest starting May 1st, 2021 on unpaid taxes owing for the 2020 tax year. However, due to COVID-19, CRA introduced temporary interest relief if all eligibility criteria listed below are met.  If eligible, you will not have to pay interest on any taxes owing from your 2020 taxes until April 30, 2022 – essentially a deferral of tax payment by one year without cost.  Please note that you still need to file your taxes by April 30th, 2021 to avoid paying late filing penalties.

Interest relief will automatically be applied on 2020 taxes owing if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Your total 2020 taxable income is $75,000 or less
  • You have received at least one of the following COVID-19 benefits in 2020:
    • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
    • Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)
    • Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)
    • Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)
    • Employee Insurance (EI) benefit
    • Provincial or territorial emergency benefits
  • You filed your 2020 income tax and benefit return

It is important to note that this interest relief will only apply to your taxes owing on your 2020 tax return and not on previous or other amounts outstanding with the CRA.  Penalty charges (such as false statement, omission or late filing) are not included as part of this interest relief. Therefore, it is crucial to file your personal tax by April 30, 2021.

If you file your return late, the CRA will impose a penalty of 5% of your taxes owing and unpaid on May 1, 2021.  This penalty will increase by 1% for each month filed late, up to a maximum of 12 months, i.e. an additional 17% maximum penalty on your 2020 balance owing.

For individuals with business income, you have until June 15 to file your tax return and late filing penalty will not start until June 16, 2021.

Filing taxes on time will save you unnecessary penalties and will ensure any benefits and credit payments that you are entitled will not be disrupted.

Personal Tax Season – Overcome Stress By Being Prepared

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By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

With this sobering advice in mind, we have prepared some tips to help you get organized and avoid unnecessary stress this personal tax season.

TIP #1 – Mark your calendar.
Know your deadline. For individuals, the deadline is April 30, 2018. Those who are sole proprietors have until June 15, 2018 to file. However, regardless of the deadline, taxes owed should be paid to CRA by April 30, 2018.

TIP #2 – Read your personalized tax letter.
Scarrow Yurman & Co. sends out annual personal tax letters to our clients. We recommend thoroughly reading the letter, using it as a template to determine what sort of documents we require to prepare your taxes. Also, please remember:

  • If your child is attending overnight camp, remember to tell us the length of the stay. Also, please remember that children’s arts and fitness credits were discontinued after the 2016 taxation year.
  • It is vital that you disclose all sources of income and ensure that you are providing us information for all required disclosures. The most common disclosure form is a T1135. If you had any foreign assets more than Cdn$100,000 dollars in value, you are required to disclose this. Ask your investment advisor or financial institution for a T1135 report and avoid unnecessary fines.
  • If you were only partially reimbursed for dental and other claims, be sure to provide us a summary from your insurance provider so we can add the unclaimed portion as a medical expense. (Travel insurance can be claimed as a medical expense.)
  • Remember to send us any donation receipts that you forgot to claim in the past 5 years, you may still be able to claim it this year.

TIP #3 – Follow up on missing tax slips or receipts.
T4 and T5 slips should have been received by the second week of March. You should expect to receive T3 slips starting the third week of March. If you haven’t yet received them, contact your employer or financial institution to ensure you receive your slips.

If you made donations in 2017 and have not received your donation slips, please contact the registered charity to get additional copies.

To ensure you don’t miss any medical receipts, individual pharmacies can provide you with a summary of all the prescriptions you paid for – free of charge.

TIP #4 – Keep your receipts in a secure place.
It is vital that everyone keep their receipts for seven years in the event of an audit by CRA. If you’re a sole proprietor, for the purposes of your tax return, we ask that you please keep your receipts in a secure place and only provide us with a summary so we can prepare your return more efficiently which will bring more savings to you.

TIP #5 – Students in a post-secondary institution should file their taxes.
Post-Secondary institutions issue T2202A slips that can be used against current or future taxes. Best of all, these credits are transferrable to parents at a maximum of $5,000! Students may also be eligible for additional credits such as the ON-BEN and GST/HST Credits which could mean more money in their pocket throughout the year.

TIP #6 – Expecting a tax refund? Get your money faster with direct deposit.
The CRA has been offering direct deposit for a few years now. Direct deposit ensures that your refund is directly deposited into your personal bank account. All CRA needs is your Social Insurance Number, the name of your financial institution, branch/transit number and your account number. We would be happy to set this up for you.

TIP #7 – Expecting to owe tax? Develop a payment plan that works for you.
If you expect to be paying taxes on April 30, ensure you have set aside some money to pay off your tax liability. We also encourage all our clients to contact us, so we can help you develop a tax plan that works for you.

Best wishes from Scarrow Yurman & Co. as we prepare to make this personal tax season the best one yet!

Tax Credit Changes – 2017

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CRA giveth and CRA taketh away. Actually, more “taketh” than anything!

As you run around getting all your tax slips in order, we wanted you to be aware that the CRA has nixed some tax credits and modified some current ones for 2017.

Here are a few key changes:

  • The Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the Children’s Arts Tax Credit are now gone.
  • The Public Transit Tax Credit is eliminated as of July 1, 2017. For 2017 only, qualifying fees paid from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017 are eligible for this credit.
  • For tuition fees, the Education Tax Credit and Textbook Tax Credit amounts (a part of the tuition credit) are eliminated this year.
  • The Infirm Dependent Tax Credit and Caregiver Tax Credit have been replaced by the Canada Caregiver Credit. If you have a parent over the age of 65 receiving the disability tax credit, you may be eligible to transfer this $6,883 credit to your personal tax return.

Please give us a call if you have any questions. Happy personal tax season to all!

Deadlines and Penalties For Individuals and Families

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Don't be late

Filing personal returns on time is crucial. This is especially important when you have a balance owing because the CRA will charge you a late-filing penalty based on that amount. The only time when these penalties can be waived is if there were extraordinary events that are out of your control. Otherwise, here’s what you’re looking at:

  • Per return, the penalty is 5% of your balance owing, plus 1% of your balance owing for each full month that the return is late, to a maximum of 12 months.
  • In addition, if these penalties are not paid, CRA will charge compound daily interest on the penalty amount.

To avoid paying any penalties, we encourage you to make sure your tax documents are sent to us on time for us to file your return by these deadlines:

  • Every regular resident: April 30
  • Self-employed residents: June 15

(If you have a balance owing however, you must pay the amount on or before April 30. The return can be filed by June 15.)

  • Deceased resident:
    • If the date of death was between January and October: April 30 of the following year
    • If the date of death was between November and December: 6 months after the date of death
  • Deceased self-employed resident:
    • If the date of death was between January 1 and December 15: June 15 of the following year
    • If the date of death was between December 16 and December 31: 6 months after the date of death
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