When you think of April what comes to mind? April showers, too much snow in Calgary, never ending winter…what about tax season. I know, I know, you don’t even want to think about the T word, especially if you’re a contractor or business owner and have a stack of receipts from 2017 sitting on your desk giving you the look like, maybe you shouldn’t have bought so many cups of coffee.

There is nothing like being welcomed into the adult world than trying to navigate your taxes. Basically, you need to tell the government how much money you made, how much of it you paid in tax and keep your fingers crossed that you will get a cheque back in the mail.

If you’re currently having a little bit of a panic attack because you haven’t even thought about your taxes yet, take a deep breath and mark April 30 down on your calendar as the deadline for your 2017 taxes. You still have like, 3 weeks – you’re golden. To make it less stressful, we’ve broken down the most important things you need to know when you’re filing your taxes.

WHAT DO YOU NEED

What do you need to file your return? You need the T1 form to fill out the official paper work. You will need your tax slip which is usually your T4 that you received from your employer but can also include a T4a and T5. Lastly, your receipts. Anything your paid for out-of-pocket that was related to your job. You don’t have to send in the receipts but make sure you keep them, if the government looks into your return you will have to show the receipts of what you’re claiming.

HOW DO YOU DO IT

The most important question is how do you file your tax return. There are a few different ways, the most convenient being online. The CRA provides a list of certified desktop and online software products, and web service options, including those that are free of charge. You can also register with the government for an auto-fill option to make filing easier every year.  Pop into H&R Block to get help if you’re willing to pay. The other options are submitting your taxes by mail or doing it over the phone.

EXTRA NOTES

There are a couple new things to note when filing your return this year. If you’re a student, education and textbook credits are no longer a thing, but unused amounts can still be carried over. Transit passes can no longer be written off thanks to the Liberal government. The rule went into effect July 1, 2017 so any passes before that date can be included this year. There are new caregiver, disability tax and medical expense tax credit rules that will work in your favour if you qualify for any of them.

We can’t promise you it’ll be a party, but adulting isn’t always fun is it? You should feel proud of yourself for hitting this adulting milestone.

 


 

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