April can be a great month for many Calgarians receiving a tax refund, but also a very tough month for others who will be paying the government instead. Gathering and filing your tax information can be a confusing process, let alone paying thousands of dollars out of pocket when you may not have been prepared for it. Whether you’ve already submitted your taxes online or you’re going old school by printing and filing your return yourself, here are a few tips to keep in mind so that you can keep your sanity come tax time.
Know Your Deadline
This year, most Canadians’ income tax and benefit returns are due on April 30 while self-employed individuals have until June 15. However, since these are the absolute last days you can file for your taxes, we recommend getting them in just a bit earlier, to help ease your stress and allow the professionals to get the work done before the very last minute.
Start Months Before Your Deadline
Starting early will allow you to gather all of your information and organize it before passing it off to your accountant. This will allow you peace of mind knowing that you have submitted everything that is needed and give your accountant plenty of time to file your return properly without mistakes. Once you receive that T4 in the mail, get going.
Understand Your Tax Credits
With our government constantly changing and updating the tax rules, it’s hard to keep up with what you qualify for each year. Always refer to the Government of Canada website to see what tax credits can be applied to your income so that you can save more of that hard-earned money.
Confirm Your Information is Up-To-Date
Perhaps you’ve moved in the last year, gotten married or started a new job. Make sure all of your information on your online CRA account is accurate or send your personal accountant the new information before you start the filing process. This will help things go smoothly during the coming months.
Ask a Professional
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or hire a professional to do your tax filing. Rather than make a mistake and lose out on hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars simply because you didn’t know about this credit or that deduction, find someone you trust to handle your taxes. It’ll take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to focus on your job instead of attempting to crunch the numbers.
If you haven’t already filed for your taxes this year, take these simple tips into consideration to help your filing process run a bit smoother. If you’re already done for the season, think about ways to improve your process for next year. Organize your receipts, record your purchases and write down those kilometres so that you can save those pennies and spend more on you this coming year.
Kelsey is the Editorial & Events Manager for Date Night. Monday-Friday she works as an independent Marketing & Communications Contractor, providing writing, editing and digital marketing services for small businesses here in YYC. When she’s not busy writing about our city, you can usually find her trying the newest fitness studio, exploring the Rockies or chasing the sun – whether here in AB or halfway across the world.