Nine Ways To Make Your Tax Preparation More Efficient

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Nine Ways To Make Your Tax Preparation More Efficient

Gathering all the tax return information to send to your accountant and/or CRA can be unnecessarily time consuming and involve way too much paper. GGFL offers these tips to make the annual chore a little less . . . well, taxing.

  1. Ask your dental professional, pharmacist or other relevant health professional for an annual statement of your expenses. The statement should include your name, date of the service, description of service/product and date of payment. This eliminates the need for individual receipts.
  2. The same applies to people with portfolio investments who must report capital gains or losses. Ask your broker for one report for each portfolio for the entire calendar year. If you have foreign investments, don’t forget to ask for a foreign property report too.
  3. If you own a rental property, or are self-employed, tally your expenses or provide a summary. It is a great way to review your expenses to ensure they have all been captured. Be sure to keep all the original receipts in case CRA asks to see them after you submit your tax return.
  4. It can take CRA at least 30 days to process cheques for taxes owed. Even though you have paid on time, CRA will charge interest for that processing period. Yes, you will get the interest back but not before a dose of time-wasting inconvenience. The answer? Pay CRA online.
  5. For those who wish to provide electronic documents for their tax preparation, free scanning software is available online or in App stores for your smart phone. Microsoft and Adobe offer apps that will let you use your smart phone to scan receipts. Learn more in these instructional videos for Adobe Scan and Microsoft 365.  Don’t photograph documents. Scan them and make sure the images are easy to read. Remember that CRA may wish to review these documents at a later date!
  6. While we’re on the subject of scanned images, don’t send separate images for each receipt. Group as many as will fit on a piece of paper and scan them – again, making sure all of the receipts are readable. Click here for more tips on scanning your documents.
  7. If you sell your principal residence, you must disclose the sale to CRA your old address, the sale price and the year you bought it. It isn’t a lot of detail, but it is an important one.
  8. If you’re an employee and had to work from home in 2022 due to COVID19 you can claim the home office expenses deduction. You can claim $2 per day for each you had to work from home, up to a maximum of $500, or you can submit a detailed claim supported by receipts. Visit the CRA website or our article on ‘Claiming Working from Home Expenses’ for more info.
  9. And don’t forget the RRSP deadline. This year it is March 1. So, if you’re topping up your RRSP and want the tax break applied against your 2022 income, keep an eye on the calendar. Life can happen and you might forget.

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