Tax Preparation. Yup, it’s that time again. Whether you want to believe it or not, personal tax season is among us. To avoid scrambling on April 29th to get all your information together, here are 5 steps that will help make the tax preparation process manageable – and dare I say – easy!?
Step 1 – Gather all your tax slips and receipts
For most of us, this can be the most dreadful part of it all. What information will my accountant need? What can I claim? How much can I claim? There are always so many questions to be asked. To help ease the process, we’ve compiled the below list of the most common slips and documents used for personal tax preparation and returns.
- T4 – employee income
- T4A – pension income, retirement allowance, self-employed commissions, scholarships/bursaries
- T4A(OAS) – Old Age Security
- T4A(P) – Canada Pension Plan Benefits
- T4RSP – RRSP Income
- T3 – income from a trust
- T5 – investment income
- T2202A – tuition, education and textbook amounts
- Medical (you, your spouse, and/or dependent children)
- Donations (must be an official receipt)
- Property Taxes or Rent paid
- Daycare Centre
- Educational Institutions (fees related to child care services)
- Boarding schools, overnight camp
For those of you tech-savvy readers who want to stay organized all year, here are a few (FREE) apps that will help you manage and organize your receipts:
You may also want to consider signing up for My Account, which allows you to access information relating to your personal tax matters (T slips mentioned above, prior year assessments, etc).
To sign up, visit www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount and create a user ID and password. You will receive an access code by mail (5 – 10 business days) from the CRA. Once received, login to your account and enter the security code.
Step 2 – Prepare Annual Summaries
This is specifically useful for anyone who owns their own business, claims car expenses or claims home office expenses. – No need to pay an hourly rate to tabulate receipts! Here are some key categories to help your tax preparation
- Percentage of work-related km’s
- Repairs and maintenance
- Licensing and registration fees
- Repairs and maintenance
- Property taxes or rent
- Condo fees
Note: if you do not own your own business, you will need to obtain Form T2200 – Declaration of Conditions of Employment from your employer in order to claim these expenses
- Meals and entertainment
- Telephone/cell phone
- Annual union, professional or like dues
Step 3 – Prepare a list of your personal information
- Social Insurance Number (for yourself and anyone else having a personal tax return prepared)
- Children names and dates of birth
- Any other information that may have changed throughout the year
- Purchase of a home (special credit for first time home buyers)
- Marital status
- Employment situation
Step 4 – Find your prior year personal tax return and Notice of Assessment
After filing your 2014 return, you would have received a letter (Notice of Assessment) which includes important information for the current year. As well, having your prior year return on hand is also helpful for your tax preparer. If you are a returning parker simone client, we will have this information on file.
Step 5 – Contact parker simone
At parker simone, we will not only prepare your personal tax return, but we will help you identify personal tax planning opportunities to save you money and assist you in the case of a CRA audit after filing. Contact your parker simone representative today to set up a meeting to discuss your personal tax situation.
Paula is a Staff Accountant at parker simone LLP. Before joining the parker simone team, she attended the University of Waterloo where she obtained a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management and a Master of Accounting. Paula successfully passed the 2014 UFE and is in the process of obtaining her CPA, CA designation. She enjoys new experiences and is always up to an adventure; whether it’s travelling to a new city or exploring the diverse art and culture in Toronto.
Want to get in touch with Paula? Phone: 905-271-7977