The stress-free guide to preparing for tax time
March 28, 2019
It’s tax season, which means it’s time to dig up all your files and ready your return. Feeling overwhelmed? Follow these simple tips from Runnymede Healthcare Centre’s finance department to be prepared for tax time.
File on time
The deadline to file your income tax return this year is April 30, 2019. (Self-employed individuals have until June 15, 2019.) Work in advance to ensure you have everything you need so you aren’t scrambling to find that T4 at the last minute.
Report all your income, truthfully
You should have received a record of all your income for 2018 on your statement of income slips, which are issued by your bank or employer. If you haven’t received your T-slips by the end of February, or if you lost or misplaced them, ask your employer or bank for a copy. If you register for a Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) online account, you may have access to online copies of your slips.
Not all income will have a corresponding slip but should still be claimed. Income from gratuities, regularly selling items online or at flea markets, cash in hand for work is still considered taxable income. Even a mistaken omission of income can lead to a cash penalty if you are audited.
Know your credits
You may be eligible for income credits and deductions to reduce your taxable income, including amounts for caregivers and home accessibility expenses. The Government of Canada has a comprehensive list of deductions, credits and expenses on its website.
Save your receipts and records
Save yourself the scramble of trying to assemble all of your receipts and relevant records on an annual basis by getting in the habit of saving them in one place. Try an accordion file attached to your fridge as a central place to collect your receipts throughout the year. Phone apps such as Expensify and Evernote are also an easy way to digitally store your receipts. Remember to save all of your receipts and records for at least six years from the end of the tax year to which your records relate.
Don’t want to do the paperwork yourself? There are plenty of software options that make filing your taxes easy. There are also several options that are free based on individual tax situations or income levels. The CRA offers a list of free products and products with a pay what you want option.
Get free help
Tax clinics volunteers can complete tax returns for those with a modest income and simple tax situation. Free tax clinics are offered across Canada. Runnymede holds its own tax clinic in March by appointment only. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. To find a tax clinic near you, visit Canada.ca/taxes-help.