Are You Ready for the Tax Season?

Many people wait until the last couple of weeks to scramble and get their tax information ready before it is due on April 30th.  Set yourself a goal to get ahead of the tax season. Staying ahead of the game and having everything organized can help you to be sure that you are not leaving anything out when it comes time to file.

Here are some ideas to consider when looking at filing your taxes this coming April.

Changes to Status.

If you had any changes to your filing status last year, be sure to have the proper documentation ready. Changes can include marriage, divorce, or if you have new qualifying dependents. Make any necessary changes now to your status now, before it gets closer to tax time.

Offset Profits

If you trade in the stock market, now is a good time to take a good look at your stocks to avoid large capital gains. Strategies exist such as selling losing positions that can help you to produce tax losses and offset your gains in other investments. For more ideas on offsetting profits, speak with a professional financial advisor.

Get Everything Together Now

To be sure nothing is left out, start getting everything together and organized now. This will ensure you have the time to get everything in order, especially with items that you may have to wait on such as your T4 slip or tax receipts from a charity. Other things to be sure you have may include: information from child care providers, dependent care tax credits, and applicable expense receipts. Organize all expenses and documents now to have them ready well ahead of April.

It may seem early to start preparing your taxes for filing now, but the earlier you can get on top of this chore the easier it will be to file. Being ahead of the game also means you are less likely to leave anything out, which can be a huge headache (and lead to potential fines) later on if you have to refile, or lost deductions.

To help ensure you have not left anything out, the Government of Canada has assembled this handy checklist for filing your taxes.

Be aware of changes to the Canadian Tax Code

Every year there are changes to the Canadian Tax Code and taxpayers struggle to figure out how these changes will affect their returns. At Naicker & Associates, we offer tax preparation services in order to take some of that guesswork away from our clients and we like everyone to know exactly what’s coming from the CRA. Here are a few of the changes that you need to be aware of:

New Credits

If you were previously applying for the family caregiver credit, the credit for infirm dependents age 18 or older, or the caregiver credit, this has been changed to the non-refundable Canada caregiver credit. This provides tax relief to people taking care of infirm, dependent family members.

Ready for 2018 Taxes
Nurse practitioners can now apply for Disability Tax Credit certification. People who needed medical intervention to conceive a child can claim any expenses, going back 10 years, under the Medical Expense Tax Credit. These expenses can now be claimed just as someone with a medical condition would. You will have to reapply older expenses for past personal tax returns, but we can help you do that in our Port Moody office.

Eliminated Credits

Unfortunately, a number of tax credits were eliminated. Tuition, education, and textbook credits have been eliminated, although you can still carry forward unused amounts from previous years. Also, the children’s art tax and fitness tax credits, as well as the public transit credits are gone. But for this tax year, you can still claim any transit costs from January 1 to June 30, 2017.

If you’re unsure how these changes will affect your return, or need some help with any number of personal income tax questions, come and talk to the experienced team of CPAs at Naicker & Associates. We can help make this tax season easier and stress-free.