Get Ready to File Your Tax Return

by Tax Guy - Burlington Accountant on February 25, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post

Employers are required to send you your T4 slip by the end of February. You may have already received your T4 and made your RRSP contributions and are thinking of getting your documents in order to file your taxes.

Even if you do not have all of your tax slips yet, you can begin preparing your income tax return using tax software such as TurboTax. When you receive your tax slips, simply enter the information into TurboTax or the software of your choice. When you have all of your slips, submit your return and you are done. By the way, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants published their top 10 tax filing tips in 2005. All of these tips are still relevant today.

  1. One spouse should claim all of the family charitable donations. Pooling family donations allows you to take advantage of the larger credit on total donations over $200.
  2. The lower income spouse should claim all of the medical expenses. With the medical expense tax credit, the lower the income the greater the amount of credit that can be claimed.
  3. Business owner should claim all available deductions.
  4. Certain credits and deductions can be carried forward. Look through your old returns for charitable donations that can be carried forward.
  5. Moving expenses including meals and travel can be deducted if you moved to take a new job or went to school.
  6. File returns for children to establish future RRSP contribution room.
  7. Claim any business investment losses. These are capital losses that occurred through investments in small businesses. Like a capital loss, these are only 1/2 taxable, but can be claimed against other income.
  8. If you had capital losses in 2008 and gains in 2007, 2006, or 2005, carry these losses back. Capital losses can only be used against capital gains – They must be used against capital gains in 2008 first and the excess can be carried back three years or forward indefinitely.
  9. Use tax electronic preparation software. Software can make filing easy and provide step-by-step instructions.
  10. E-File. Filing through the internet electronically means you’ll get your return much faster.

One last tip: File on-time! You may have to pay interest and penalties for late filing if you owe taxes. The filing deadline for individuals is April 30th and for self-employed & commission salespeople it’s June 30th.

About The Tax Guy...

Dean Paley CGA CFP is a Burlington accountant and financial planner who services individuals and business owners locally, nationally and internationally. Dean has appeared in the National Post, Toronto Star and Metro News.

To find out more, visit Dean's website Dean Paley CGA CFP or connect via Twitter @DeanPaleyCGACFP.

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