Tax season is finally wrapping up and if you’re a last minute filer (a 2019 survey suggested that many Canadians are), you’re likely breathing a sigh of relief. Filing at the last minute can be stressful, and it’s likely that there are a number of factors that resulted in you falling behind on this crucial task. Lack of preparation, disorganized documents and a lack of education on tax filing can all lead to prolonged procrastination or avoidance of filing your return.

If this sounds like you, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are tangible steps you can take to make tax season a breeze next year.

The bad news is, you have to start now.

Here are three tips you can start implementing today to make filing your taxes easier than ever next year and the years that follow.

1) Stay Organized Throughout the Year

One of the biggest challenges during tax season is gathering all the necessary documents and receipts. Make it a habit to stay organized throughout the year by keeping track of your income, expenses, and any relevant paperwork. If there were any specific documents you faced challenges in finding this year, make a point to create a process for saving and organizing those documents now, while it’s still fresh in your mind. RHN provides our clients with a Personal Income Tax Organizer envelope to help keep you on top of things, with a handy checklist on the front for you to use when tax time is here again.

Set aside a specific time each month to update your records and file away any important documents. By staying organized year-round, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress when tax season rolls around.

To get started, read our Organizational Tips that Will Save You Money on Your Tax Returns.

2) Understand How to Maximize Deductions and Credits

Many Canadian taxpayers miss out on valuable deductions and credits simply because they’re unaware of them or, even worse, because they are so intimidated by the filing process that they choose not to claim them just to get their return over with faster.

Take the time to educate yourself on the various tax breaks available to you, such as the Canada Child Benefit, medical expenses, charitable donations, and tuition credits. Keep track of any expenses that may be eligible for deductions or credits throughout the year, and make sure to claim them when you file your taxes. Consider consulting with a tax professional to ensure you’re taking advantage of all available opportunities to reduce your tax bill legally.

There is a lot of information to digest when it comes to tax deductions and credits. An easy way to start is to review some of our easy-to-understand resources on the subject:

3) Consider Hiring a Tax Professional

While filing your taxes yourself can appear to save you money, it can also be time-consuming and stressful, especially if you have a complex financial situation. Plus, working with an accountant can often result in true savings as they can navigate your tax deductions and credits with ease, as well as advise on tax strategy for long term benefits.

 

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Need Help?

If the thought of filing your taxes again already fills you with dread, it may be time to get some tax support. Our team of personal and corporate tax professionals are always happy to help—whether it’s an educational session or a long-term partnership.

Get in touch to book a free consultation.

This post has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not advice. The information presented may not fit your unique situation, please consult one of our trusted business advisors at RHN CPA for further clarification and interpretation of your circumstances.