The end of the year is just a few weeks away which means it’s going to be tax time again before you know it. Before you start thinking about resolutions for the New Year, be sure to finish up this year on top. Check out these end-of-year tax tips to save time and get your maximum refund for this tax year!
Sign-Up for a CRA My Account
If you haven’t already signed up for a CRA My Account, now’s a perfect time. Once you’re signed up, you’ll be able to import your tax slips and other info for the tax year directly from the CRA into your TurboTax return. CRA’s Auto-fill my return service is the quickest, easiest way to get all your numbers in the right places in your tax return.
You can import:
- T slips for work, pensions, and interest
- RRSP contributions
- Amounts carried forward from years past such as unused tuition and losses
Plus, CRA My Account holders can
- View past tax returns
- Update direct deposit information
- Change their addresses online instantly
- See benefit payment amounts and dates (such as the GST/HST credit and Canada Child Benefit)
- Make adjustments to previous years’ returns online.
So, if you do only one thing to get ready for tax season, we recommend registering for a CRA My Account. If you have an account already, take a moment now to make sure you remember your password, so you can sign in when it’s time to do your taxes.
Organize Your Receipts
After you’ve imported your tax slips into your TurboTax return using CRA’s Auto-fill my return, you’re going to want to maximize your credits and deductions. This is where your receipts come in.
If you’re like most people, you’ve been stuffing the receipts you’ve collected all year into a drawer. Or, worse, haven’t been saving your receipts at all. Now’s the time to track down all those expenses that can help you get some money back on your tax return.
Commonly missed deductions include:
- Medical expenses: Most pharmacies will reprint your prescription receipts for you.
- Charitable donations: Check your email; many charities now email receipts
- Public transit passes: Passes bought for travel between Jan. 1st and June 30th can be claimed; you can use your credit card statements as proof of purchase.
- Moving expenses: If you moved 40km to be closer to school or work, ask the service providers you worked with to reprint copies.
Mobilize Your Posse
Are you the family tax preparer? Now’s the time to start reminding everyone to start gathering their tax info together. Remind mom and dad to watch the mail for their pension slips and tell Junior that his T2202A slip will be on its way soon.
Hey, maybe this is the year you inspire your college-aged kids to resolve to be more financially savvy by offering to help them do their taxes this year!
Do a Dry Run
Taxes rates don’t change much year over year. So, why not take the info you know and run a quick estimation to see how things might play out. Guesstimate your return with amounts from your paystub and other amounts like daycare receipts, RRSP contributions, etc. Having an idea of what’s coming allows you to top up your RRSP contribution for the year or adjust the family budget to be able to cover your tax bill in April. If you’re looking at a refund, you can start planning on how you’ll spend it!
Optimize those Benefits
Want to claim it this year? Consider making certain purchases before the end of December so they can be included on your tax return for the year:
- Refill prescriptions
- Get new glasses or order contacts
- Rental owners: buy paint, light bulbs, renovation supplies, etc.
- Small business owners: look for Boxing Day deals to pick up that new laptop, printer, or cell phone. Stock up on stamps, printer paper, or other stationery supplies.
- Teachers: The Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply credit permits the purchase of supplies in advance. If you’re planning on buying storage containers or art supplies for your classroom, take advantage of post-holiday deals and claim the expense on this year’s return.
- Charitable Donations