Getting Organized, Tips & Advice

Putting Together Your Tax Checklist and Why You Might Benefit From One

With over 400 different deductions and credits, the Canadian tax system has pretty much something for everyone. Whether you’re preparing your first tax return or you’re a seasoned tax preparation professional, having a list of what is needed in order to prepare a tax return is essential to making sure you’re not leaving any money on the table.

Here are some helpful hints for putting together your tax checklist.

General Info

  • Along with your own personal info (date of birth and social insurance number), you’ll also need the same details for your spouse/common-law partner and dependants you are claiming.
  • For certain credits, like the Canada Caregiver Amount, your dependant’s net income is required so it’s a good idea to have those figures as well.
  • If you’re claiming a tuition transfer from your spouse or child, keep a copy of their completed return handy as you’ll need to enter a few different amounts from it.

Last year’s tax return and Notice of Assessment (NOA) holds a wealth of information. Along with acting as a guide for this year, you’ll also find your unused amounts for tuition, losses, moving expenses, and capital cost allowance.

Checklist

You need to have the following at hand (if you did your taxes last year using a TurboTax product, this information will carry-forward and some may be pulled in if you use the CRA AutoFill my Return feature)

  • Social Insurance Numbers for you, your spouse, and any dependants (if applicable)
  • Dates of birth for family members
  • Net income amounts for your spouse and any dependents for whom you’re claiming credits such as the Canada Caregiver Amount, which is one of many you may be entitled to.
  • The total amount of installment payments made to CRA
  • Notice of Assessments from last year’s return

If you have Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) balances or any unused losses or credits you plan to apply, it’s a good idea to have a copy last year’s tax return and your Notice of Assessment nearby.  Or, if you used TurboTax last year to complete your tax return, the CCA amount will be brought forward automatically, as will your RRSP contribution balance.

Income

Expenses & Credits

The following list only covers some of the available credits you may be eligible for. Many of these credits are based on your personal life and you may be eligible for a tax credit or deduction based on these personal changes. More information can be found here: How do Changes in your Personal Life Affect your Taxes?

Depending on your province of residence, you may also need a few other amounts for certain provincial credits such as Rent receipts – Property tax amounts – RL Slips (Quebec)- Seniors’ activity receipts

If you’re a CRA MyAccount holder, you can import these items directly into your return using CRA’s Auto-fill my return service.

Looking for an income tax calculator for your province or territory. TurboTax has you covered; simply enter in your province and amounts, it will calculate your taxes accordingly.

If at the end of the day you feel a bit overwhelmed trying to make sure you have everything, consider TurboTax Live Assist & Review and get unlimited help and advice as you do your taxes, plus a final review before you file.  Or, choose TurboTax Live Full Service and have one of our tax experts do your return from start to finish.