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.
- 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.
You need to have to follow at hand (if you did your taxes last year using a TurboTax product, this information will carry-forward or 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 Slips such as;
- T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid
- T4A Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
- T4E Statement of Employment Insurance and Other Benefits
- T3 Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations
- T5 Statement of Investment Income
- T5008 Statement of Securities Transactions
- T4A(OAS) Statement of Old Age Security
- T4A(P) Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits
- T5007 Statement of Benefits– Workers Compensation or Social Assistance benefits
- Other Income
- Tips and gratuities not already on your T4 or T4A
- Rental income (and expenses as a part of your T776- Statement of Real Estate Rentals form)
- Self-employment (and expenses as a part of your T2125 – Statement of Business or Professional Activities for each business – fishing, farming, small businesses, freelance work, and contractors)
- Support payments received.
- Capital Gains including the sale of your principal residence.
- Amounts for carrying charges and interest expenses related to your investments. This includes fees for managing your investments.
- Home Buyers’ Plan, and Lifelong Learning Plan repayment amounts.
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 in these TurboTax links: How do Changes in your Personal Life Affect your Taxes? and Personal Income Tax Deductions in Canada.
- Adoption expenses
- Charitable donations
- Employment Expenses (Form T2200, completed by your employer to claim employment expenses, and a T777 form outlining those expenses)
- Home accessibility expenses
- Medical expenses If you’re claiming any medical expenses for other dependent family members (other than you, your spouse, and your minor children), the dependent’s net income is required
- Moving expenses
- Personal attendant/facility care expenses
- Receipts for childcare expenses
- Receipts for classroom/school supplies (teachers and early childhood educators)
- Student loan interest amounts
- Support payments made
- Tuition slips
- Union dues not included on your T4 slip
Depending on your province of residence, you may also need a few other amounts for certain provincial credits or benefit programs. As Quebec residents are required to file a separate provincial return, please review this link from Revenu Quebec.
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