Getting Organized, Tips & Advice

TurboTax Tips for Getting Organized to do Your Taxes

'Not having information is not a valid excuse'Click To TweetNo matter how organized you vow to be each year at this time, there always seems to be an item or two missing when it’s time to file your taxes and whether it’s missing tuition slips or lost receipts, we have options for finding the data needed to file a complete tax return.

CRA MyAccount

If you are registered for the Canada Revenue Agency, MyAccount, then you already know that a lot of data that you need to file your tax return is already there.  Using your CRA MyAccount, you can view your:

  • T Slips – T4, T3, T4A, T4A(OAS), T4A(P), T4E, T4RIF, T4RSP, T5, T5007, T5008
  • Benefits slips for Canada Child Benefit (CCB)
  • Working Income Tax Benefit Advance payments statement (RC210)
  • Carryforward tuition, education, and textbook amounts – both federal and provincial
  • Unused losses, both capital and non-capital
  • RRSP contribution limit
  • Repayment amounts for Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) and Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP).

Auto-fill my return makes inputting your information even easier. With just a few clicks, your CRA MyAccount data is loaded to the proper spot in your return.

If you are not a CRA MyAccount holder, you can still find the info you need to prepare your return.

Notice of Assessment (NOA)

Your NOA is sent to you each year after you file your tax return and sub-sequentially after every adjustment made on your personal tax account. It provides the highlights of your return such as income amounts, credits, and deductions. It also records any carry-forward amounts you may have such as tuition credits and unused losses. Additionally, you can find your RRSP contribution limit and HBP/LLP info.

Last Year’s Tax Return

A few other amounts you may need for this year can be found on last year’s return, especially if you are self-employed or own a rental unit. This is due to the ongoing Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) calculation. If you claimed CCA last year and want to claim it again this year, you need to know your UCC (Undepreciated Capital Cost) amount. Your last year’s UCC ending balance is this year’s starting balance.

  • For rental property owners, this figure is found on your T776 (Statement of Real Estate Rentals) in Column 10 of area A. Input this number into Column 2 of this year’s return.
  • For self-employed individuals, this figure is found on your T2125 (Statement of Business or Professional Activities) in Column 10 of area A. Input this number into Column 2 of this year’s return.

Slips/Receipts from the Source

If you need to track down other information not listed above, here’s a few tips for locating other data

  • Tuition slips (T2202A) are rarely mailed out. Check your online student account to view/download this slip.
  • Banks are not required to send out slips for interest amounts less than $50 but it still must be recorded as income. Use your monthly bank statement to determine your total interest for the year.
  • Pharmacies will provide a complete breakdown of your prescription expenses for the calendar year if you request one. It may take a few days to receive the report but it saves you loads of time tracking down all of the individual receipts.
  • If you dabble in the stock market, your broker can provide the info you need to claim any gains or losses. You’ll need the purchase price and selling price of your stocks as well as any broker’s fees paid. If you have an online trading account, much of this information can be found there.
  • If you received CPP, OAS, or EI income, you won’t receive a paper slip unless you’ve specifically requested one. Check your online Service Canada account to view these slips.
  • If all else fails, ask for a reprint. Receipts for daycare, medical expenses such as glasses or contacts, etc. can easily be reprinted by the provider.

If you’ve done all you can to obtain a missing T4 slip, don’t put off filing. It’s important to submit your return on time, even if you don’t have an actual T slip. For example, if your former employer goes out of business, getting a T4 might not be an easy task. If you aren’t a CRA MyAccount holder or the T4 isn’t listed in your CRA MyAccount, CRA recommends using your pay stubs to calculate your income and deductions. If this isn’t an option, submit your return by mail with a note explaining the situation. Include the employer’s name and address and highlight all steps you’ve taken to obtain the slip.