There are a number of documents you should gather together as you get ready to file your personal tax return. Make sure you have your prior year’s return, your Notice Of Assessment (NOA) from the Canada Revenue Agency and any other communications you may have received from them. Your Notice Of Assessment has key information that you can use in the current year, such as your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) deduction limit, Home Buyers Plan (HBP) and Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) repayment balances, and carry-forward amounts from unused Tuition Credits and Non-Capital or Capital Losses.
Common Income Items
All employers must send out T4 (Statement of Remuneration Paid) slips by the end of February following the tax year. These are the most common type of employment slips that taxpayers generally receive. Each employer you have worked for will issue you a T4, so if you worked for more than one employer, ensure they each have your correct contact information on file to receive your T4 on time.
A few other various income-related slips are:
- T4A – Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
- T3 – Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations
- T5 – Statement of Investment Income
- T4RSP – Statement of RRSP Income
- T4RIF – Statement of income from a Registered Retirement Income Fund
Many of these slips depend on your investments. If you have moved during the year, make sure your investment advisers and financial institutions have your correct address on file to ensure you receive all your slips.
If you made any RRSP contributions this year or in the first 60 days of the following year, be sure you have your RRSP Contribution slip or receipt. If you contribute to your RRSP on a regular basis (each paycheque or monthly), you will receive two contribution slips, one for March to December of the tax year, and one for the first 60 days of the following year. You must report both these contributions on the tax return you are currently preparing, so it’s important to wait for that second slip for the “first 60 days”.
If at any point during the tax year you collected government benefits or pensions, you will receive a slip for these benefits. These include the following slips:
- T4E – Statement of Employment Insurance and Other Benefits
- T5007 – Statement of Benefits Workers Compensation or Social Assistance benefits
- T4A(P) – Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits
- T4A(OAS) – Statement of Old Age Security
Make sure you have all of your slips and receipts on file to maximize your deductions. If you attended post-secondary school or enrolled in training courses that developed or improved your skills in an occupation, make sure you have a T2202 – Tuition Enrolment Certificate and any student loan interest statements. Make sure if you have dependants and are paying for Childcare expenses while you work or go to school, you gather any receipts from your provider.
There also possible deductions available for medical and dental expenses. You should compile these receipts prior to starting your return. If you are an employed professional or tradesperson, the union dues or professional fees you have paid may be eligible for a deduction not shown on your T4 slip. You may also be eligible for certain Employment Expenses you incurred during the course of your employment. If you are eligible for this deduction, you will need a completed and signed T2200 – Declaration of Conditions of Employment from your employer, as well as any related documents and receipts.
Other Common Situations
Self-employed Canadians must gather additional documents in addition to all of the above items. And remember self-employed income can come from various sources such as subcontracting, direct sales and other side-gigs. Self-employed individuals must put together all the financial results of the company including income, expenses and (if applicable) any home office expense calculations.
Owners of rental properties should gather all their rental financial information. These include rental income, any expenses related to the rental property, property tax bills, mortgage interest statements, etc. If it is your first time claiming rental income, have your purchase agreement on hand to calculate any Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) expense you might wish to claim.
What Edition of TurboTax Is Right for Me?
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You can always start your return in TurboTax Free, and if you feel the need for additional assistance, you can upgrade to any of our paid editions or get live help from an expert with our Assist & Review or Full Service*. But don’t worry, while using the online version of the software when you choose to upgrade, your information is instantly carried over so you can pick up right where you left off.
*TurboTax Live™ Full Service is not available in Quebec.