Helpful Tips for This Tax Season

helpful-tips

Guest Blogger: Neal Winokur is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) who runs his own accounting firm focusing on providing tax and advisory services for small business owners. He helps his clients transition to online cloud accounting software for their bookkeeping to make them more organized and more efficient. For more information visit www.winokur.ca.

Here are some tips to consider for this tax season:

Scan Your Tax Documents
Please do not harm our precious environment by wasting paper by printing out your tax documents and then polluting our environment by driving to your accountant to drop off your paper documents in person.

By scanning and e-mailing your tax documents or placing them in a dropbox folder, you are saving time, money, and helping the environment. I run a fully technologically advanced paperless office, streamlining the tax filing process. If you do not have a scanner, you can take pictures of your documents with your phone and text or e-mail them. Alternatively, there is an app called “Genius Scan” you can download for free from the App Store which allows you to scan documents from your phone: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/genius-scan-pdf-scanner/id377672876?mt=8

Online Mail from CRA
If you are tired of receiving countless letters from the CRA in the mail, you can now have the CRA “e-mail” you these letters instead. Please visit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/mngnlnml-eng.html for more information.

Prior Year Tax Returns
Tax returns for 2011 and before must be paper filed by mailing the tax returns to the CRA. Tax returns for 2012 and 2013 (and 2014) can be e-filed.

For Business Owners – Telpay.ca
If you are running a business, you probably print, write and mail out a lot of cheques. This ancient process is no longer necessary. Please visit www.telpay.ca and see how they can help you send payments without writing physical cheques anymore. This should help save you both time and money.

Beware – Phone and Other Scams
The CRA is warning Canadians to beware of telephone calls or e-mails that claim to be from the CRA but are not. Please see the following for more information:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/nwsrm/lrts/2014/l140307-eng.html

Here are the important excerpts from the above quoted website:

People should be especially aware of phishing scams asking for information such as credit card, bank account, and passport numbers. The CRA would never ask for this type information… Taxpayers should not click on links included in these emails.

The CRA:

·NEVER requests information from a taxpayer about a passport, health card, or driver’s license.

·NEVER divulges taxpayer information to another person unless formal authorization is provided by the taxpayer.

·NEVER leaves any personal information on an answering machine or asks taxpayers to leave a message with their personal information on an answering machine.