The busiest time of year has arrived – financially at least! Tax season is in full swing and the deadline for filing is quickly approaching. While the deadline is typically April 30th, this year taxpayers have until May 2nd to file since the former falls on a Saturday. Meaning, any balances that you owe, whether you’re a hired staff member or self-employed, must be received or processed at a Canadian financial institution on or before the 2nd of May. And since you have an extra couple of days to finalize your finances, why not put them to good use and be extra scrupulous with your paperwork? To help you maximize your tax season, here are 7 things to keep in mind:
1. Covid-19 Benefit Payments
You’re probably sick of hearing about Covid-19 – we get it, we are too. However, don’t let the fatigue of this pandemic keep you from correctly filing your taxes in 2023. If you received benefits administered by the CRA in 2021 due to Covid-19, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit, you should have received a T4A tax slip from the government. With residents of Quebec receiving an additional RL-1 tax form. Now, why is it important to keep this in mind? While some tax was withheld when the Covid-19 benefits were administered, you may owe some additional tax. Unfortunately, this could present some financial burden to some taxpayers according to the CRA. So, affected individuals would benefit from exploring extended payment plans. Don’t forget, our CPA tax firm can give you more information regarding your options this tax season.
2. Potential Error for Senior Pensions
Seniors born on or before June 30th, 1947, were eligible for the Old Age Security pension administered in June 2021. This came in the form of a one-time $500 payment and was eligible to all seniors who turned 75 before July 1st, 2023, regardless of income level. However, there were some hiccups when Service Canada sent out the necessary T4A slips. Some were delayed, others included incorrect information such as duplicate amounts in boxes 018 and 205. The correct slips should have already been sent out to affected seniors, so just ensure you’re using the right one when filling out your return. If you’re concerned about the legitimacy of your slip, a Genesa CPA accountant would be thrilled to assist you.
3. It Pays to Work from Home
Not to continuously bring up the pandemic, but since Covid-19 shifted so many office goers to a work from home setup, this point is important for tax filing. If you worked from home in 2021 due to Covid-19, you may be eligible for a deduction of up to $500 for annual home-office expenses when using the temporary flat rate method or even more if you use the detailed method and claim all specific expenses.
4. School Supply Tax Credit for Teachers
Teachers can claim a refundable tax credit of 25 per cent for school supply purchases up to a $1,000. Additionally, the government has expanded this credit to include a wider variety of purchases; including electrical devices such as calculators, digital timers, and other tools necessary for remote learning. Still unsure of your eligibility? Speak to an accountant today about potential tax credits for teachers in 2023.
5. Easier Access to Old Tax Returns
As we’re becoming increasingly digital in our practices, the CRA has updated their services to include more options for accessing tax slip information. You can now download your slips straight from your CRA account, which makes filing older tax returns even simpler. Contribution receipts from the past five years, including those from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), can now be accessed and downloaded from the comfort of your computer.
6. Automated Callback Option
Times are busy and the last thing you want is to be waiting on the phone for hours on end. Luckily, the CRA has a new service that allows you to request a callback. Keep in mind, there are different lines for different enquiries, so make sure you use the right one for business vs. individual vs. benefit.
7. Utilize Our CPA Tax Firm in Vancouver
Tax season can be overwhelming; however, it doesn’t need to be with the right team of accountants behind you. For businesses and individuals alike, our team of trusted accountants can maximize your savings and streamline your finances. To learn more about our corporate and personal tax services, contact our CPA tax firm today!