It’s tax season again. We are looking forward to seeing you!
We are truly grateful to have the most loyal customers. We want to express our appreciation for your business and we are thankful for the trust you continue to place in us year after year.
More and more customers every year are leaving their tax papers with us and we love it! When we sit down and focus on your tax return we have your best interest at heart. We will call you to arrange a pickup time because we want to review your return with you. This service is popular because it offers convenience and the personal touch.
Being prepared to file your return has never been more important. The majority of e-filed tax returns are processed within 8 days, however, processing times for adjustments take a lot longer. We have seen adjustment requests for tax credits take several months. Missing an income slip? If you file and missed an income slip, the Canada Revenue Agency will adjust your return, but we have seen this take up to a year and remember that interest on a balance owing is compounded daily. Oops did it again? If you have failed to report income in any of the previous three years and are subject to a penalty, your penalty can be doubled! Please use our income tax checklist and look for tips throughout our newsletter for a hassle-free tax season.
Services to meet all your needs
Leave your documents
No appointment necessary. We will call you to arrange to pick up of your completed tax return.
If you want us to prepare your income tax return in front of you, our receptionist will help you book a time that is convenient for you.
E-mail your documents
Really busy? No problem, just scan all your documents and e-mail them to us. We offer convenient options for customers that are not able to come in to see us.
Income Tax Checklist
- Employment – T4
- Employment Insurance – T4E
- RRSP Withdrawal – T4RSP
- WCB/Social Assistance – T5007
- Rental Income, Expenses & Assets
- Self-employment Income & Expenses
- Pension – T4A
- Foreign Pension (Italy, Germany, Portugal, UK etc)
- Canada Pension Plan – T4AP
- Old Age Security – T4AOAS
- RIF Withdrawal – T4RIF
- Interest/Dividend Income/Mutual Funds – T5 & T3
- Disposal of Investments – T5008 & Realized Gains/Loss report from broker
- Investment Counsel Fees (Excluding RRSP/TFSA)
- Sale of Principal Residence/Investment Property
- RRSP Contributions (Last 10 months: March – December 2017, First 60 days: January & February 2018)
- Union Dues
- Professional Dues: Nurses, Teachers, Tradespeople
- Child Care Expenses
- Child/Spousal Support (Provide Details and Agreement)
- Employment Expenses (T2200 + Auto/Home Office/Tools) Students
- Tuition Canadian – T2202
- Tuition Int’l TLIIA (proof paid in other currency)
- Rent Receipt for 2017
- Grants/Scholarships – T4A
- Public Transit Amount (Presto usage report + Card)
- Caregiver Amount (Dependent’s SIN# & Net Income)
- First Time Home Buyer
- Disability Amount (Must have approval from CRA)
- Home Accessibility Expenses (Seniors & DTC)
- Interest on Student Loans
- Medical Expenses
- Teaching Supplies Expense
- Charitable & Political Donations
- Tax Installments – Proof of payment
- Ontario Trillium Benefit: Property Taxes/ Rent Receipt
*Please bring ALL slips and receipts at one time. Additional fees apply when more than one meeting is required to complete your tax return.
Have you sold your home?
Let us know if you have sold your principal residence. The CRA will only allow the principal residence exemption if you report the sale and designation of principal residence in your income tax return. If you forget, you can amend your return, but a penalty may apply.
Understanding your Investment Slips: T5, T3, T5008
T5 slips include interest and dividends and must be issued to you by February 28th. T3 slips show how much income you received from investing in mutual funds and income from trusts and an estate and can be issued as late as March 31st. A T5008 will show proceeds from a disposition of shares or mutual funds or when a GIC matures. You must report the proceeds and the cost to determine a gain or a loss. If the proceeds are from a GIC then the interest will be included on a T5 slip so there will be no gain or loss. Unfortunately, your tax preparer cannot tell if the proceeds are from a GIC or mutual fund/shares.
TIP: Some T5008 slips will only show the proceeds and not the cost so you must speak to your advisor or broker and request a gains and loss report before filing your tax return.
Professional Dues: Teachers, Nurses and Tradespeople
You can claim your annual professional dues required to keep a professional status.
Tip: Print your receipt before filing your tax return.
RRSP Contributions: Know your limit and contribute within it
Your RRSP limit is shown on your Notice of Assessment. Going over your limit may cost you 1% per month on the contributions that exceed your RRSP limit by more than $2,000. If you do not withdraw your excess amount, you must file a T1-OVP to calculate your 1% monthly penalty and pay the tax within 90 days after the calendar year to avoid late-filing penalties and interest. If you do not take action to deal with your over contributions, the CRA will eventually contact you but that could take years and in the meantime penalties and interest are accumulating.
Tip: The RRSP contribution slip for the first 60 days of the year is one of the most commonly forgotten slips. Note that if you make contributions in February, your slip will not be available until March.
Tuition Tax Credit: Federal and Provincial changes
The Federal tuition tax credit is still available, however, the federal education and textbook tax credit has been eliminated as of January 1, 2017. This change does not affect the ability to carry forward unused education and textbook amounts from years prior to 2017. Ontario will only allow eligible tuition fees paid for periods of enrolment before September 5, 2017, and education amounts for periods of enrolment before September 2017.
Tip: Colleges/Universities publish the T2202 tuition certificate online by February 28th. Students need to print the form and must sign when designating a transfer of credits to a parent.
Students renting off campus
Students can claim rent paid in 2017. A rent receipt must include the total paid in 2017, the address and your landlord’s signature (parking and utilities cannot be claimed).
Last chance to claim the transit amount
On your 2017 income tax return, you may claim a 15% non-refundable tax credit for the cost of eligible transit passes that are for the use of public transit services for the period January 1, 2017, to June 30, 2017. Lump sums loaded onto the presto card before July 1, 2017, are not eligible to deduct. The transit credit has been eliminated as of July 1, 2017.
Tip: Print your Presto usage report and bring a copy of your signed Presto card.
Home Accessibility Expenses
The Home Accessibility Tax Credit is a new Federal non-refundable tax credit of up to 15% on up to $10, 000 of eligible home renovation expenses. Qualifying individuals include seniors (age 65 & older at the end of the year) and individuals eligible for the disability tax credit. Tip: Receipts must show detailed explanation, amount and date of payment.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Do you have a Legal Representative? A legal representative is a person named Power of Attorney for Property and/or Executor of your Last Will. If you want someone you trust to sign your income tax return, you must advise the Canada Revenue Agency of your Legal Representative before filing your return. Bring in your Power of Attorney for property and Last Will and we can help you inform the CRA of your legal representative.
Disability Tax Credit
The disability tax credit is a non-refundable tax credit used to reduce the income tax you pay. It’s available for people with a severe and prolonged physical or mental impairment, subject to approval by the Canada Revenue Agency. It’s meant to help even out the tax burden by allowing some relief for disability costs since these are unavoidable additional expenses that other taxpayers don’t have to face.
If you and your spouse or common-law partner lived in separate residences for medical reasons, you can apply individually for the Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit. Bring in your property tax bill along with the annual receipt from the long-term care residence and we will apply for you.
You are not going to Jail!
Beware of people calling you claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency and threatening you. It’s a scam! The CRA will never ask you for your personal information or pressure you to pay with a transfer or gift cards and definitely not threaten an arrest. The police are advising that you just hang up. If the scammers give you a phone number, you can report the phone number to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
If you pay income tax and have medical expenses greater than 3% of your income, you may be eligible to deduct your medical expenses:
Assisted breathing devices
Health care premiums
Laser eye surgery
Attendant care / Long Term Care – can be claimed if you have been approved for the Disability Tax Credit.
*Tax Tip: Visit your dentist and pharmacist and request an annual report listing all purchases and cost to you. If you have insurance, print your annual claims report.
Students and low-income individuals may qualify for the refundable medical expense supplement.
Why do I need to keep my Notice of Assessment?
The notice of assessment (NOA) is confirmation that you have filed your income tax return and is proof of income. Should you apply for a mortgage or loan or file for a divorce or child support you will be asked for your NOA for the past 2 or 3 years
We love helping people and would love to share your thoughts with potential clients to help them understand how they can benefit from the service we offer. Please send your feedback to cindy[at]exceltaxservice.ca. Thank you for your time and kind support. We value your business and look forward to working with you again this tax season.
Self-employed as a Sole Proprietor
Being your own boss can be rewarding, but there is a lot to know. When do I start charging clients HST? Why do I have to make installment payments? Not sure of your obligations? Taking the time to learn about your legal obligations can save you hundreds of dollars in penalties and interest fees. You can call the Canada Revenue Agency’s Business Inquiries at 1-800-959-5525 and press the *star key to get an agent on the phone faster.
Preparing to file your income tax return with self-employed income
Want to keep your income tax preparation fees on the lower side? Add up your receipts at home and just bring in your totals to us. We have worksheets to help you get organized, just let us know if you are an HST registrant. E-mail us at: cindy[at]exceltaxservice.ca or aldo[at]exceltaxservice.ca
If you are self-employed or the spouse or common-law partner of someone who is, the deadline to file your 2017 income tax and benefit return is midnight on June 15, 2018.
The legislated due date for any balance owing is April 30.
Filing and remitting due dates vary depending on if you are a monthly, quarterly or annual filer.
Are you a sole proprietor with an annual HST reporting period?
If you are a sole proprietor with an annual reporting period and you use a calendar year your return is due June 15, but your payment is due no later than April 30. You can file your return together with your remittance by April 30, or remit the amount owing by April 30 and file the return separately by June 15.
Tip: Always show your tax preparer all correspondence received in the past year from the HST department, such as notices of assessment, filing requirements, access code and demands to file.