With only 10% of Canadians feeling their taxes were becoming simpler in 2016, according to a report from Calgary-based H&R Block Canada Inc., the company released a list of suggestions to help Canadians simplify the process of filing their taxes.
View the slideshow for ideas to share with your clients concerning their tax preparations as 2016 comes to a close:
Help your clients simplify their tax preparationsSlideshow
Be aware of key dates
Ensure your clients are aware that the deadline to file their personal tax return is May 1, 2017 while those who are self-employed will have a final filing date of June 15, 2017.
Keep track of major life events
Discuss events and situations with your clients that could affect their tax situations. These can include getting medical attention; taking care of a loved one who is suffering from an illness or has a disability; having a child; donating to charity; and suffering a loss in the stock market.
Encourage clients to organize their tax-relevant documents throughout the year. They should sort and label their statement of remuneration paid (T4) slips, statement of employment insurance benefits (T4E) slips and stock transaction slips separately, the report suggests. Supporting documents such as bills, receipts for transit passes, child-care expenses, charitable contribution receipts, and proof of paid tuition or other education-related costs can be held together.
Remind clients that many organizations will only send receipts to an email account or through an online service account. They should keep an eye out for important documentation through those means in addition to what comes in the mail.
Know who should file
Newcomers to Canada may believe falsely that they’re not required to file their taxes. It’s important that you discuss the tax obligations of Canadian residents if your clients have recently moved to the country. Even those with little to no income benefit from filing their taxes as they become eligible automatically for tax credits and benefits such as the Canada Child Benefit.
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