Good news for procrastinators! This year you have two extra days to file your tax return, until May 2 at midnight, to be exact. But I’m prodding you into action early so you have ample time to organize your documents and maximize your deductions.
Get a file folder or envelope to store your tax slips which will arrive shortly. Also, start digging out your medical receipts. Don’t forget travel costs (hotel, gas, meals) for things such as hospital treatment or tests, travel health care insurance, health insurance premiums, dentistry and various forms of therapy, all of which are deductible medical expenses.
To help prepare you for the big tax filing event, H&R Block Canada’s tax advisory service has addressed some of the most common concerns among 2,000 on-line questions from 2010.
Employers must file T4s with the Canada Revenue Agency. If yours doesn’t turn up and the employer isn’t helpful, call the CRA for a copy. Don’t delay until mid-April, or you’ll be waiting in long telephone queues and the slip might not arrive by the deadline.
It’s all about one word -- reasonable. Don’t try to write off 50 per cent of your mortgage interest if your home office is in a 10 by 10 corner of the basement.
It’s a no-go as a deduction for most employees. There are some exceptions, so make a call to the CRA to determine if you are among them.
After 12 continuous months of living together you’re a couple, according to the CRA. Do state your status correctly as benefits and some tax credits are determined based on household income. The CRA could ask for re-payment if you fudge the facts.
There is no inheritance tax in Canada but if you received stocks, mutual funds or other investments in the settlement of an estate you might have capital gains or losses. Investments are deemed to have been sold on the date of death.
Getting a head start on your taxes means you’re less likely to make mistakes or miss money saving deductions.