Let’s put it this way math is hard…well for many of us. According to the National Post math skills have been declining for the past 10 plus years in Canada, this based on students, nonetheless it doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better for us. Now it’s tax season and most don’t have a clue what we’re doing and from the sounds of the current curriculum this isn’t changing anytime soon. Thank God some people actually learned how to do taxes so you don’t have too!
Let’s put it this way it’s probably best you hire an accountant or tax preparer than to try and DIY your taxes. Sure there are great programs out there but are they going to be able to tell if you’re missing a tax slip? The answer: Not Likely.
- Accountants and tax preparers can make sure you have all your slips, they may also find tax credits you are eligible for that you didn’t even know about.
- They can tell you what you can and can’t claim. You may treat your dog like a child but unfortunately the CRA wont let you claim them as a dependent.
- If you’re self-employed hiring a professional can make a world of difference. They’ll help with tax deductions and can also provide tax planning. There a many tax deductions for self-employed individuals that you may not be aware of. However, claiming your iguana for your home daycare is not tax deductible (yes someone has actually tried this).
- Owning a rental is great but when it comes time to do your taxes it doesn’t seem so great. An accountant or tax preparer can help you with any streams of income you may earn.
- To top it all off the CRA changes the amounts you can claim every year on different credits making it even more complicated for non-tax professionals to understand what the heck is going on.
Make sure you know where you're going and who you’re going to. Typically local accounting firms have accountants with CPA designations and trained tax professionals with years of experience. Chain tax preparation places often have individuals who are not accountants or have just learned how to do taxes the week before tax season. It is probably best to work with someone who
A. Knows what they’re doing and
B. Is aware of all the tax credits that are available to Canadians.
At first glance tax returns may look like a paint by colours but in reality they can be quite complex.