Tips For Doing Your Own Taxes

It’s that time of year again – tax season! Now, before you groan or hide under your bed, we’ve got simple tips for making preparing your taxes a snap. You don’t have to drop anything and get your income tax completed and filed pronto, but it’s time to start gathering together all the information and forms you’ll need to get the job done.

Here are some tips for getting prepared:

  1. Organize your receipts and tax slips: By having everything on hand before you start, you’ll save yourself tons of time (and grief). These include:
    • Income sources: All your income needs to be reported including T-slips, tips, rental income and bank/stock
    • Expenses: Common expenses include child care, business expenses for self-employed or small business owners, investment management fees.
    • Eligible medical expenses! This is one of the most commonly missed deductions that can help get you a refund.
    • Bank statements, brokerage and credit card bills: Some tax creditsneed to be supported by your banking statements, and not just your receipts.
  2. Find last year’s Notice of Assessment: It has your RRSP deduction limit and carry forward amounts you’ll need for this year’s return.
  3. Sign up for direct depositIt’s fast, free and convenient as it puts your tax refund directly into your bank account. Starting in April 2016, the CRA is making direct deposit mandatory for everyone.
  4. Make sure you qualify for Netfile:  While you no longer need a code to use Netfile, you should make sure you qualify to submit your taxes through Netfile.  If you are a procrastinator, you don’t want to realize at the last minutethat you aren’t able to file electronically and end up filing late.
  5. Sign up for the CRA’s My Account ServiceThis free service allows you to track your refund, view or change your return, check your benefit and credit payments and your RRSP limit, set up direct deposit, and more.
  6. Have your Social Insurance Number handy: This will make it easy to create a TurboTax account that you can access whenever you like and save your work. And if you are claiming dependant credits for anyone (such as your spouse, kids or parents) you’ll need their SIN numbers as well.

And, using TurboTax to file your taxes is a breeze. We ask you simple questions about your year then guide you through your return and find all the deductions and credits you are qualified for. You just follow these four steps, or SERF:

Step 1: Sign in: Set up your username and password, and return to TurboTax as often as you need to finish your return.

Step 2: Enter your info: TurboTax will map out every step for you, make all necessary calculations and provide updates on the amount of your return.

Step 3: Review your return: TurboTax will also review your return before filing to find every tax deduction and credit you deserve, helping you keep all of your hard-earned money.

Step 4: File your return: File online using NETFILE and TurboTax will walk you through every step. Alternatively, you can print and mail your completed return to the CRA. Using Netfile is the fastest way to get your return – in as little as 8 days!

Published by Turbo Tax