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It’s Tax Time!

Getting ready for tax season

It’s that time of year. Time to put together your personal tax paperwork.

Are all your receipts in a grocery bag or shoe box? That’s ok, it happens to the best of us. 

Now is the time to organize and transfer all the necessary items into a nice, neat package for your Tax preparer…even if that’s You!

Does tax time cause you unnecessary stress or make you anxious? 

Don’t worry, applying some simple but effective preparation strategies will boost your success.

Breathe. It just takes a little organizing and planning.

Block all sources of distraction away from your workspace.

Your cell phone, social networks, household chores ~ resist the urge to multitask. 

Devote your attention to comprehend the material thoroughly.

Start the process early.  

In Canada, tax filing for individual tax returns must be submitted to the Canada Revenue Agency before April 30th. 

Don’t wait. Get started right away. It may not be fun, but it must be done.

The earlier you file the sooner you get the refund, so why wouldn’t you file early?

Set a personal target date two weeks ahead of the true deadline to avoid last minute stress.

You’ll be sitting pretty, let everyone else stress the scramble. 

How do you prepare for tax season? Which receipts should you keep?

If you wish you had a better understanding, you can learn more about Taxes on the Canada Revenue Agency website:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/dctrs/lrn-tx/menu-eng.html

Decide if you want to file yourself or have someone else prepare for you.

In any case, it is your responsibility to put the documents in order and provide current records.

Scanning your documents is a great way to keep things organized & to keep a back up. 

Be sure to label the digital documents wisely for easy retrieval.

Each title should be consistent & include both the tax year “2016” and the word “Tax”, plus an intelligent description.

Organization is key.

How will your return be done? Submit Manually or digitally?

Considerations ~ What personal life events have taken place in 2016?

Perhaps the arrival of a new child or departure of a child that’s left the nest. 

Maybe a change in your address or marital status? 

Consider any important information to communicate.

Here are some examples of items that may require attention.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/lf-vnts/menu-eng.html

 

Make a checklist of your income sources & tax receipts to submit. 

(for example: salary, investment income, employers, mutual funds, banks) 

Gather all records on your checklist.

Separate expense receipts using categories.

Prepare a list of key questions you want to remember to ask your tax professional.

How organized are your past returns, should you look at organizing them as well?

Refine the process.

You can always do better for next year. Assess your current systems. 

How can I do better and make this easier? Create a second revised checklist for next year.

At the end of this process ask yourself ~ 

What cost saving, time saving tax planning system do you wish to have in place now? 

Start preparing for next year’s tax year, today. 

A little organization each month throughout the year will make this job much easier come next tax season.

Lastly, splurge for a stylish new container to designate for all 2017 incoming tax receipts. Something perfect for collecting all those papers in order…bye, bye shoebox.

NEAT SPACES  has helped many people and small business’s to get their paperwork organized for tax time and then to set up a system so next year is easy peasy!

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant. This article explains the process of how I “organize” for my tax season. This is not professional tax advice, nor am I responsible for your taxes. Please contact a qualified accountant for questions related to preparation of your taxes.