Ten Things to Give Your Tax Preparer

Ten Things to Give Your Tax PreparerWith the tax season coming up, tax professionals across the region will be virtually flooded with people looking to hire a professional to help them with their tax return.

Since many of them charge by the hour, and since their time is in demand at this time of year, these are a few hints to help make your visit as quick and painless as possible.

Below, I’ve listed the top 10 things you can do to help your tax professional prepare your taxes.

1.     Have it All Together. Make sure your paperwork is all gathered before you drop off your files.  If you know something is missing, give your tax preparer a note of what is missing, and then get those items A.S.A.P.  This will allow the preparer to get a head start while you finish gathering what you need.

2.     Be Organised. The less time your preparer has to spend wading through the piles of paperwork to find the numbers they need, the better it will be for both of you.

3.     Personal Information. One of the first things you will need to supply is your personal information and the information for your family members, fist and last names, dates of birth, Social Insurance Numbers, and so on, this will help insure you clam all the credits and deductions you are entitled.

4.     Last Year’s Tax Info. Your tax professional will request that you bring last year’s Notice of Assessment and or tax return, including a detailed listing of any installment payments you have made towards the next years taxes and any carry forwards of tax credits.

5.       Income verification.  Providing all your T4s,T5’s, RRSP contribution slips or any other income summaries (such as T4Es, from Employment Insurance). The T-slips are the only way of calculating wages and deductions allowed by CRA for an employee.  If you are missing income slips and don’t know how to get them ask you tax professional.  They can have you sign an additional form and they can request the information directly from Revenue Canada.

6.     Foreign Pensions.  If you collect a monthly pension amount from any country outside of Canada you need to provide you’re preparer with detailed information about your claim, including amounts received and any foreign taxes paid.

7.     Charitable Donations. If you make charitable donations, you MUST provide the official charitable receipts as proof of the donations. Cheque stubs and pledge slips do not qualify.

8.     Investment or Trust Income.  If you have any kind of investment related income, you must provide purchase and sales information for all stocks sold in the tax year.

9.       Additional Credits.  Bring all relevant back up for any additional provincial or federal credits you may want to claim. Buss passes, daycare receipts, children’s fitness amounts are all claimable but under specific circumstances and all require receipts to back them up. Check here to get all the forms you might need

10.   Don’t wait until the last minute.   Once you have all your files together bring them in and get them started.

By providing your accountant with the paperwork listed above, right from the start, you will make it easier for them to calculate your tax return in a more efficient way.

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