10 Tips For Preparing For The Tax Season | Refresh Financial
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10 Tips For Preparing For The Tax Season

 Tips For Preparing For The Tax Season

It might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it's time to start preparing for tax season. If you feel like you're in the dark when it comes to knowing what to do, this blog should help clear things up. Here are some useful tips for preparing for the tax season.

1. Register for a CRA account

When it comes to filing your taxes, a CRA account will make things a lot easier, since it allows you to see your previous tax filings and gives you access to information you may need for this year's taxes. Now is a great time to get started with gaining full access to your CRA information as it takes some time to go through the verification process. You can begin here.

2. Access your T4s on your CRA account

There's no longer any need to wait for you T4's to be mailed out to you. You can easily access them, going back several years, within your CRA account. Learn how to access old or lost T4s. 

3. Set up automatic deposits for faster refunds

Your CRA account now gives you the option to set up automatic deposits. This way, when it comes time to file, you'll get your tax refund as soon as your taxes are assessed.

4. Collect receipts for employment purposes

Did you know you can claim expenses related to your employment? It’s true. Writing off employment expenses isn’t just for business owners. You can do it, too. Save the receipts from client lunches, gas for the company car, business travel expenses and more. Note that you can only claim it if it’s in your contract of employment. You also have to fill out a form called a Declaration of Conditions of Employment.

5. Keep track of student loan interest

If you’re actively paying off your student loans, the interest paid during the tax year can be claimed as a tax credit.

6. Collect your medical expense receipts

Did you know you can claim all of your medical expenses on your taxes? Doing this could be the difference between owing and getting a refund, so make sure you collect as all the medical expense receipts you can before you file.

7. File your taxes even if you had no income last year

Filing your taxes gets you access to significant credits and benefits which is why it's always a good idea to file, regardless of whether you made any income or not. Read more on this topic here. 

8. Make sure you file on time

Filing your taxes on time ensures that if you end up owing the government anything, you will not incur any interest or penalties on that amount. If you don’t end up owing any money, filing on time will mean you get your refund faster. Didn't file your taxes? Check out what you need to know!

9. Don't procrastinate

Waiting until the last minute to file your taxes doesn't give you any time to prepare receipts or applicable statements and means you will likely miss out on valuable credits and benefits. Save yourself the stress and headache and start the filing process early to enjoy the most savings possible.

10. Make use of tax software like Tax Chopper

Tax Chopper and similar software can make filing your taxes a lot easier. It's not free, but it's money well spent if it helps you get a bigger refund and faster. However, there are times when doing your own taxes are more beneficial.

6 Reasons To Do Your Own Taxes

We know it sounds scary, but hear us out! Here are several reasons you should do your own taxes.

1. It's not as hard as you think

- Taxes always feel like a nightmare. Sifting through receipts, invoices, and T4s seems like a lot of work, but it's often not. Nowadays, you have your T4s available on your CRA account and tax software that takes you through each step making it super simple. Most people are able to fly through the process and be done in less than a half an hour.

2. It costs less

- This one should be obvious since you don't have to pay anyone to do your taxes. Many tax services aren't cheap, and the cost can cut into any tax refund you might get. Wouldn't it be better to keep your full refund and pay down some debts or start a savings account?

3. You'll learn how to budget

- When you do your own taxes, you can't help but absorb useful information about your finances. In fact, it's a great opportunity to formulate a budget, if you haven't already.

4. Privacy

- When you hire someone to do your taxes, you have to sign a release which allows them to access your private information. If you're concerned about safety, you can bypass the hassle by doing it all yourself.

5. No appointments to attend

- It might not be massively important, but it's also convenient. You can stay at home and do your taxes in your pajamas when the time suits you.

6. Accomplish something

- Don't roll your eyes, because you know it's true. Tackling something you're not looking forward to is the fastest way to feeling that sense of accomplishment.

Whether or not you choose to use a tax service is entirely up to you. The benefits of doing your taxes yourself may not outweigh the convenience of having someone do it for you. We recommend that you give it a try!

Hopefully you'll walk away from tax time with a nice refund. Will you do the smart thing with that extra cash? Here are some suggestions to make the best use of your tax refund. 

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Don't let poor credit stand in the way of your financial dreams! The sooner you start building credit, the sooner you will qualify for lower interest credit products that can get you the things you want in life, like a new car, or even a mortgage. Refresh Financial has a credit building program that can boost your credit score faster than you thought!

 

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