Canada Day: Stat holiday pay. Are you eligible?

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And it smells groovy….

Fireworks, road trips, bubbles, smiles and fun. The long weekend is almost upon us with Canada Day celebrations at every corner.

So before you lock up the office to celebrate Canada’s big 150th this long weekend let’s figure out if you are eligible for statutory holiday pay.

In B.C., an employee is eligible if they’ve been employed for 30 calendar days before the stat holiday and have worked or earned wages on 15 of those 30 days. So if your employee, Susie, began work on June 1st and has worked 15 days since June 1st, she gets paid for Canada Day, whether she works on Canada Day or not.

Eligibility is determined by days worked, rather than hours, meaning it applies to both full-time and part-time employees, although the 15-day stipulation rules out most part-time employees.

At Homeroom, if we’re taking care of your payroll, it’s up to you to tell us which employees are eligible or not. This policy might vary from bookkeeper to bookkeeper, so make sure you know!

If you’re taking care of it yourself, here’s how you’d figure out Susie’s stat pay for Canada Day. Take the total hours she worked in the 30 days before the stat holiday and divide it by the number of days worked, then multiply by her rate of pay. Let’s say Susie worked 60 hours in 16 days and earns $25 per hour, she would be paid $93.75 on Canada Day (60/16 x 25 = 93.75).

Now let’s say that Susie is a keener and she agrees to work on Canada Day. Eligible employees are paid time-and-a-half for the first 12 hours on a stat holiday. This is in addition to the stat pay that we calculated in the previous paragraph.

However, all this changes if your employee worked less than 15 days since June 1st. In that case, they’re not eligible for stat holiday pay and if they work a stat holiday, they’re paid as if it were a regular work day.

In B.C., there are 10 stat holidays: New Years Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, B.C. Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, and Christmas Day. As an employer, you can choose to give more, such as, Easter Monday or Boxing Day, and can work out a custom agreement with your employees for these days.

Tax Installment Series: Paying your income tax by installments

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Tax installments never looked cuter…

Whether you spell it “instalment” or “installment”, it comes down to this: If you ever got hit with a large tax bill on April 30th, you’ve probably considered making an installment, or a regular income tax payment, to avoid paying in a lump sum. Suddenly, your balance owing will seem a lot less, “I’m gonna have to go live with squirrels” and way more “OMG, I got this!”

As part of our new blog series, each week, we will look at paying your net tax owing by installments, answering the questions below:

  • what items to consider when deciding if you have to pay by tax installments and why you should pay by tax installments
  • when do you have to pay your 2017 installments and how to calculate your installment payment

Get ready for cool and informative weekly posts on one of our most asked questions, especially during tax time. Amazing conversation starter alert.

#FridayFeeling: How are we doing at the busiest time of year?

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While many tax firms slave away, droopy-shouldered and sad-faced, to meet their deadlines by working late nights, skipping meals, and glaring at their computer screens until their eyes cry, the Homeroom team is chill. Zero stress, no overtime hours, and everyone’s happy! And we’re hitting goals. So, what’s the secret to work-time bliss? 

 

“Want chocolate?” the Solution Seeker Alan bounced out of the office kitchen area grinning, holding a thin, rectangular package in his hands.

We all motioned, ” YES!”

“It’s green!” noticed the Gatekeeper Anja as she hesitantly broke off a piece and popped it into her mouth.

“It tastes like white chocolate,” added the Task Buster Michelle. She stopped and chewed slowly, looking half scared and half amused, seemingly concentrating on the flavours of the melting chocolate.

“It’s matcha. It means green tea,” confirmed Alan, who’s had green chocolate before and approves of its healthier-than-most-chocolate benefits. “Oh, wait! The package says there’s also white chocolate in there.”

“I knew it!” Michelle jumped to her feet. “I know my chocolate!”

The Lady in Charge Teya took a bite. Her face scrunched up. “Green chocolate? I can taste very little chocolate in here….”

 

It’s April, and this is our  busiest time of the year. For real, though.

 

It’s 3pm. The Gatekeeper Anja has one more hour left to go. (She is not keeping track but this blog assignment begs keen observation skills!) She had graduated from slight head banging to outsinging the radio that is blasting fun throwback beats from behind, like N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” and K-Ci and JoJo’s “Crazy.”

Anja is working at a leisurely pace to finish up next week’s tasks. Yes, she is ahead and loving it. She stops to gulp down some fresh H2O, laughs about nothing, and continues to work. No, she is not stressed. She is happy.

Her phone shakes the desk gently and rings a chirpy tune to notify the team: It’s time to stretch.

As we get into our regular circular stretch formation, and open chests to the ceiling, Homeroom client Monique Harris, owner of Moksha Yoga East Vancouver, walks in. She pauses at the door with a smile: “Wow! It’s like I walked into my studio”.

The Number Cruncher Allysia stretches her legs to the water machine to fill up. The Lone Wolf Kevin has  just returned from his lunch break. He’s on track and feeling good. He stops to chat with Allysia about the sixth ROE he had to do this week.

Teya is powering though Homeroom E-Returns behind her stand-up desk. “I’m on a roll!” She even has time to leave early to pick up her son Jules from school. Thanks to our secure online tax submissions, there hasn’t been many tax appointments. More free time for clients, and speedier filings for us!

Life at the office is good.

So, how are we able to reach a stress-free, no overtime, goal smashing work pace? Because in the midst of a busy, fast-paced day, we don’t forget to stop and taste the chocolate!

 

 

 

Does the idea of dropping-off your taxes give you the smileys?

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As part of our fun and timely tax-filing blog series, we looked at the in-person tax appointment and the Homeroom E-Return as two great ways to get’er done. But not everybody has the luxury of sitting through their tax-filing or lounging on their bed and snapping pictures of their tax documentation and submitting electronically, especially with Netflix in the way.

This week, we cover the Homeroom’s drop-off option for the swamped and the practical. Simply, drop and go. Leave the rest to us.

 

Here are some pros and cons (Yes!! and Oh, Poo!) of dropping-off your taxes at our office:

 

“I’m a busy lady. If I was a fictional character, I would be The White Rabbit from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Wigged out, clutching a watch, and late”

 

YES!!

Homeroom’s drop-off option allows you to pop by our office anytime during our business hours to drop-off your tax documentation. The Homeroom’s lively team will offer you a cup of water to catch your breath while we get some of your personal information eg: Address, SIN #, and make sure nothing has changed since last year if you are an existing client. Then we will send you on your merry way to catch that appointment you’re running late for 🙂

OH, POO!

You could have saved yourself loads of time by requesting the Homeroom E-Return. Simply, snap pictures or scan your tax paperwork to us from wherever, whenever. It’s never too late to submit to us electronically. Unless it’s AFTER April 30th……

 

“Tech is wack. I need to see to whom I am handing off my precious tax docs. Even if it is the second priciest option you offer. Things get lost in the interwebs, and I do not want to see my  T4 sold on Craigslist to the highest bidder.”

 

YES!!

We hear you. Drop off your tax paperwork at our office to ensure it is personally received by our staff. Got separation anxiety? Stay as we label your folder and neatly put it away into the “to be filed” section in the back. We will offer encouraging words like, “It is in safe hands” and, “We will courier or mail your folder back as soon as we file your tax return.”

 

OH, POO!

You could have kept all your documentation and securely submitted all your tax documentation to us electronically from wherever by requesting the Homeroom E-Return. We would ensure all your files have been received and would have scheduled a phone call if your tax situation proved hairy. Next time, next time!

 

“I’m a babe-on-the-go. I’d rather drop and run. There’s always someone waiting for me, talking to me…looking at me..”

 

YES!!

Our drop-off option allows you to quickly submit all your tax docs to us in person. It is deal for anyone who prefers to personally hand-off their taxes but has no time to watch their taxes get filed.

OH, POO!

By requesting the Homeroom E-Return, you could have submitted all your tax docs electronically while having lunch at your fave cafe. Now you have to run and the idea of messing up your hair is giving you the freaks…

You are welcome to drop off your taxes at our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

 

We will be closed on Friday, April 14th for Easter long weekend.

Happy Easter!

So you think the in-person tax appointment is THE filing option for you?

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Even the Lone Wolf Kevin seeks occasional human contact, especially when it comes to filing his tax return. In a good handshake he trusts!

 

Last week, we profiled the Homeroom E-Return as part of our weekly blog series: “Which type of Homeroom tax filing option is perfect for you?

This week, we take a look at the in-person appointment with pros and cons (Yes!! and Oh, Poo!) through real-life inspired scenarios:

 

“I’m an old-school gal with a flair for reading people’s energy vibes. Basically, zero human contact is a deal breaker.”

 

YES!!

By going with the in-person appointment, you get the perk of the face-to-face experience by sitting through your tax filing. That is, 30-60 minutes of sensing the Lady in Charge Teya’s presence as she works her tax magic in front of you!

 

OH, POO!

You could be in your PJs….or at a human healing workshop. Submit your documentation electronically from wherever by requesting the Homeroom E-Return and let the pros take care of it. You have better things to do anyway, like saving emotional lives!

 

“I’m a go-getter guy with a sturdy handshake and a killer smile. If there is any chance this can help my tax return, I will take it.”

 

YES!!

Work on your physique while you wait for the Lady in Charge to file your return on the spot. The upright sitting position can do wonders for your back! Walk out with your head held high.

OH, POO!

Submitting online could have bought you more bathroom time as no appointment is required. Yes, more time to work on looking good!

 

“I’m the Queen of Questions. I need someone there to answer them ALL. I don’t care how much it costs!”

 

YES!!

While the in-person appointment is the priciest option, it allows you to talk to the Lady in Charge directly as she files your tax return. She is there to answer all your questions as she simultaneously works on your return.

OH, POO!

You could have requested the Homeroom E-Return and still had all your questions answered by scheduling a phone call. Sure the money is replaceable…but no one can bring back time…..

Look out for the blog post on dropping-off your tax documentation next week, or request an in-person appointment  here.

 

 

 

 

Is the Homeroom E-Return the ideal tax-filing option for YOU?

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The scrap piece of paper floating above the Number Cruncher Allysia’s head comes from a family of reused receipts, serving as the ideal platform for chicken scratch and in-house receipts.

Last week, we introduced our new blog series that will focus on Homeroom’s tax-filing options. This week, the Gatekeeper Anja zooms in on the Homeroom E-Return through various scenarios and pros and cons ( “Yes’s” and “Oh, Poo’s”) in digestible bites to help you pick the best choice for you!

“I cherish my lazy mornings and yearn for quality bedtime”

 

YES!!

The Homeroom E-Return allows you to file from wherever, whenever. All you need is a steady Wi-Fi connection and a laptop or phone. Simply, request the E-Return here and we will email you the instructions on how to securely submit your tax documentation.

OH, POO!

You won’t have a reason to pop into our fabulous office space on West Broadway to get the scoop on the Lady in Charge Teya’s recent wedding or to join in on the fun and casual daily stretches.

“I’m a ‘Best Bang For My Buck’ type of chick”

 

YES!!

By requesting the Homeroom E-Return, you will get the best Homeroom rate. This year, we are encouraging everyone to take advantage of our quick and convenient online filing option by extending last year’s rate to all online filers.

OH, POO!

Can there even be a con for more money in your pocket?

 

“I might be a tough dude on the outside, but I have a soft spot for the environment forever!”

 

YES!!

Save paper by going with our super cool online Homeroom E-Return option. All forms are electronically signable. No printer or scanner required. Do it all from your phone! No need to print countless pages of your tax return. We will securely email you your final copy, with an option to print if you reeeeally wish. This way, you are also saving gas, and helping make the world a cleaner, healthier, forever home for us all.

OH, POO!

Even the witty Anja could not think of a con for saving trees.

 

Request the Homeroom E-Return here, or stay tuned for next week’s blog post that will feature the in-person tax appointment.

When you owe, but your cash flow is low

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Once upon a time, this cup was filled to the brim, and a juicy olive accompanied the tooth pick that now quietly rests on the desk….

 

Nothing like receiving the little brown envelope from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reminding you of your tax debt as you reluctantly stare at your empty fridge, which is a depressingly on-point indication of your current financial situation.

Here’s what you should do and/ or consider, like, NOW:

  • Make a payment arrangement: Call the CRA and set up an agreement to make smaller payments over time until your debt and applicable interest is paid. Ignoring the CRA will only amp up any financial and/ or legal consequences. IMPORTANT: The CRA may also charge interest compounded daily at the prescribed rate on any amount owing until your balance is paid in full.
    • Here are three ways you can work with CRA to set up a payment agreement today. No one likes to be ignored.
  • Considering bankruptcy? Go to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy for more information.
  • Business owner? You might qualify for taxpayer relief from penalties and interest charges and reduce your total amount you or your business owes. See  Taxpayer relief provisions if your business qualifies.
  • Financial hardship provisions: Does your debt repayment make it hard for you to pay for food, utilities, housing, and other life essentials? You may qualify for help under the financial hardship provisions.
    • It is your responsibility to contact the CRA if repaying your debt is causing you financial hardship. The CRA will take your situation into account when reviewing your request. For more information and to see if you qualify, call 1-866-864-5823.

Stretch your tax worries away, and request the Homeroom E-return today.

Tax high-fives!

 

 

Stay in the know: Income tax changes that might impact your 2016 return (and save you some dough!)

Homeroom’s Gatekeeper Anja Konjicanin decided to stay in the know this year by going to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website to see what’s new in the tax world in 2017. What she discovered blew her mind (in a good way!) While she’d rather be battling a Poké gym, she is aware taxes not only impact her but everyone else too! Go Anja!

 

Are you fiercely awaiting to get your 2016 taxes filed?

Tax-filing season is around the corner, and now is the prime time to learn about how you and your family can save come tax time!

Here ‘s what’s new for 2017 tax-filing season,  according to the CRA:

 

  • Working income tax benefit: Got a low income? You might be eligible for this refundable tax credit which was designed to provide tax relief to low-income Canadian workers. Eligible individuals and families may be able to apply for advance payments.
  • Buying or selling a home? If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be able to claim $5,000 for the purchase of a qualifying home in 2016. You may also be eligible to participate in the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). Go here to learn more.
  • Students save with extra credits: File on time if you want credits and save big this term! Find out how here.
  • Children’s arts tax credit: While the additional amount of $500 for children eligible for the disability tax credit has not changed, the maximum eligible fees in the year is reduced from $500 to $250. Find out more here.
  • Child disability benefit: You might be eligible for this tax-free benefit if you care for a child under the age of 18 who is eligible for the disability tax credit.

Request the Homeroom E-return today and leave the tax filing to us!

We start processing tax returns on March 1.

Happy tax time!

What if you don’t have all your tax slips?

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Do you have all your income tax information neatly clipped in a smooth-surfaced Manila folder ready to go for tax season 2017? (Bonus points for dressing up your tax folder in self-affirming stickers that scream “AWESOME!!” or, “YOU ARE A STAR”).

If you are stonily shaking your head, read on:

Slips are provided by your employer, payer or administrator.

You should receive most of your slips and receipts by the end of February. However, T3 (Statement of Trust Income Allocations and Designations), and T5013 (Statement of Partnership Income) slips do not have to be sent before the end of March.

Still, by the time March rolls in, you might find yourself seething at the sight of your mail carrier, who’s brought you EVERYTHING—even Bob’s mail, and you don’t even KNOW a Bob—but your precious tax slips.

Take a moment to:

  1. Breathe
  2. Repeat this mantra: I will not go to jail, I will not go to jail, I will not go to jail
  3. Read this blog post about how to fetch your slips

Here are three ways to get a copy of your tax slips for the current year:

  • Ask your employer, or the issuer of the slip, for a copy
  • Complete a T1013 form. This allows a third-party (your accountant..us!) to view your tax information online. We issue this form to all our clients to make tax season as painless as possible.

T1013, CRA

IMPORTANT: If you have to file a return for 2016, file it on time even if some slips or receipts are missing.

Obtaining a slip for prior years

If you need a T-slip for a prior year, you can get a copy by:

Ta-Da!! The CRA opens its online filing services February 20. Homeroom starts filing March 1!

You got this!!

Request the Homeroom E-return today here. We’ll take care of the rest!

 

 

 

What is the Homeroom E-return?

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Here’s what you need to do:

  • Request an e-return online
  • We’ll email you instructions on how to upload your documents
  • Snap pictures of your T4s, etc., and securely upload them
  • Homeroom processes your paperwork and contacts you with any questions
  • Homeroom sends you a tax return draft in PDF format
  • You approve by electronically signing
  • Homeroom e-files your taxes
  • Homeroom sends you your filed tax return PDF

Benefits:

Save time and money (and paper!) by getting the best Homeroom rate. No paying for parking, no sitting in traffic, no waiting for your appointment.