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You can do it: File your taxes on time!

baby crying tax

Wah, scream, scratch. Tax season can make the best of us rip out our hair in a deadline frenzy, then hurl our bodies into a dark corner, where no one (*cough* CRA *cough*) can ever find us, ever, ever again.

Do this instead.

File and pay your taxes on time otherwise you risk serious consequences, especially if you owe the CRA money. And while the task can seem daunting at best, the CRA can be pretty reasonable, but, just like a hungry baby, they do NOT like to be ignored.

Income Tax CRA Deadlines

  • The personal income tax deadline is April 30 IF you have taxes owing. If you don’t have taxes owing, you are not required to file a return. However, we recommend that you do so anyway to get your refund and stay eligible for government benefits such as GST cheques, child tax benefits, premium assistance for MSP and Fair Pharmacare.

  • The income tax deadline for self-employed individuals is very deceiving. If you don’t owe taxes you have until June 15th to file HOWEVER if you owe taxes you need to pay them prior to April 30. without doing your tax return you have no idea what is owing, so we recommend that you file your taxes for the April 30 to avoid interest.

GST

  • Annual GST payment and filing for  incorporated companies is due March 31st, 2017

  • Annual GST payment and filing for sole proprietors is due  April 30th, 2017 despite the fact that your remittance form will say June 15 as the due date. Please see above regarding deceiving deadlines for self-employed individuals.

Employer Deadlines

  • T4’s must be filed with the CRA and given out to your employees before Feb 28, 2017, if you want to avoid late penalties, which are $25/day.

What are installments??

So you have filed your taxes and discovered that you owe the CRA a lot more money than you expected. You feel your heart sink, you cry for a while and you curse the government for ruining your life.

Just as you finally begin to accept your fate and begrudgingly drain your bank account to pay off your mammoth bill, you receive an installment notification from the CRA. This notification informs you that due to the fact that you owed the government more than $3000 on your previous tax return you are now required to make quarterly tax installment payments (pay your taxes in advance) for the current year. If this isn’t bad enough the fine print will notify you that the first payment is due right away and that failure to pay the amounts requested by their due dates will result in interest being charged.

Although not every person with a bill over $3000 will receive this notification, you should plan to receive it so that you are mentally AND financially prepared.

Important Information about Installments

  • If you DO NOT get an installment reminder, you DO NOT need to pay installments, unless you would like to voluntarily.

  • Installment payments are typically due in March, June, September, and December.

  • You will get a statement of installments paid from the CRA that you will need when you file your taxes.

  • Installment interest will be charged if you receive an installment reminder and you fail to pay the amount owing in full by the due date.

Exceptions to the Rule

If you anticipate your income for the year is going to be much lower than your previous years’ income eg. you are going on maternity leave and won’t be working for 5 months of the year.

Contact the CRA and discuss this with them. If your tax owing at the end of the year is below $3000 then you won’t be penalized for not paying the installments.

If you need help filing your income tax please don’t hesitate to contact Homeroom SBS today.

Happy tax season!

Avoid CRA penalties

Income Tax Filing Vancouver

Unleash your inner beach diva mid tax season, and rejoice!

Whether you’re ripping the waves in Tofino, or lounging at home with a bird’s nest do, file you e-return whenever, wherever.

Our quick and easy electronic tax filing option is a great alternative for anyone who prefers hassle-free, no appointment necessary service.

April 30th filing deadline is approaching as quick as the Easter bunny. Save time and paper, and avoid CRA penalties.

And don’t let taxes stop you from quality time on the beach.

Fill out the form below, and request an e-return today!

If you know someone who needs help with their taxes, please forward this post to them. We always appreciate your referrals. 🙂

Request an e-return

 

So you think you can claim that expense?

IMG_5749

That’s Michelle Chand, our cool new intern, and a messy bookkeeping project on her lap we call The Big Blue. But all you see is your face,  stuck amid a pile of receipts you are not even sure you can claim as a business expense and a mean clock ticking down to tax time? We can help!

So, you just got a styling hairdo at your favourite salon and a fancy Aritzia number to go with it.  But can you claim your new look come tax season?

Every year around this time, clients come in, confused about what they can and can’t claim.

So, we decided to bust common tax myths:

Home office Tax Myths:

  • Your Dog is not a security expense – You laugh but this is a legit thing people try to claim! We repeat if you have a home office you cannot claim any expenses related to your dog as a security expense. That means vet bills, dog food and hours spent loving your dog are not under any circumstances tax deductible.

  • Home office deductions are based on the percentage of your home that you use to conduct business NOT  the size of your home. You need to calculate: square footage of business area and divide that by the square footage of your home. Storage space for business supplies and/or tools also can be included in your calculations as an area used for business.

Clothing Tax Myths:

  • GENERAL CLOTHING CANNOT BE WRITTEN OFF UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. The only benefit you are going to get from purchasing some new work threads is the satisfaction of looking really good. The only exception to the rule is safety clothing such as hard hats or steel toe boots and company branded clothing that is considered a uniform.

  • Dry Cleaning is only deductible if you are having a company uniform cleaned. That beautiful Armani Jacket you own unfortunately needs to be cleaned at your own expense.

Food Tax Myths:

  • A legitimate meal expense is one where you are going out with a colleague or potential client to discuss business. Going for a solo lunch while working doesn’t count for a meal. You should also record the name and number of the client you are meeting with on the meal receipt.

NOTE: In an audit of one of our clients, the auditor asked to see each meal receipts with the name and phone number of the person who was present at the meal AND a description of the type of business that was discussed.

Vehicle Tax Myths:

  • Just because your vehicle is branded doesn’t mean that you write off 100 percent of vehicle expenses. Auto expenses are calculated based on the percentage of the year’s total km’s that are driven for business purposes. That said the expense of having your car branded is 100 percent deductible as an advertising expense.

Client Gift Tax Myths

  • If you purchase liquor or any type of gift certificate from a restaurant, for example, a Starbucks or Whole Foods gift certificate, as a client gift, this is considered a MEALS expense (so only 50 percent is deductible) NOT an advertising expense (100% deductible). In order to deduct client gifts at 100 percent you need to buy gifts that aren’t food such as spa packages, flowers, Home Depot gift certificates etc.. Additionally you need to make sure you note which client received what gift in case you are audited.

Employee Tax Myths:

  • If you receive a T4 from your employer, you are not eligible to deduct ANYTHING unless your employer fills out a T2200 form authorizing you to do so. That said any dues or insurance you purchase from professional organizations can be deducted so long as you have been designated as a professional.

Student Tax Myths:

  • Unfortunately, as a student, you are not allowed to deduct any additional expenses beyond what your tuition slip from your educational institution (T2202) indicates. Therefore items such as your computer and stationery supplies are non-deductible.

When filing your taxes it is important to keep in mind that from the CRA’s perspective anything that could be deemed as personal, WILL be deemed as personal in the event of an audit.

Although you can take the risk and claim the above expenses you really should not, because in the event that you are audited and your claims are denied you will be forced to pay a fine in addition to paying back all of the tax you avoided along with interest.

We are taking appointments for tax consultations now so if you want to get ahead of the rest and book your ideal time contact us now.

Tax time doesn’t have to be a pain in the back!

Superhero business tax team Vancouver

Supercharge your health this tax season, and beyond! Homeroom Bookkeeping‘s got it going on: stand-up desks,  fruit and nuts, and now….delicious, daily stretches. Because tax season doesn’t have to be a pain in the back! By Anja Konjicanin aka Office Gal

It’s 11 am. The phone alarm gently shakes the front desk with a soft vibrate accompanied with lively beats of Sencha sound. The Homeroom team makes subtle eye contact. It’s time. The daily grind comes to a halt, receipts drop, bookkeeping calls are left unattended. This is the time to get up and stretch. Yes, a full-on body stretch with the fellow work mates!

“I really needed this,” says The Lone Wolf, Kevin as he stands up in slow-mo, visibly enjoying every step of the getting-up process.

He turns to The Number Cruncher, Allysia who is already on her feet, rolling her neck, eyes closed, in what can best be described as pure bliss.

While financial fitness is important, (remember to get those books in tiptop shape to meet tax deadlines!), it’s even more important to stay physically healthy so you can enjoy a long, happy, pain-free life. You might even dream about tackling those pesky tasks with a fresh boost of energy and vigor… and smiles.

The team shakes out of zombie mode and proceeds to the centre of the room where we face each other for a regular game of “Who’s Going to Laugh First?” Then, it begins. We start with juicy neck rolls.

Chin up, we turn our necks side to side. Pause and hold each side. With our chin pointed down toward our chest, Office Gal notices a forgotten paper clip begging to be saved from the carpet’s furry grip. We continue to roll our chins from shoulder to shoulder in a gentle half-circle.

It’s another day at Homeroom. Following the successful completion of our consistency challenge (and stellar cash prizes!), we vowed to commit to daily stretches. Every day, every two hours. Office Gal programmed her giant iPhone to ring at 11, 1 and 3 so we never forget. Ever. Get up every two hours to stretch, reflect, re-energize.

“Sitting is worse than smoking” said a certain health advocate when he exposed the secret to zero back pain during a brief visit to us: a list of seven short steps to breaking the spell of chronic sitting, which a gazillion studies have found directly impacts cardiovascular and metabolic function. Healthy people disintegrate behind the desk.

Dude, stretching is easy and feels so good. A reason to stop working, if only for four- and-a-half minutes. Two minutes if you power through it like Office Gal usually does.

The Lady in Charge, Teya quickly finishes up the email she’s working on. She guiltily runs to join the circle. Teya’s late but she knows the routine: neck mobilization, shoulder and upper back opener, wrist and hand stretch, Good Morning Twists, YTUW Back, glutes and hamstring hinge action, split stance tilt, ankle circles…

As we lean back, in a split stance tilt, forming a natural stride while keeping our heels pushed to the ground and hips forward, we check in on how the day is going.

“How you doin’?”

“Doing good. You?”

Two people at the office across from us casually walk by, do a double take along with a curious “What the–?” expression before slowly walking away as if they saw nothing. One of our clients walks in on us and joins the fun.

“This is great!” she says, flopping into position.

The Office Gal giddily laughs at the thought of another stretch and prepares for her favourite move: the ankle and wrist rolls AKA The Bollywood.

“We should add a bounce”, she suggests, looking for a sign of affirmation from the team. She lets out a hearty chuckle at her own idea. The Number Cruncher smiles with her.

“I have your back.”

Communications Guru, Yvonne quickly moves to another part of the room. The eye contact with the coworkers along with the inevitable laugh factor proves to be too much.

It’s time for Good Morning Twists. As we do the prayer mode stretch with arms crossed against our chest followed by a bow to get the blood flowing and hips moving, sticking our bums out with a slight bend, we breathe in and out.We gracefully extend our legs and neck looking at the ceiling. The radio provides a suitable backdrop of rhythm that seems to fit with every move.

Can staying healthy be almost as much fun as sifting through people’s gloriously overflowing shoe-boxes of scented receipts and random, unique objects that live among them? Yes, yes it can!

Give your body special treatment (it’s almost Valentine’s Day!) with these quick and easy exercises. Pitch the idea to your bosses and family and friends. Tell them Homeroom made you do it. Don’t be afraid to give them our number.

Stay tuned for next week’s post of all our moves, so you can get in on the action!

 

#TBT to talking procrastination on the CBC

Homeroom was featured on the CBC’s The National last year to talk procrastination and taxes, following a 2014 study stating that procrastination might be genetic. Besides death and taxes being life’s certainties, putting off doing your taxes during tax season is a close third.

We’re throwing back to this interview as a gentle reminder to keep on top of your taxes and bookkeeping throughout the year. Now that the tax season rush is over, it’s a good idea to keep procrastination at bay so that you’re sitting pretty come tax time 2016.

Check out the interview below.

Teya talks filing taxes in recent Globe and Mail article

Marjo Johne’s article provides tax tips for small businesses

Homeroom’s Teya Mali was featured in the Globe and Mail this week, discussing tax tips for small businesses, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. When filing taxes, she urges all business owners to keep their personal and business income and expenses separate, and doles out advice on how to effectively do so.

Check out the full article, “Business or personal? How to stay on the taxman’s good side,” written by Marjo Johne on the Globe and Mail.