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Why hire a professional bookkeeper?

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Sure, we’re smart, cool and fun! But as a small business owner, do you need a professional bookkeeper?

We have the big picture in mind. It’s much more than posting income and expenses. We know what needs to be done to file your year-end accurately while ensuring that your tax bill is as low as possible. (BOOYAH! And no mad taxman high-jumping it to your back!)

Over the next couple of weeks, we will elaborate on two topics:

  • why having a professional bookkeeper on your team of professionals is important for the success of your business
  • how your business will benefit from having a professional bookkeeper on your team

Need a bookkeeper, like, yesterday and can’t wait for next week’s blog post? Get the process rolling now here. 🙂

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 have ever been hit with a large tax bill on April 30th, you’ve probably considered changing your plans the following year and making either regular or occasional installment payments, to avoid the same shock happening the following year.

As part of our new blog series, we will look at paying your net tax owing by installments and answer these two common questions such as:

  • 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 2018 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.

#ThursdayThoughts: When you realize that tax deadline be creeping up on you!

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The Number Cruncher Allysia is laughing a little too hard on the eve of her GST filing target date…Luckily for her, she’s on track and won’t let deadline stress get the best of her!

Who doesn’t love the P-word? Procrastinate. We all do it. Whether we are taking a break from spring cleaning to brush up on annual BC Budget or freaking out over an internet outage on a beautiful sunny day.

But what do you do when you wake up from a sweet dream of popcorn and butterflies and of doing nothing, and realize that tax deadline is standing right in front of you, evil laughing and pointing its long, wrinkly finger, shakily, at you?

Pop a gummy bear vitamin and do this:

  1. Sit down: Remember that April 30th is the deadline So, you have until 11.39pm on April 30th to file. Know that you are getting a refund? Even better. There are no late penalties for a tax refund. You goood.
  2. Request the Homeroom E-Return: We can’t promise an on-time filing at this point, but at least it will get done by a pro so who cares.
  3. Listen to your favourite song: Facing the cold hard fact you have not yet filed your tax return days before the deadline can cause the heart to beat faster than a car from Fate of the Furious.  Take a moment to forget by boogieing to your dearest jams. It won’t change the reality, but it will make you feel better and straighten out your thoughts.
  4. Pay the CRA online if you still haven’t. You’ve got until May 1st and online payments work like a (fast) charm
  5. Follow @HomeroomSBS on Twitter for fun and smart posts. You might even laugh….and learn something new
  6. Don’t have all your tax slips? Homeroom to the rescue. Read  this ASAP.

You got this!

#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!

 

 

 

THIS: Submit ALL your tax docs by April 20 to ensure an on-time filing (and happy hair)!

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Kudos for getting the tax-filing process started! If you’ve already received the final PDF of your tax return, you should be celebrating, not reading this!!

If you’ve been emailing with us back and forth but haven’t submitted ALL your tax docs, there’s still time!

Upload your tax documents to us by Friday, April 20, at 4PM to guarantee an on-time return.

 

If you are just getting around to doing your taxes, no problemo. Request the Homeroom E-Return here for a speedy and hassle-free tax-filing. No appointment required, and you’ll get the best Homeroom rate.

Complete our tax intake form here. We will email you instructions on how to securely upload your tax documents as soon as we receive your completed form.

Call the office at 604-739-9536 if you have any questions!

Happy long weekend, y’all, and here’s to meeting those deadlines!

 

 

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!

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.

When filing a tax return using a new method can sometimes be mysterious and daunting.

Ask yourself these simple questions when trying to determine if the Homeroom E-Return is the best method for you to use when filing your income taxes.

Q. Do you like to roll to the beat of your own drum and do things on your schedule?

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 through our online portal.

NO! 

LIAR!! Nobody seriously enjoys planning their day around other people!! We get it though, change is tough and taking your schedule into your own hands can feel weird and selfish. But it’s not!! Be a rebel! Learn to do you for a change!

OH POO!

We know that by submitting online 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. But it’s going to be ok, we will find new ways to entertain and update you that you can enjoy on your own schedule 😉

 

Q. Do you like to have a clear expectation of what your tax return will cost?

YES!!

Homeroom lists all of their prices upfront and will confirm in advance which option applies to you so that you can make an informed decision prior to submitting all of your documents (see the  Homeroom rate here). All of our rates are based on our E-Return structure.

Many well know tax agencies have their basic price listed then sting you for every additional piece of paper you hand over.

NO!!

I hate to say this twice in one post but seriously, LIAR!! If you really want to feel like the cost of your return is a mystery then, by all means, let us know and we can block out the amount in all our correspondence up until the invoice. We don’t want you to feel like you are missing out on some tax time payment roulette.

Life will be clear and easy and you won’t get to tell your friends about how terrible tax time is and make excuses for not filing your return!

Q. Do you care about the environment and love sloths?

YES!!

Save paper and leave more trees for the sloths by using 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. Additionally, by not leaving your house you will also be saving gas making the world a cleaner, healthier, forever home for us all.

NO!!

Ok seriously! What kind of monster doesn’t like sloths?????????????????? We have nothing left to say!

OH, POO!

Yes, your friends might call you a hippy for caring about the environment but you are strong, you’ll survive this mocking by knowing that the entire Homeroom team thinks you are an environmental hero.

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

Easy, breezy, beautiful CRA online payment option

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“Bummer, I owe the CRA money! How do I pay them?”

Whether you have taxes owing for this year or you are a business owner who needs to settle a debt, handle it like a boss and pay the CRA to avoid late fees and any legal trouble.

Here are some ways you can pay the CRA, whether you are an individual or a business:

Online (Recommended)

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is getting hip by being down with the online payment world!

The CRA prefers to receive electronic payments. It’s fast and easy! You can do it two ways:

  • Make a payment using your financial institution’s online banking services:

    • Sign in to your financial institution’s online banking service (RBC Royal BankTD Canada TrustVancity, etc). Bank with another financial institution? See the complete list of banks that can be used on the My Payment service here.
    • Under “Add a payee,” look for an option such as: CRA (revenue)-current year-tax return. CRA (revenue)-tax amount owing. CRA (revenue)-tax installment.
    • See other available options under “Add a payee” that are not listed above here.
    • Business: Specify payroll, GST, Corporate Tax
    • The account number for personal: SIN number
    • The account number for business: Business number

Offline payment methods:

Remeber these ones take more time so be sure to give yourself a head start if you want to avoid late payment penalties.

  • In-person (at the bank): You cannot walk into the bank to pay without the remittance voucher. The CRA does not mail them our anymore to encourage people to take advantage of their speedy, secure online payment option.
    • We can provide all our existing clients with a remittance voucher for their personal taxes which they need to take to their financial institution to pay.
  • Photocopy an old remittance voucher that you have, or call the CRA and request the mail one to you. Just know the process takes more than 10 business days, and that might cause you incur late penalties.
  • Mail a personal cheque: In the memo, indicate account number (SIN for personal or business number for self-employed).  Attach a letter to let CRA know what you are paying.

For information about your account balance and payments, including installments, see My Business Account.

When completing your return, you may calculate a balance owing on line 485Your balance is due no later than April 30, 2018. When a due date falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a holiday recognized by the CRA, your payment will be considered on time if the CRA receives it or it is postmarked on the next business day.

Generally, if this amount is $2 or less, you do not have to make a payment.

If you owe tax for this current tax year, and you file your return after the filing due date, the CRA will charge a late-filing penalty.

They start charging compound daily interest on any outstanding balance starting May 1, 2018, until you pay it in full.

If you can’t pay the full amount you owe, take action right away and call the CRA arrange a payment plan.

For a full list of payment options, go here.

Get in touch with us if you have any concerns here.

When you owe the CRA money, but your cash flow is low

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Once upon a time, this cup much like a bank account was filled to the brim, and a juicy olive accompanied the penniless toothpick that now quietly rests on the desk….

There is nothing quite like receiving the little brown envelope from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reminding you that you have tax debt. It makes you realize this empty cup is a depressingly on-point indication of your current financial situation.

Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself here is what you should do:

  • 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. Remember, no one likes to be ignored so pick up the phone NOW.
  • Considering bankruptcy? This is not a decision you should make lightly as it follows you for life. If this is an option you are considering, go to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy for more information and to discuss options before committing to this solution.
  • Are You Business owner? You might qualify for taxpayer relief from penalties and interest charges and reduce the 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.

To ensure you don’t end up in the same situation next year we recommend talking to a tax consultant right away so that you can plan accordingly.