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How do you change your filed tax return?

 

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Whether it’s because your received a tax slip too late or hungoverly forgot to submit the documentation, here’s how you can make changes to an individual income tax return:

  1. Do NOT file another return for that year
  2. Wait for your notice of assessment before asking for changes to your return
  3. Go online (recommended, as it’s the speediest option!)
    • Log in to My Account
    • Click Change my return. You cannot use Change my return to change the following, according to the CRA:
      • a tax return that has not been assessed (see #2  above)
      • a tax return where nine reassessments exist for a particular tax year
      • a bankruptcy return
      • a return prior to the year of bankruptcy
      • carryback amounts such as capital or non-capital losses
      • a return of an international or non-resident client (including deemed residents of Canada, newcomers to Canada, and individuals who left Canada during the year)
      • the elected split-pension amount
      • a return where you have income from a business with a permanent establishment outside your province or territory of residence (you have to complete Form T2203, Provincial and Territorial Taxes – Multiple Jurisdictions)
      • If any of the above apply to you, see “Mail it”option (#5) below
    • Sign up for online mail to get instant access to your CRA records
  4. Contact your tax preparer (Homeroom loves to save the day!)
  5. Mail it: Send a signed letter to your tax centre asking for an adjustment to your return
    • By Mail: If you send a letter, make sure to give your name, address, and social insurance number and which tax year you want to adjust.
    • Send the following to your tax centre:
      • A completed Form T1-ADJ, T1 Adjustment Request, or a signed letter giving details of your request (including the years of the returns to be changed), your social insurance number, your address, and a telephone number where we can call you during the day
      • ALL supporting documents, including those for the original assessment, for your change

IMPORTANT: Send your current year return separately from any request to change a return for another year.

The Wait Game

  • Online: 2 weeks
  • Mail: 8 weeks

It may take longer if CRA is requesting more information or your request is sent in spring or summer.

When CRA review is done, you will receive:

  • a notice of reassessment showing any changes to your return and
  • a letter explaining why we did not make the changes you asked for or if no changes were needed

Want to receive a tax reminder?

Complete form below, and here’s to a perfect 2017 tax season!

Add me to the tax reminder list!

 

 

 

Incorporation Series: Should I Incorporate?

Vancouver Bookkeeper(s), Tax Return Service Vancouver, Small Business Bookkeepers in Vancouver, Small Business, Grumpy Cat, Quickbbooks, Incorporation, Small Business Incorporation

To incorporate or not to incorporate?

The answer is not so clear-cut. And the looming questions can buzz around your head like fruit flies at a gravesite of a discarded lollipop. It’s enough to turn even the jolliest person into Grumpy Cat.

There are several factors to consider, so before you turn into a furry creature cursed to look like the angry emoticon (>_<) for all eternity , let us provide you with the tools you need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of incorporating. Let us answer that lurking question experienced by most successful business owners ‘should I incorporate?’ and help easify your life!

Positives of incorporating

Limiting Liability

When you are a trading as a sole-proprietor your personal assets can be seized to pay your business debts which is a scary thought that can place unwanted stress on you and your family.

If you incorporate your business it becomes it’s own separate entity in terms of liability and financial responsibility.

This means two very important things. Firstly, it means that although your business is still liable for any debts it incurs, as a shareholder you are not personally liable unless you have given a personal guarantee.

Secondly, it means that the business essentially has an unlimited lifespan. Unlike a sole proprietorship which begins and ends with the owner, corporations can continue to exist regardless of ownership changes.

Tax savings

Additionally businesses that trade as a corporation are taxed at a lower rate of only 13.5% which is a great incentive for sole proprietors that are earning between $60,000-$100,000 on their personal tax returns.

Negatives of incorporating

Although incorporating your business may seem very appealing thanks to the promise of lower tax rates and limited liability there are some downsides that need to be considered, which are::

More government reporting

Don’t think for a minute that you will get lower tax rates without having to pay the price with government paperwork.

Increased accounting costs and responsibilities

If you were concerned about the cost of managing your books and taxes as a sole proprietor chances are high that you will find the increase in cost quite shocking once you incorporate.

More tax returns.

Once you incorporate you will have to file a corporate tax return AS WELL AS a personal tax return

The cost of incorporating

If you have weighed up the positives and the negatives and decided that incorporating your business is the way forward then you will need to budget in the following costs.

Setting up the corporation

This will cost roughly $1000 through a lawyer, which is recommended if there are multiple shareholders or assets to transfer. Alternatively you can incorporate on your own through the BC Corporate Registry for $350 using their online facility.

Maintaining the books

Annual Accounting costs ranging from $2,000 for a simple corporation that experiences minimal activity to $5,000 for an average small incorporated business.

Although this may seem high you really shouldn’t underestimate the value of a good accounting team. This is one area of your business you need to make sure is solid.

We hope that this overview has given you a stronger understanding of why businesses incorporate. In the end we recommend seeking professional advice before taking the plunge and incorporating your business. It is in your best interest to make sure that you incorporate at the best time and set everything up correctly so that you avoid paying penalties or experiencing issues in the future.

Stay tuned

In our next post we will be discussing what happens after you incorporate your business and the steps you need to follow.

If you are considering becoming incorporated and would like to discuss your options face-to-face with Teya our business consultant and tax expert you can make an appointment by calling us directly on  604 739 9536  or by requesting an appointment through our contact us page.

So you think you can claim that expense?

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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.