Have you filed your 2020 taxes yet? Or are you one of the many procrastinators that is putting off filing until the last minute? While last year’s tax filing deadline was extended due to the pandemic, this year things are back to normal. This means that you must file your personal income taxes before the deadline on April 30th. To try and help you get organized, we have put together a few tips to make last minute filing easier.
Before you start your return,, gather together all of the information and paperwork that you think you will need to complete your filing. Some of the most common tax slips are T4 (employment income), T5 (investment income), T4A (pension income) and T2202A (tuition, education and textbook amounts). Remember, not all tax slips are sent via mail anymore! Take a look through your email and online service accounts, especially your Canada Revenue Agency MyAccount, to make sure you have everything you will need.
It is also really helpful to have a copy of your previous year’s tax return to get a sense of what receipts and benefits you claimed before and to guide you as you fill out your current tax return.
Now that you are organized with all of your receipts and documents, it is time to review and claim as many expenses and credits that you can. Some commonly forgotten items to claim include charitable donations, transit passes, and child care expenses Here are some of the tax credits you may be entitled to:
Moving Expenses – If you moved for work or school, you may be entitled to deduct your moving costs.
Disability Tax Credit – If you live with a disability or are taking care of someone who does, you may qualify for this tax credit. Just note that a medical practitioner must verify your eligibility for this. So if you do not have documentation of this you will need to get it from your medical practitioner ahead of time.
Medical Expenses – Commonly claimed medical expenses include prescription medications. Some of the lesser-known expenses include air filters, orthopedic shoes and even B12 supplements.
Interest Deductions on Student Loan Debts – If you are paying interest on student loan debt, the interest may be deductible.
Once you are ready to submit your taxes, don’t wait. If you owe money and are unable to pay the entire balance, you still need to file your return on time to avoid a late filing penalty. These penalties can quickly add up and you could end up owing the CRA even more money! Late filing costs start at 5% of any balance owing, plus an additional 1% for each month your return is late for up to 12 months. If you don’t owe money, submitting your taxes late will not incur any penalties but could cause an interruption to any benefit payments that you are entitled to.
If you received COVID benefits in 2020, odds are that you will owe the CRA money this year. To make sure your payment is received, and on time, you should make your tax payments electronically. Payment methods include online banking, My Payment through your online CRA account (they accept Interac Online, Visa Debit, or Debit MasterCard), and pre-authorized debit from your account at a financial institution.
It is not too late to get assistance from a professional to complete your 2020 tax return. Keenans Accounting Service is here to help you out. Just give us a call at 705-526-7628 to arrange a consultation by phone or via Zoom meeting. We are practicing social distancing while working remotely, and with reduced staff, so please leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Contactless, secure document dropoff and pickup are available at our offices in Downtown Midland.