Documents You Should Bring to Your Tax Planning Appointment

By March 25, 2014 Taxes No Comments

Hamilton, Ontario residents are hardworking people who, like everyone else in Canada, want to have as few unpleasant experiences with CRA returned documents as possible.

As a firm providing Hamilton bookkeeping and accounting services, we noticed that in the past few years the need for professional tax planning services has increased. More and more people are deciding to use the services of a professional tax accountant instead of filling their own taxes for many reasons.

First of all, tax related documentation can be annoying to fill out, and you need to fill out quite a few documents for your tax returns. The slightest error can cost you and your family money or time, which usually puts a lot of stress on tax season. Tax prep becomes even more complicated when you, or your spouse, have more than one job, or if you own a business; even in the case of internet based businesses, additional paperwork often ends up giving those involved serious headaches.

Second of all, tax accounting services are now affordable, especially considering the great value you get for the money you invest. Passing the job to someone specialized means there will be less stress involved for you – in fact none. You won’t waste hours trying to learn tax language, and most importantly you get the guarantee that a highly qualified professional will take care of your taxes with dedication and attention to detail.

If you are one of the many people who have decided to take advantage of professional Hamilton bookkeeping and accounting services, you will probably book a meeting with a tax accountant soon in order to deliver the needed documentation. To avoid wasting both your time and that of the tax accountant you will be working with, you should carefully prepare in advance all the documents you need to bring with you to the meeting.

It is a very good idea to create a folder containing all the documentation your tax accountant will need, and categorize them depending on what they represent. By separating your documents into categories, you will have a much easier time determining whether all the documents you need to file your tax return are in the possession of your tax accountant.

In the rest of this post we will take a look at the categories that your folder should include.

1. Income
Declaring your income is serious business, and your folder should include very specific information regarding all forms of income that your family has. This includes information on you and your spouse’s main jobs, any side income that you might be earning, as well as information on your investments and dividends.

For information on your main jobs, both you and your partner will have to fill out a specific form. Side income also includes any form of passively generated income, such as internet ad income generated by your websites. If this applies to your situation, you need to add a spreadsheet with the income values received from various Ad operators.

Investments are also to be included into the Income information category, and you will have to fill out a distinct form for each of the types of shares you own, as well as for any fund account that you might be benefiting from. It might seem a bit tricky at first, but if you learn to keep your documents in proper order, in the future your task will become much easier.

2. Banking
In this category you should include information on bank accounts owned by members of your family. The documents should include individually owned accounts, as well as jointly owned bank accounts.

3. Deductions
There are two types of deductions: non-business deductions and business deductions.
The first type, non-business deductions, should include the mortgage and property taxes on your house, student loans (not all student loans are deductible, so if you have any student loans you will have to check if yours are), as well as any information on charitable donations throughout the year – and here you can include church donations, as well as donations for any charitable events.

The documents included in the business deductions category depend on your and your spouse’s status on the labor market. If you are a business owner or self-employed, you should add gas, electric, telephone and internet bills. If you have a home office, then you can add the utilities bills from your home. Additionally, you can add information on purchases made for your firm in the past year – anything from light bulbs to cleaning products.

You can additionally add a checklist containing all the documents included in the folder for the accountant to verify and check them as he reviews them. That way he can easily spot missing documents, in case anything was omitted.

If you are missing any documents, your tax accountant should be able to help you track them down. If you are missing W2 forms, you can ask your employer to send you a new one, as they are required by Canadian law to keep payroll records for a period of four years. Similarly, for self-employment and investment related missing information, your bank can help you track down the records you are looking for.

Working with tax related paperwork requires professionalism and attention to details, and we are certain that you are interested in having only the best tax accountants handling your tax documentations. If you are interested in a Hamilton accounting or bookkeeping services provider, our professional and reliable accounting professionals are at your service.

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