2018
28
Feb

A Guide to Maximizing Your Canada and US Tax Refund

Posted in Tax Accountant

US-Canada Tax preparation is no doubt daunting, but it can be turned into a boon if the returns are kept in mind. Did you know that cross-border taxes can be maximized by being a little proactive and keeping in mind some important tax tips?

Family Filing
Donations, political contributions, and medical expenses can be claimed by spouses including several other nonrefundable tax credit. Spouses can also transfer nonrefundable tax credits to each other. Filing the familial net income wisely can also yield greater refundable tax. Bigger refunds and lower overall tax bills usually pave the way to bigger win.

Family Deductions
Due to latest changes in the Universal child care benefit (UCCB), it is no longer available from the year 2018.

Deductions For Students

The best thing (and probably one not many students are aware of) is that Canadian students can claim the interest they have paid on student loans. Also, the best part is that even if you weren’t aware of this information up until now, you could still claim not only the 2017 student loan interest but also that of the previous five years. Now isn’t that amazing!

Employment Deductions
If as a part of your employment contract, you are expected to pay out of the pocket expenses, a possible deduction on your tax return may be in effect but only when you have paid on your own under your contract of employment and the employer has certified it under the form T2200.

Special Deductions For Writers And Artists
Artists and musicians who are employed can claim expenses for their literary works, drama and music compositions, or other creative performing works of art. You can mention computer costs, art supplies, home office costs, ballet shows to claim your expenses, but the maximum claim can be 20% of the net income.

Non-Refundable Tax Credits Claim
Under a new family caregiver amount, a $2000 is paid if a person is taking care of a spouse, minor child or adult. Expensive ambulance fees and medical expenditures can also be claimed.

Moving Deduction
If you had to move to take a new course or for employment at a new workplace, which is now at least 40 KMs closer to your destination of new job or training center, you can claim this deduction from your tax. Make sure to provide the receipts for your move.

Utilizing Pension Income Splitting Optimally
If a company plan allows pension, up to 50% of your pension benefits can be transferred to your spouse, should you plan to take advantage of pension splitting at any age. In most cases, you have to wait for the income split until you reach age 65.

File On Time
Simply submitting a tax return late can incur additional charges and nobody wants that. So, it’s a given!

2018
21
Feb

Why DIY Canada and US Tax Preparation is Not a Viable Option

Posted in Tax Accountant

Tax preparation is the process of preparing tax returns. You can prepare taxes with the help of tax preparation software or online services. The process might also be undertaken by a licensed professional, such as a licensed accountant or attorney.

When the deadline for tax filing approaches, Especially, US tax preparation or Cross-border aka Canada-US tax preparation, it becomes an overwhelming task to decide whether to do the task oneself or hire a professional. But to choose one of the two, it highly depends on some factors that must be put into consideration. Financial experts suggest being cognizant of the following situations before embarking on any path:

Complexity of the Financial Situation

The earnings of individuals can come from differing sources. To be aware of the complexity of one’s financial situation matters most. You can do it yourself, but if you cannot take optimal advantage of each deduction, the process is likely to of little benefit. The tax system itself is so overwhelmingly complex that having the information about how your particular financial situation relates to the system can be a somewhat difficult task.

A complicated financial condition may include owning a business, holding some investments, being divorced and paying alimony, or working freelance. Such conditions call for professional help. Contrarily, if earning a regular salary at one full-time job, being single, renting or the like are the situations you currently encounter, it may be feasible to file your taxes using tax software. But also consider that these situations change into the former as soon as you decide on starting a family, which brings us to;

A Change in the Financial Condition in the Past Year

Getting married, having a child, buying a house, or starting entrepreneurship is the kind of examples that require you to do your research on all the parameters around those situations and equip yourself with the knowledge of deductions and credits that might go with them. Also, often amongst the hassles of daily life or otherwise not having enough information about the DIY tax software and the whole related procedure ends up delivering no benefit, in which case, hiring an accountant might be more feasible.

Also, tax credits and deductions for seniors often go unnoticed. There are several income-based advantages that seniors can take but if they are doing it themselves, it might go overlooked, and the government apparently will not tell them about it. Hiring a professional might not guarantee the chances of seniors getting them, but it sure does increase them.

Affordability

The DIY method is likely to save some money but it has its pros and cons, and again, the recommendation is only made when you know all ins and outs of the procedure and know best where such software can be accessed for free. Contrarily, hiring a professional might cost money, but it ensures you have all the information and clarity regarding your tax situation. Therefore, the final decision rests with the taxpayer once he/she takes all relevant factors into account.

2018
14
Feb

How to Get Ready for Canada and US Tax Preparation before Hiring a Professional

Posted in Tax Accountant

Hiring a professional to prepare your tax file is more important than just an accurate record. In fact, it saves you from IRS’ further investigation into your taxes. In many businesses, to save the hustle, it’s considered ideal to hire an income tax expert to deal with the nitty-gritty of the tax preparation, especially in the context of Canada-US aka cross-border tax preparation. But to provide the tax accountant with all the right and organized tax records preferably well ahead of time is a crucial matter.
To avoid penalties, maximize the tax deductions, and getting the return file before the deadline, following information has to be provided to the tax accountant:
Providing accurate business records
• Financial statements including balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements about your business
• In case you have employees, provide payroll information
• Expenses of your business including that spent on advertising, traveling, rent, internet and telecommunications, shipping and raw materials’ cost, etc.)
• Disposal and additions in your assets for the year, such as land, edifice, machinery, vehicle.
• If your home is used as workplace

Previous tax records
• A copy of last year’s tax record (if any) is needed. This point is required if you happen to be a new client
• Paid amounts via installments –if you have made any payments in installments, mention those.
• Notice of assessment from last year
• Other relevant records such as
• Whatever applies to your business, it is important that you mention it before the accountant such as whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership (which requires you to file a T1 –personal income tax return), or your business is an incorporated company (here a T2(corporate) income tax return needs to be filed).
• For self-employment and commissions—T4A
• For partnership income—T5013
• Income coming Trusts—T3
• Income extracted from investment—T5
• In case of contribution slips—RRSP
• Useful information about dental and medical receipts, donations from charity and child care information also needs to be provided to the tax accountant

Choosing the professional rightly

The tax preparer is, after all, going to prepare taxes for you. And no matter how much preparation and hard work you put in to aid the preparer, if the professional himself lacks either qualification or experience or the necessary skill to excel at his job, it is going to be a pain in the neck for you. For example, a worst case scenario could be trusting a professional tax preparer with tons of valuable information and documentation about your business and not having them sign the return. This is something you would like to avoid at all costs possible. Some tips to choose the right tax preparer include asking them about their relevant qualifications and experience and doing detailed research on your own about their profile.
Therefore preparing oneself way ahead of time is not only crucial but a fairly smart move as well. It saves the trouble that might otherwise impend in time.

2018
11
Feb

What Canadians Can Expect From 2018 US Tax Reforms

Posted in Tax Accountant

The tax reforms introduced by President Trump have now officially become a part of US law and are in effect from January 1, 2018. The legislation is known as the “Tax Cuts & Jobs Act” has been updated and it includes immediate expensing, lowered corporate rates, limiting net operating losses and much more.
The House and the Senate introduced some changes on their own, but some elements remained same in both, including lower tax rates for both individuals and businesses, broadening of based on credits and deductions through limitations. A territorial system has also been introduced for US multinationals with provisions against abuse, and the foreign earnings that were previously untaxed will now have a toll charge.

Impact of US tax reforms on Canadian Businesses

It is expected that the economy of Canada will be negatively affected by the US tax reforms. On the positive side, exporting more services and goods to the US market will be beneficial for Canada.
The downside is that heightened protectionism in US trade, and a more tax-competitive environment, may result in a shift of skilled labor and capital from Canada towards the markets of US.
The impact on Canada’s tax competitiveness will be the most significant, though. Putting into consideration the state income tax rates, the United States’ federal-state income tax for corporations will significantly fall from 39.1% to 26%. This is expected to be somewhat lower than the federal-provincial income tax of Canadian corporations which is approximately 26.7% (according to the GDP given by subnational jurisdictions). This crucial new shift in income tax can open new doors for the planning of taxes for US and Canada based companies that conduct cross-border operations.

Future Consideration for Canadian Businesses

The latest tax reform developments recently introduced in the United States should be carefully considered by both, government policymakers and Canadian businesses.

The US and Canadian prices of capital, labor, and returns on business investment are highly affected by these significant business-related and personal tax changes. Businesses consider tax competitiveness as only one of the many factors when they embark on investment related decisions. Many companies’ investment decisions and tax planning could be affected by the elimination of tax competitiveness which was previously enjoyed by Canada over the US for the past few decades.

Entrepreneurs will have to decide whether investing money in the US for expansion of business is more ideal or it should be invested in purposes other than the decision of investment locations.

Putting in consideration the closely knitted structure of both the countries’ economies, changes in tax rates in the United States has become a precursor for a detailed policy renewal for the Canadian economy, where for many other reasons, the review in the tax policy is already called for.

2018
08
Feb

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Taxes Early

Posted in Tax Accountant

Most people tend to file taxes early because it assures that they don’t have to do last minute calculations and make hasty errors. Making the slightest mistakes in your calculation can send IRS auditing your files deeper, and you don’t want that to happen. A professional’s help while calculating your taxes is thus highly recommended. Even though filing early can be beneficial in a lot of ways, according to tax experts, following are the most common mistakes that even the early birds can make.

Filing the Wrong Tax Forms or Forgetting Them Altogether

Keeping in mind that the forms are tricky and sometimes not all that straightforward can help you rush less. Especially those multiple income sources can have a tough time filing a form so if you haven’t submitted a form and the IRS receives its matching copy; it may result not only in delayed form processing but also in penalties. In worst case scenarios, an audit may follow. Many deductions and credits require submitting a separate form so take care of all the outgoing as well as incoming ones.

Not Rechecking the Information Provided

A lot of calculations need to be reassessed. Also proofreading result in preventing a lot of careless mistakes such as not remembering to sign the form and many other foolish ones.so reviewing the form one last before submitting is always ideal.

Incorrectly Filing an Amended Form

At times it is not ideal to file an amended form immediately after you realize your mistake. Let’s suppose if there is a math error, the IRS will likely correct and notify you of any missing forms and in such a case, filing an amended return should be done to request amendments in filing status. Also, form 1040X should be used for amendments instead of a new 1040 while making sure that they are paper copies.

Neglecting the 1095 Requirements of Health Form

Health insurance bought in exchange for the tax year of 2017 does not imply until 2019 no matter what has been mentioned in the Tax Cuts and Job Acts. The 1095 health form will still be in effect at least until 2020 so don’t let it confuse you.

Lack of Contribution to IRA

Taxpayers often skip contributing to the previous year’s retirement account until Tax Day. Also, make sure that the contributions made more than the assigned limit can incur taxes so remember to inform the financial institution the exact position where your account is located and whether the extra amount you have paid belongs to the last year’s account so they may not be accounted for the present year’s contribution.

Forgetting Required Minimum Withdrawals

The older taxpayers often commit this mistake. Some retirement plans require a minimum withdrawal after the account holder reaches the age limit of 70 and a half. But in cases, you forget to withdraw those distributions until a specified amount of time and date, an impending penalty awaits them which might include the not-withdrawn amount taxed at 50%.

2016
02
Dec

US Personal Tax Preparation Tips

Posted in Tax Accountant

When it comes to filing a federal income tax return, you have to go through numerous problems/issues. This can be owed to the complicated procedures that are hard to understand, unless you’ve filed a return before. You are guaranteed to run into some details that you’re unsure of, and this can make it difficult to prepare your forms for filing. Are you facing trouble with Tax Preparation? If so, follow these helpful and useful tips:

Gather The Relevant Paperwork/Documents
US personal tax preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville can prove extremely difficult, especially if your paperwork and document aren’t organized. You must gather and compile all appropriate documents and lay them out in front of you. This can include your income statements, tax forms, as well as receipts for contributions and tax deductions.

Decide Which Filing Method Is Best For You
When it comes to filing a personal tax return, you have three options: hiring a professional, paper filing, or using tax preparation software. Even in today’s age of digital technology, most people will feel more secure with US personal tax preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville with the good ol’ paper and pen. With paper filing, however, you are responsible and in charge for every detail, start to finish. This may require assistance from a family member or friend who has filed a paper a tax return before.

Tax preparation software is one of the best options available, as they immediately answer all types of questions/queries you might have. Since the software is designed for filing taxes, it can automate the process monthly, making it easier for you to take advantage of tax credits and tax deductions. There are many websites available that can help you print or e-file your return quickly.

If you aren’t familiar with the filing process at all, it is usually best to hire a professional for US personal tax preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville. This option cuts all the guesswork and ensures all processes are completed securely and efficiently. You can be confident that your return is accurate and you are saving as much money as possible.

Take Your Time for the Tax Filing Process
If you are using a tax preparation software application or filing a paper return, you are responsible from moving one line to another in a calculated and precise manner. You may make several mistakes in your initial tries, but once you get a hang of the process, you can get it done easily. Make sure to keep all documents in check and ensure all details are relevant and appropriate to the tax filing requirements of your state.

Decide On Whether To Mail Or E-File
If you are filing a paper tax return, you need to mail it to the relevant tax authority in your state. On the other hand, if you are filing via a professional accountant or using a tax preparation software application, using e-file is a better, faster, and more convenient option. Since everything is submitted electronically, your application is processed instantly which means a faster tax refund.

Therefore, now that you are familiar with the tips mentioned above, US personal tax preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville hopefully won’t be a pro

2016
02
Dec

Why Is It Important for Businesses in Ontario to Hire an Accountant

Posted in Tax Accountant

It is important for every business to hire an Accountant in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville to streamline financial operations/tasks. Although accounting doesn’t contribute to the profits a particular company makes, it goes give a way to gauge performance, review revenue, etc. With good accounting habits, you can keep a strict eye on your business’ finances. For more information, let’s look at why it is important for businesses in Ontario to hire an accountant:

Keeps Costs Down
The primary task of an Accountant in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville is to keep themselves clued on the financial well-being of a particular business in Ontario. They keep track of where all your money is spend, necessarily or unnecessarily. While business owners are looking for opportunities to expand their brand and search for their next big client, an accountant keeps track of the expenses part of your business. For instance, while your attentions are focused elsewhere, accountants will make sure your payments, tax files, and returns are being made.

Saves Lots of Time
Getting a qualified accountant can prove to save lots of time for business owners. These professionals can effectively take on the role on tax filing. They organize your personal taxes, alongside business taxes. They also complete the returns and ensure the tax refunds for you. You get a significant cut in tax paying. In short, accountants can help in organizing your business operations particularly relating to finances in a way that you need not pay a heed to it.

Help You Perform Better In Areas of Specialty
When you hire an Accountant in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville, you can feel assured that all finance related tasks are done properly. If you go do it by yourself, there is a possible chance of making errors. An expert accountant does the work for you, allowing you to focus more time on core competencies. This helps your business perform better in areas of specialty.

Maximize Opportunity and Strength
A qualified and professional account offers business owners the best business advice and financial service. These experts will help you in identifying the areas of your strength and provide detailed information regarding finances for new strategies. They also show the threat and weakness to your business and chalk out effective business strategies and proper business planning to allow for better funds allocation.

Offer Tax Counseling
Last, but not the least, when you hire an Accountant in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville, you can gain expert Tax counseling. These professionals are well aware of the tax laws, new rules, and updated regulations relating to paying taxes, performing accounting tasks, and bookkeeping. They can help you understand tax laws and grow your business with the latest tax related concerns. They can even file your taxes to ensure that you comply with the latest laws to avoid problems in the future.

Therefore, if you want to receive the above mentioned benefits, perhaps it’s time you considered hiring an account for your business

2016
02
Dec

Tax Preparation – Selecting the Right Tax Preparer and Ensuring the Process Goes Smoothly

Posted in Tax Accountant

Tax time can be a stressful process in Ontario, especially if you aren’t aware of the process. Businesses and consumers alike need to understand that they are ultimately responsible for everything on a tax return, regardless of who prepared it. While most tax professionals are honest, qualified and reliable, it is imperative that you find a trustworthy and dependable service to avoid during and after you hand over the prepared documents for your preparation of income tax returns. After all, nobody wants to deal with income tax return problems just because the preparer made a mistake. So, without further ado, look at these tips to find a good service for Tax Preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville and ensure the process goes smoothly:

Check Qualifications of the Preparer – When it comes to tax preparation, you need to ensure you are hiring an experienced and knowledgeable preparer. So, don’t hesitate on asking different preparers for their training, qualifications, education, and experience of the current tax lax in Ontario. For any type of return whether it is simple return or more complicated tax return, your interests are best served if it is done by a professional accountant who has been preparing the returns for 10 years or more. If you go to a book keeper or tax preparer who is not a qualified accountant, you run the risk of not getting the best for your taxes paid.

Check Preparer’s History – Don’t hesitate on conducting a background check to see if the preparer has a questionable or clear history. Check for how many years the tax preparing is in the business and testimonials from the other clients. For a professional Accountant you should ask for the designation of the accountants.

Ask about Service Fees – For successful Tax Preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville avoid preparers who say they can get you larger refunds than others can. Also, avoid people who say that you should deposit the refunds into a preparer’s bank account first. All funds should be sent to you directly.

Ask About Electronically Filing Your Return – Times have changed and so has the process of filing tax returns. Now, it is also required that your preparer offers CRA e-file. This ensures that your tax return has been filed electronically, reducing time and hassle from your end.

Make Sure the Preparer is Available – Ensure that whichever tax preparer you choose is available after the return has been filed. This may prove essential and helpful in circumstances where questions arise regarding your tax return.

Provide Receipts and Records – The best preparers will ask to see all your receipts and records to determine your tax credits, deductions, total income, and other essentials. However, make sure preparer you choose doesn’t e-file your return using your last pay stub, as it is against CRA e-file rules. It should be done with your T4.

Never Sign a Blank Return – Tax Preparation in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville can prove to be quite tricky, as you have to be careful about whom you can trust. Regardless of whom you choose, ensure that you NEVER sign a blank return. Immediately fire the person who asks you to sign a blank tax form, as it could be a sign of potential fraud.

Ensure the copy of the tax return – Preparers must give you a copy of the return to complete the process.
So, if you want to select a reliable service for Tax Preparation and ensure the process goes smoothly, make sure to follow the abovementioned tips.

2016
02
Dec

Important Questions to Ask When Selecting a Tax Accountant

Posted in Tax Accountant

Tax accountants are those professionals who are responsible for filing tax returns for both businesses and individuals in Ontario. The job of Tax Accountants in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville is to plan and legally help the client pay the minimum in taxes. Since tax laws and codes tend to be complicated, these experts do all the hassle and work for you to get the best refunds. However, because you will be providing a lot of personal and financial information, you need to be careful about who you choose as your Tax Account. So, without further ado, take a look at these important questions to ask:

Do They Have Expertise In Areas Relevant To You?

You need to make sure that the Tax Accountant you choose understands your type of business. For instance, if you have a restaurant, then there are different rules to follow for tips and wages. Similarly, if you are working for a technology company that issues RSUs or stock options, you need to ensure that the accountant you choose has worked with plenty of other clients in the same situation. Construction businesses too have different criteria regarding how income is reported. Therefore, basically you need to have a Tax Account who has worked with a similar type of business to yours and knows the ins and outs.

How Many Years Of Individual Tax Experience Do They Have?

When interviewing several Tax Accountants in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville, make it a habit to always ask about their experience, qualifications, and education. An appropriate tax accountant should boast a minimum of five years experience in doing business/individual tax returns. It is preferably better to hire one that has experience dealing with a large firm, as they will have better exposure to broader set of taxing issues, which you might face in the future.

What License(S) Do They Have?

Although it isn’t technically required, it would be preferable that your tax preparer has a Professional Accountant status with specialization in Tax Accounting (one of the three forms of accounting). If you are planning to hire a Tax Attorney, make sure they have a LLM in Tax (an advanced tax degree for attorneys). This ensures that all your tax-related tasks are done professionally and by a person who is certified and licensed.

How Do You Bill For Your Services?

Where some Tax Accountants in Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville may charge by the hour, others bill a flat rate for their services. Some businesses even hire a full-time accountant that manages the tax-related work as well. The choice is up to you and you have plenty of options available. Regardless of the billing approach, it is imperative that you get an estimate of the accountant’s likely fees.

How Do You Handle Working With Multiple Entities?

If you have more than one entity under your name, make sure to hire a Tax Accountant who has the capability of dealing with multiple entities simultaneously. Also, ask whether or not the accountant uses specialized software to streamline processes. Every accountant has to coordinate and track money from different entities sometimes. A professional software

2016
02
Dec

Hiring a Specialized Accountant to Handle Corporate Tax Accounting

Posted in Tax Accountant

Taxes are an important part of every business. Without a proper understanding of the tax laws, you may not be able to appropriate the relevant funds to the government. And this may cause tremendous amount of problems for your business operations. Even if you hire a specialized accountant to handle your finances, it will still be your responsibility to ensure every tax is bad. One such tax that should be aware of is Corporation Tax. For more information, let’s look at what Corporation Tax is and how hiring a specialized Corporate Tax Accountant Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville can prove to be beneficial for your business.

The Basics of Corporate Tax
Corporate tax is the responsibility of certain organizations and limited companies that are unincorporated bodies. Private enterprises of all sizes must pay corporate tax, which includes profits from capital gains, income, and investment profits. It doesn’t matter where you sell your services or goods, if you are located in Canada – you are responsible for paying this crucial tax.

Handling Corporate Tax

Understanding corporate laws can be a tough task for managers and business owners. This is why most often than not, businesses choose to hire a Corporate Tax Accountant. These professionals and experts will inform the relevant agencies of your company’s liability for the tax. They ensure that you pay the right amount of tax, at the right time. They also file tax returns and fill out all the documents for you.

Corporate Tax Accountant Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville are aware of the deadlines for each process, along with crucial tips/strategies that can help you in paying lesser taxes. They also follow up with the relevant taxation agencies on your behalf. This makes it possible for business owners to use their focus elsewhere on other core operations of the corporation.
When you hire a Corporate Tax Accountant, you can even gain expert legal counseling. These professionals are well aware of the tax laws, new rules, and updated regulations relating to paying taxes, performing accounting tasks, and bookkeeping. They can help you understand tax laws and grow your business with the latest tax related concerns

Doing Your Part

Hiring a corporate tax accountant doesn’t mean that you avoid playing your part in ensuring that you meet deadlines and pay all your taxes. Always make sure to double-check the information the accountant sends over and never sign any blank tax sheet of any kind. Take your time and guarantee that all information is accurate, including your losses, allowances, reliefs, deductions, chargeable gains, capital allowances, and profits.

It is essential that you don’t hide or forget to tell your corporate tax accountant regarding any changes you make/made. By working together with your accountant, you can ensure your tax liability is properly handled. This also enables you to avoid hefty penalties, fines, and charges, as corporate tax is definitely a serious topic.

So, if you want to handle corporation tax, perhaps it’s time you considering hiring a specialist accountant too.


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