Spring is near but the tax season is already there!
You don’t want to waste away such a beautiful time of the year stressing over your taxes, right?
Why not start preparing for it already?
A lot depends on how you approach it- do you do your personal taxes yourself or take help?
When Should You Do It Yourself?
If you are someone with an office job, or someone who is organized to the minute details, perhaps a little D-I-Y will help you deal with it. If your tax situation is simple – perhaps you have a single source of income, are salaried and don’t have any investments – you won’t have to worry about spending more money on professional tax preparation. You can always get the information you need from the Canadian Revenue Agency, even if you are self-employed, you can STILL do it yourself. When things get a little bit complicated seek help from professional individual tax preparation services.
How Do You Do It Yourself?
Head to Canada Revenue Agency’s website and pick a certified software vendor. You do have a fair few choices. Some software vendors do offer free filing options, so you should pick the one which is right for you. Free versions are usually helpful for simple tax situations.
You can check some resources on individual tax preparation in Canada here.
How to get the Personal Taxes done for free in Canada?
You can also go to a free tax clinic by the CRA should you have a modest income. The income threshold depends on your family’s income, standing at $35,000 for a single person. Maroof HS CPA Professional Corporation also runs a free tax clinic* with the help of different volunteers. You must meet the strict eligibility criteria. Please note that services provided at the tax clinic are handled by volunteers who are not employed by the firm and also there is no tax advice or CPA service involved in the process.
When you should hire a tax professional
Many Canadians seek professional help while doing their tax returns to ensure accuracy and access to professional expertise. Take the help of an individual tax preparation service or a tax accountant, of your own accord.
While hiring a professional you should always know your requirements. Are you looking for a tax preparation service or you are looking for tax advice and counselling in an expert capacity? What is the difference between a tax preparer and tax accountant?
If you are looking for simple mechanical processing of your tax return based on the information provided by you, you can look for any reputable individual tax preparation services to do your personal taxes. However, if you are looking for tax planning and advice, you must consult a CPA firm or a tax lawyer.
Hiring a tax accountant will not only help you with your taxes but also provide you with relevant advice and help in financial planning.
Look to hire an experienced tax professional. While estimating the costs, don’t fail to consider the time and effort spent. You can anticipate rates to be higher if your tax return is complicated.
Things to keep in mind while hiring a tax expert
Before hiring a tax expert, here is what you need to see:
- Consider their experience, training, and the rates that they charge
- Ask for their credentials
- Check their availability to see if they can help you as per your timelines
- Enquire if they offer audit protection.
You can also check if the accountant you’re considering has to experience in any specific niche of taxation – and whether it could help you. For example, does your accountant deal with cross border taxation? If so, what is his expertise and competency level?
You should always read your tax return before signing it. Check out here WHY?
Depending on the complexity, you might be expected to pay as little as $60 or as much as $1,000 to file your personal taxes alone.
It’s why the sooner you will start, the better. You are going to need some time to look over every detail twice before the April 30 deadline, with or without the help of an expert.
Maroof HS CPA Professional Corporation offers comprehensive personal tax preparation services and corporate tax reporting in addition to accounting and other business services. For personal taxes, we do simple to complex tax returns, backfilling of income tax returns, cross the border and non-resident tax issues for Canada and the United States, and tax advice on complicated tax matters.
* Please note that services provided at the FREE TAX Clinic are handled by volunteers who are not employed by the firm. The firm does not accept any kind of responsibility for error and omission. No CPA is involved in this tax clinic so do not expect a CPA service or any tax advice at the Clinic. No Tax advice is provided in the clinic and it is strictly limited to preparation of your return from the information slips provided by you. Hours allocated for tax clinic are usually limited and an appointment is always needed well in advance.