Are you Getting the Best Return on your Self-Employed Taxes?

When was the last time you got a really great return on your taxes?

Some people who are employees at companies and receive their regular T4s each year think that taxes are complicated. They obviously don’t know what it’s like for someone who’s self-employed.

How Complicated are Taxes REALLY?

If you’re a freelancer or own a small business, you’re going to be dealing with way more forms, more options, and more chances to make mistakes. Not to mention that, when you’re self-employed, every single minute of your day counts. Doing your taxes yourself can take hours and hours that you could otherwise be spending working towards growing your business.

The Self-Employed Myth

On the other hand, we’d like to dispel a myth about self-employed taxes. They don’t have to be as complicated as everyone makes them out to be!

Yes, there’s a lot more involved than for the people who receive a regular T4, but let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill.

Good News for the Self-Employed

Although self-employed taxes are a more involved process, you don’t actually need to pay for an accountant to make the most of your self-employed taxes.

And there’s more good news! There are also tax opportunities for the self-employed that aren’t available to the average worker. Deductions and tax credits are plentiful for self-employed people–the problem is finding them all. If you miss even one, you could be losing out on some serious money.

That’s why most people assume that they need to hire an accountant to handle their taxes, but that can be an expense that many small businesses and freelancers just can’t afford.

What you really need is a tax processing method that combines the ease of DIY tax software with the accuracy and knowledge of an accountant. That method is TAXplan.

TAXplan is a recent innovation in the world of taxes. We started as a traditional accountant firm and people just like you would hire us to do their taxes. It was old-fashioned, and it worked, but it was also expensive for our clients to hire us and expensive for us with the overhead of having to run a brick and mortar business. We started to realize that, although technology has revolutionized many industries, it still hadn’t really impacted tax filing. After a great deal of thought and development, we took the leap and developed the TAXplan system.

With TAXplan, you don’t need to take out your calculator or shuffle around your files and documents at all. All you need to do is log onto our website alongside our handy Sidekick app, complete a quick questionnaire, and you’ll get an extremely reasonably priced quote for how much it will cost to have your taxes optimized by a TAXpro–one of our tax professionals. It’s a way to connect with a real human being who’s an expert in the tax field, but at minimal costs and all from the comfort of your office or home.

Convenient & Stress-Free

It couldn’t be easier. Just answer a few questions about your profession, take photos of all of your receipts and tax documents using our app, and our TAXpros will get to work on your tax return.

With TAXplan, we basically split the difference between traditional digital filing methods and hiring an accountant. Our TAXpros know exactly where to look for deductions and tax credits, guaranteeing that you won’t miss a single one. We also feel that our pricing really hits the sweet spot for you as a self-employed business person; you don’t have to break the bank to get what you deserve.

Security

Many people who are self-employed or freelance are hyper-aware of keeping their financial documentation safe and secure. You don’t have to worry about any of that with TAXplan. All digital copies of your documents are safely stored on our secure servers under your unique account. Your taxes are your life, so we take your security seriously.

Quick & Painless

With TAXplan, your taxes will be completed before you know it. All you need to do is take a few photos, answer a few questions, and you’re on your way to getting your maximum possible return, at a very affordable cost.

And the best news of all? We guarantee that we can help you get more money back or reduce your amount owing to the lowest possible amount.

Give it a try! Just click on the “Get Started” button in the top right hand corner of this page to receive your quote.

Better than DIY Tax Filing?

When was the last time you did math?

We’re serious! Outside of high school, can you remember the last time that you actually sat down at a desk, took out your calculator, and crunched some numbers? If you’re like most Canadians, we’re going to guess… not recently.
Unless you work in an industry like finance, engineering, or accounting where you work with numbers on a regular basis, your lonely calculator is probably sitting in a drawer somewhere collecting dust. That can prove to be quite a problem come tax time.

Doing your own taxes is a despised annual event the world over. It seems like no one enjoys going through receipts, pay slips, and all of the other assorted bric-a-brac you accumulate (or misplace) throughout the year. It usually ends up a big mess, without any kind of organization, stored in a shoebox or drawer because human beings generally find it “too much fuss’ to carefully sort these things month by month. Then comes the worst part… Actually getting it all down on paper.

So the question has to be asked. Is Do-It-Yourself tax filing really a good idea? Is it really worth putting your rusty math skills to use once a year at the risk of overpaying on your taxes?

The “Good Ol’ Days”

DIY tax filing comes down to two methods.

The first and original tax method is to use old-fashioned pen and paper. You spread everything out at the dining room table, dust off your calculator, sit down, and start to bang your head against 12 months of your finances. Sure, you might miss half your deductions because you aren’t sure where to look, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of putting that giant envelope in the mail, reasonably certain that you’ve gotten most of the math right. Right????

Obsolete Software

The second and, in recent years, more popular method is to sit down at your computer and try to navigate your way through a piece of unnecessarily complicated software designed to make filing your taxes easier but, oddly enough, is still a complete headache. It’s a big improvement over the old analogue method, but there are still major drawbacks. For the price you pay for the software, it should really be doing your taxes itself! At least with online filing, you can be sure that they will reach the CRA in time, but that might be the only thing most of these programs have going for them.

Accountant +/-

The big alternative to tax-DIY is to hire someone to do your taxes. This too comes with its own headaches, the big one being money. Hiring an accountant costs more money. Then there’s the fact that you have to make the time to go see the accountant. That means getting everything organized enough that it’s ready to hand over to a professional, and also finding the time to actually get over to their office to see them.

Absolutely, yes, a professional will do a far better job on your taxes. A good accountant will be able to find every single deduction and credit, getting you the highest refund possible. They’ll make sure that you aren’t missing any tax credits or overpaying. These are big bonuses. It’s just more expensive and less convenient than is ideal for most people.

Getting with the Times

At a certain point, somebody had to look at all of the options and say, “Nope, all of that sounds terrible. We need a better way to do this…”

All of the previous tax filing methods were either pre-technology, like pen and paper, or old technology, like desktop computer software. The next step in the natural evolution of tax filing is mobile technology. If you can write a letter, read a book, order a cab, or watch a movie on your phone, then why couldn’t it also help you do your taxes?

On the other hand, it’s also important that mobile technology not sacrifice the importance of human expertise with something important like taxes.

TAXplan has figured it all out. We’ve put the convenience of uploading your tax documents into a smartphone app, and cut out the inconveniences of the brick and mortar part of hiring an accountant, but you still get human expertise, now at minimal costs.

With TAXplan, all you have to do is answer a few questions online, and a TAXpro optimized your taxes to minimize what you owe and maximize your refund. You use the mobile Sidekick to upload all your documents, and a professional takes care of the rest.

The TAXplan method of doing your taxes is simple, easy, and we’re kind of stunned that no one else in Canada came up with it earlier. It couldn’t be more convenient.

Ok… How Much?

The first step is to get your free quote. You simply tell us your first name, answer a couple of very fast, simple questions, and BAM; you’ll have your quote. At the quote stage, there’s no confidential information exchanged; you can simply get some quick information about the cost. It only takes a minute, why not see what it would cost for you to utilize TAXplan to file your taxes?

If you decide to move ahead with TAXplan, you’ll be guided through the rest of the user-friendly process and you’ll be amazed by just how easy and, well, current tax filing is now. And why shouldn’t it be? We live in a fast-moving, modern world, and it’s about time that tax filing got with the program.

That’s It?

That’s it.

Really?

Oh yeah!

This is why so many Canadians are turning to TAXplan. Everything is safe, secure, convenient, and stress-free. The simple process is designed to make it as smooth as possible to coordinate with a TAXpro so that they can optimize your taxes for the best possible results.

We’ve completely eliminated the headache of doing your taxes, simplifying the process while making sure that you get every single dollar of your refund that you’re entitled to.

So skip the math this year. You don’t need it. (Of course, there are lots of uses for math in today’s world. We know there are, we were told that by our high school math teacher.) But, thank heavens, now you don’t have to worry it when doing your taxes because TAXplan does that part for you. Why not click here to get a quick free quote? It certainly beats the DIY alternative!

 

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How to Optimize Your Family’s Taxes

Does anyone really enjoy doing their family’s taxes? What if you knew that you were getting the highest possible refund? Would that change your feelings about tax season?

Figuring out your family’s annual income tax is far more complex than in your parents’ day. Today, there’s a much higher likelihood of multiple incomes in the family, and there’s a greater variety of tax credits and documents to sort through.

Your Family is Not a Cookie

Modern families don’t fit into a cookie cutter mould. You might be a single parent with a working teenager, or a blended family with child support payments, or some of the income earners in your household might collect income from multiple sources. In addition to your T4(s) you might have “Other Income” to declare. And what about investments? These days it just isn’t very straightforward.

Often times, completing and filing your taxes can take multiple days out of your life and leave you with a very high level of stress. Trying to make sure that you have every important document and that you aren’t missing a credit, deduction, or rebate can be wearing, to say the least. How can you optimize the experience of doing your family’s taxes, to minimize the headache and maximize your tax return?

Well, there’s some good news. It’s now 2017 and the tax solution for families couldn’t be easier.

Tax Filing for Modern Families

We know that you have a busy family life and need a convenient, stress-free way to have your taxes not just completed, but optimized to get the highest possible refund.

The answer is TAXplan. It’s an online program that combines the convenience of DIY tax software with the reliability of using a tax professional. You can use the very simple and user-friendly web app to get started, and then download the Sidekick mobile app from the Apple or Google Play store to snap your photos and upload your documents. Then a TAXpro–a tax professional–will make sure that every available tax credit is utilized so that you get the absolute highest possible refund.

We’re a family business and family people–and we totally get it. We’re the children of hard-working Italian immigrants, and we know that nothing is more important than family. That’s why we designed TAXplan; to help families across Canada maximize their tax savings, so they have money to spend on the important things in life.

Then & Now

In the past, if you wanted to hire professionals to do your taxes, you needed to bring the documents to them. Between dropping your kids off at ball hockey or dance class, making dinner, and checking homework, this just isn’t convenient. Plus, tax offices that operate with a brick and mortar store have a lot of overhead, and those costs get rolled out to you. This can make hiring a professional very cost-prohibitive.

On the other hand, if you decide to do your taxes yourself or to use DIY software, a lot can go wrong. It just doesn’t work out in the long run. A few years ago, we noticed just how many clients were turning to us after painful reassessments due to mistakes made using DIY tax software. Yikes! On top of that, when you do your taxes yourself, you often end up worrying that you may have made a mistake or that you’ve missed an eligible credit. Who needs more to worry about?

With TAXplan, we’ve combined the convenience of digital filing with the peace of mind that comes with a tax professional. In other words, we’ve optimized the entire experience of doing your taxes.

How It Works

The web app adapts to you; it allows you to build a unique profile for yourself and your family. Once you’ve answered a couple of quick questions, received your quote, and decided to move forward, you’ll receive a detailed tax return checklist that’s specific to your family. All you need to do is follow the checklist and you won’t miss a step.

If your family is a little more complex than the “average” household with 2.5 kids (now that must be crazy!), you’ll be able to create multiple profiles for your family members. That way you can be sure that everyone in your family is accounted for, no matter what their age or marital status.

It’s simple to take digital photos of your important tax documents with the Sidekick app. Snap the images and they’ll be synced with your file. You don’t have to worry about losing track of your documents ever again. They’ll all be stored safely online, protected by some of the best digital security on the net.

Then comes the best part. When it’s time to file your taxes, one of our TAXpros will go through your entire file to make sure you get every single rebate and deduction that’s available to you. It’s simple, easy, very reasonably priced, and you’ll get the most money back possible.

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t miss out on eligible credits and deductions simply because you don’t know where to look for them. Our TAXpros know the ins and outs of Canadian tax laws and regulations. Get the most money back and pay the least amount of taxes possible every time, and spend less time dealing with your taxes and more time with your family. Click here to get started.

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Students: Set Yourself Up for Long Term Success This Tax Season

Are you a student? Or maybe you’re the parent of a budding young student?

If you are, then you know that the life of a student is not easy. Between attending classes and lectures, completing homework, assignments, and big projects, studying, taking exams, and the pressure to succeed, being a student can actually be even more stressful than life in the full-time working world.

Isn’t it time students caught a break?

Well, Canadian students have finally lucked out in at least one area of their lives. Maybe surprisingly, that lucky area is actually tax filing.

Now first, let’s go through a couple of questions. As a student, how well do you understand the tax filing process? Do you feel ready to file your taxes this time of year, or is it something you dread?

When you were a kid, your first exposure to tax season was probably watching and listening to your parents. Boy, can that look like a mess! Does this sound familiar? Huge piles of bills and receipts stacked up on the dinner table, a calculator that looks like it’s about to burst into flames from overuse, your parents’ longing looks at the bottle of wine sitting just out of reach in the kitchen…

Then, as a teenager when it was your turn to start filing your taxes, odds are that your parents might have helped you out with your first few tax returns. More paper stacked on the dinner table, more exploding calculators, and probably some stressful arguing and confusion mixed into the mess.

Changing with the Times

Doesn’t that whole system just seem really out of date?

Well, you’re right. It is completely out of date, and these days it’s also totally unnecessary. As a young person, you can avoid that huge mess and all of the chaos that comes with it.

When you look at the huge level of paperwork that your parents have to deal with, tax season can seem overwhelming to the extreme. That’s why so many adults and entrepreneurs hire someone else to do their taxes for them. It’s always better to get someone to do your taxes who knows all of the ins and outs, the deductions, and credits. But as a student, you couldn’t possibly afford to hire someone to do your taxes for you, right?

Not necessarily! As with most things in this world, there’s an app for exactly that. But this app is quite special because it actually connects you with a tax professional–a TAXpro–who will optimize your tax return for you to make sure that you get the highest possible refund. That way you get convenience of technology and the expertise of a real human professional.

And guess what? As a student, it’s 100% free!

Great News for Students

At TAXplan, we believe that given all of the other stressors that university or college puts on you, the last thing you should worry about is learning an old-fashioned way to do your tax returns. That’s why we are offering to process your student tax returns completely for free.

If you’re in a full-time post-secondary program, you can lift the pressure of taxes off your back for every year you’re enrolled as a student. As long as your total income is $20,000 or less, TAXplan will take care of it for you, free of charge. All you need to do is provide an official T2202A receipt from your school or institution to show your enrollment and you’re all set. (One small disclaimer, though – this free offer doesn’t include tax returns for self-employment, rental, and/or employment expenses.)

Maximize Your Refund

There are so many benefits to having professionals do your taxes. We know what to look for. We know how to leverage all of the tax credits to make sure that you get as much money back as possible. You’ll be able to get every single eligible student-specific credit and deduction. If it’s available, we’ll make sure it’s included. We’ll use our expertise to maximize your tax refund.

You don’t have to worry about claiming your education amount, textbook tax credit, public transit tax credit, or anything else. We’ll take care of all of it for you. There’s a much easier way to collect receipts and keep track of your pay stubs. All you have to do to get started is to click here to access the user-friendly TAXplan web app, and then you can download mobile Sidekick to easily snap photos of your receipts and documents. It couldn’t be easier.

Are You Missing Out on “Free” Money?

There are so many students out there who miss out on eligible credits and deductions, simply because they do their taxes themselves. That means that you don’t just have a lot of added stress from trying to do it yourself, but you could also be losing money. Not a great deal! Our TAXpros will ensure that you get the most money back and pay the least amount of taxes possible every time.

Technology Rocks

So, what else do you need to do? Once you’ve created your account on the web app, you can download the TAXplan Sidekick from either the Apple or Google Play store. The Sidekick makes it easy to record of your essential purchases. Snap photos as you go and they’ll automatically sync with your file throughout the year, ready and waiting for you come tax season.

From public transit tickets to textbooks, it’s better to upload too many receipts than too few. Every document that your school gives you that involves money should be photographed and uploaded. Don’t forget your pay stubs, government tax forms, or any other official documentation that could be useful during tax time. Basically, snap a photo of everything–you never know when it will come in handy. Having this digital record (instead of stacks of receipts piled on the dinner table) is the way of the future.

Spread the Word!

Remember, the most convenient, progressive, and cost-effective (what’s more cost-effective than free?) way to keep track of your financial information and get the most money back is by using the TAXplan app. It’s the only app in Canada that connects you with TAXpros who know the ins and outs of the Canadian tax laws and regulations, and that’s completely free for students. So what are you waiting for? Tell all of your friends and click here to get started now.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm when it comes to Tax Season

Don’t Delay, Start Your Taxes Today

Have you heard the expression, “the early bird catches the worm”? When it comes to filing your annual tax return, that’s no exception. Sure, a lot of people wait until April to file, but there are a lot of advantages getting started early and finishing long before the deadline.

This year, you can file your income tax return as of February 20th, and it’s never too early to get organized. Here are a few benefits to filing your taxes early.

8 Great Reasons to Start your 2016 Taxes Today

1. You’ll get your money back faster

If you’re eligible to receive a refund on your 2016 tax return, you’ll most definitely want to file early. The quicker you file, the faster you’ll get your money! And who doesn’t look forward to money in their pocket? You might use the money to pay off some debt, or maybe even take a vacation. Wouldn’t that be nice?

As an extra strategic perk, if you complete your taxes and you receive a refund, you can do some planning and use the money as an investment to put toward your RRSPs to offset your 2017 taxes. Filing early and receiving a refund can help change your mindset about tax season from feeling like a burden to something you can look forward to.

2. Filing early gives you the opportunity to create a payment plan

If you do owe money on your 2016 tax return–sorry!–by filing early you’ll still have lots of time before April 30th to create a payment plan. This can reduce interest and penalties on the balance you have to pay. On the other hand, if you wait until the last minute to complete your tax return, you might be left scrambling to submit your payment on time.

3. You’ll have plenty of time to review new tax rules & updates

Every year, there are changes made to the tax rules. When you get started on your taxes early, you’ll have the chance to familiarize yourself with how these changes might impact your bottom line. You can learn more about the 2016 tax filing changes and updates in this article.

4. You can be proactive about your financial planning

At TAXplan we encourage a tax planning lifestyle, so that you can be proactive about your financial future. Managing your income taxes plays an important role in your overall financial planning. By knowing your 2016 tax information earlier in the year, you can use that knowledge to make important decisions related to investments and RRSPs. Being proactive with your 2016 taxes will make your 2017 financial plan easier to execute.

Also, if you have more than one job or employer, filing early will help to ensure that the appropriate amount of taxes are being withheld based on your entire income level, not just the pay you receive from one individual employer. This will reduce the risk having a large balance owing on your 2017 income tax return–and nobody likes that kind of surprise!

5. You’ll have lots of time to communicate with your TAXpro

The professionals at TAXplan are here to help you, both during tax season and throughout the year. We’re available to answer your questions and make suggestions about how you can optimize your tax situation.

When you start thinking about your taxes early, you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions, get our response, and follow up with additional questions. That kind of thought process and correspondence definitely benefits from extra time. When you feel rushed with the looming pressure of the tax deadline creeping up, it’s hard to get focused on your thoughts and questions. Give yourself lots of time so that you have chance to get answers, mull over the information, and then follow up with additional questions as needed.

Don’t get stuck waiting in line at the 11th hour with questions you haven’t had a chance to ask. Connect with us early to guarantee that you have the information you need.

6. Get Set Up Online with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The CRA My Account online services have many different features that are useful when filing your tax return yourself. If you’re already set up with a user ID and password, that’s great; one less thing to do! However, if you haven’t used this service before, there’s a bit of a wait time to receive access to your online My Account. By getting started early on your income taxes, these small delays won’t affect you filing before the deadline.

On the other hand, we recommend the TAXplan app which gives you the benefits of working with a TAXpro, better accuracy and optimization than doing it yourself, and all at a fraction of the price of hiring an accountant.

7. Filing early helps to prevent identity theft

Not to be too paranoid, but there really are weird cases of identity theft out there. When you file early, you reduce the risk of a thief filing using your social insurance number since your return is already marked as complete. It may seem like a strange type of problem to encounter, but it’s becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, identity theft is not the only fraud that can occur. Learn more about how to protect yourself with these great tips from the CRA.

8. Filing your taxes early gives you peace of mind

It really is as simple as that. Completing your taxes well before the deadline gives you one less thing to think about. The unknown can be very stressful. Not knowing how much you owe or how big of a refund you’ll be receiving leaves you in the dark. Avoid worry by starting your taxes today!

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” ― Benjamin Franklin

When you delay filing your taxes, you put yourself at risk of facing interest and penalties on any amounts owing and you might miss out on receiving important monthly payments that require your annual taxes to be complete. So with so many great reasons to file early, why put it off? Start today and reap the many benefits of filing early.

Do you have all of your documents in order? Try TAXplan’s convenient and stress-free tax preparation app. Correspond with a TAXpro using the convenience of the app to file your taxes. You’ll be able to check off one big item on your to-do list, and hopefully receive one big deposit in your bank account!

A Closer Look at the T1 General Income Tax Statement

Does it ever feel like the statements, schedules, and forms involved in your annual income tax return will never end? With so many forms, it can all be very confusing, especially if you don’t really understand how it works.

In this post we’ll help you understand your general tax return… But as you’ll see in the information that follows, there’s a lot of take in. Our recommendation? We advise skipping this cumbersome DIY process and instead filing your taxes the easy way–using the TAXplan app. As you read on, you’ll start to see the appeal of using an app that connects you with a tax professional rather than trying to do it yourself.

Either way, whether you’re planning to file your taxes yourself or to work with a TAXpro, having a basic understanding of how it all works can go a long way in reducing the stress of the annual filing requirements.

General Income Tax Return

By now you’ve probably started to receive some of your T-statements and “for income tax purposes” papers in the mail. Keep everything handy and well organized as you prepare to file your 2016 taxes. When using the TAXplan app, you can photograph your documents as you go so that they’ll be ready for you to file.

Your annual return, sometimes referred to as a T1 General (T1), is the summary sheet of all of the calculations that make up your final tax results. The T1 uses numbers from the forms and schedules included in the income tax package.

Here’s a brief overview of the different sections you’ll find on your T1, and where the information comes from.

Note: the actual T1 does not have headings of “Section 1, Section 2, etc.”. These titles have been used to better explain the flow of the statement.

Section 1 – Personal Information

First things first. Whether you’re using an app or filing your taxes the old fashioned way, it all starts out with your personal information; name, address, birthdate, social insurance number (SIN), and if you’re married or living common–law, you’ll also need to provide your partner’s personal information.

Section 2 – Questions

The next order of business comes from Elections Canada. If you’re filing on paper, there are two rectangular boxes with yes and no questions, and these are followed by one question about your ownership of foreign property. On paper these boxes can sometimes be overlooked so make sure you don’t miss them.

Section 3 – Total Income

Now we get into the meat and potatoes of your tax information–or the Tofurky and stuffing, so to speak. Here’s where you’ll start to provide the numbers from everything that you’ve earned throughout the year. You’ll use the information from your T-4 slips, T-3 slips, any other employment amounts, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, Old Age Security (OAS), and self-employment income statements. Common amounts include:

  • Employment Income (T4s)
  • Investment Income (Schedule 4);
  • Rental Income;
  • Taxable Capital Gains (Schedule 3);
  • RRSP Income (T4 RSP); and
  • Self-employment income (T2125).

Once you’ve entered all of the applicable information, the sum will be included on Line 150 – Total Income.

Section 4 – Net Income

Next up are the deductions. These are included to reduce your annual income level… which is a good thing from a tax perspective! Common amounts include:

  • RRSP deductions;
  • Annual dues (union and professional);
  • Child care expenses;
  • Moving expenses;
  • Interest Expense (Schedule 4); and
  • CPP deductions (Schedule 8).

These amounts are subtracted directly from your Line 150 – Total Income amount. The difference is entered onto Line 236 and is referred to as your Net Income.

Section 5 – Taxable Income

Here we get into unique deductions that don’t necessarily apply to everyone. Common amounts include:

  • Employee home relocation loan deduction;
  • Net capital losses of other years; and
  • Capital gains deduction.

These are summed and subtracted from Line 236. This new amount is referred to as your Taxable Income, Line 260. This is the number used to calculate Federal Taxes on Schedule 1 and Provincial or Territorial Tax on Form 428.

Section 6 – Total Payable

Now we get into the less pleasant news; taxes and contributions you have owing for the year. These are calculated using Line 260 – Taxable Income, and like most of the other amounts.

  • Net Federal Tax (Schedule 1);
  • CPP contributions on self-employment and other earnings (Schedule 8);
  • Employment Insurance (EI) premium payable on self-employment (Schedule 13);
  • Any social benefits repayment (calculated in the Federal Worksheet); and
  • Provincial or Territorial Tax (Form 428).

Your Total Payable amount will be found on Line 435, the number used to help determine your annual bottom line. Boo hoo.

Section 7 – Total Credits

How about some good news? This is the section where it’s great to see some big numbers to offset your Total Payable amount. Here you’ll find all applicable credits; some are the result of taxes you paid throughout the year.

  • Income tax deducted throughout the year;
  • CPP overpayment;
  • EI overpayment;
  • Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) (Schedule 6);
  • Tax paid by instalments; and
  • Provincial or Territorial Credits (Form 479).

Add these together entering the number on Line 482, and you’ll have your Total Credits amount which is subtracted from your Line 435 – Total Payable to determine your refund or amount owing. Fingers crossed!

Bottom Line

Once you’ve entered all of your numbers into the correct schedules or forms and are finished the calculations, the bottom line result will either be a negative or positive number. Negative means you’re getting money back! While positive, on the other hand, means that you need to submit payment with your 2016 tax return. Bummer.

Note: There’s an opportunity at the end to provide changes to your direct deposit account, and if you’re getting money back, who doesn’t love the speed of direct deposit?

Signing Off

No matter if you completed your taxes yourself or if you had the help of a professional, you’re responsible for the authenticity of the information. At the very bottom of the T1 you’ll need to sign on the line and include the date.

Taxes can still be pretty complex. With so many numbers, forms, and schedules, it’s easy to miss an important tax credit that can reduce the amount of tax that you have to pay. Remember, you can have your taxes processed by a professional at a reasonable price, all from the comfort of your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The TAXplan app connects you with a TAXpro who can take care of the legwork for you. If you’re looking for a convenient and reliable way to file your 2016 return, click here to start filing your income tax with TAXplan.

How Savvy Canadian Families are Benefiting from Tax Season

how-savvy-canadian-families-are-benefiting-from-tax-season

Have you ever wondered if your family is missing a potential tax credit? What if there was a way to guarantee the maximum available tax refund for your family? Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace of mind knowing that your family is prepared and fully optimized for tax season?

The modern family is busy and complex. A flexible, convenient, and cost effective tax solution goes a long way to meet your family’s ever-growing needs. And you definitely don’t need the added expense of a brick and mortar tax office that rolls their operating overhead into your tax bill.

The new TAXplan app is changing the way that Canadian families manage their taxes. With its customized features, the app moulds itself around your unique family profile and optimizes your tax results to meet your family’s specific tax season requirements. Based on your family’s profile, the app will generate a straightforward checklist that you can follow and complete with ease. The app invites you to create multiple profiles and you can assign expenses to specific family members. No matter your marital status, whether you have one or multiple adults in the family, and however many children, teens, and dependents, the app will customize itself to meet your needs.

A tax professional—TAXpro—will oversee your filing, offering you ultimate convenience, maximum returns, and minimal costs. It’s the only tax app that pushes your return to a TAXpro for filing, freeing you up to focus on more important things, like spending quality time with your family.

Now, families never have to worry about missing a tax credit. From the Canada child tax benefit (CCTB), the Universal child care benefit (UCCB), the Working income tax benefit (WITB), Provincial and territorial programs, and Children’s special allowances (CSA), the TAXplan app and TAXpro who is processing your file will ensure that every possible credit is optimized.

The user-friendly platform couldn’t be easier. Simply photograph or upload documents as they become available to you. The app provides an ideal way to keep track of your family’s expenses throughout the year as part of your document checklist so that your file is ready when you are come tax season. You can also control notifications and document reminders.

Over 80% of tax filing is now done digitally, but most of the tax tools have actually become quite antiquated. The new TAXplan app is revolutionizing Canadian tax season for families who can now say goodbye to traditional cookie cutter tax practices in favour of convenience, flexibility, and functionality.

Full-time tuition-paying students in your family are eligible for free tax return filing, and you can receive a quote for your household after answering just a few short questions. Download the TAXplan app for free to create your family’s profiles, get a quote, and start managing your family’s taxes and finances today.

Self-Employed? Stop Killing your Business with Accounting Costs

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Despite the fact that over 80% of tax filing is now done digitally, most entrepreneurs and small business owners feel that they need to hire an accountant. That’s not surprising considering that most digital tax tools have become very out-dated. Last year’s tax filing systems may have been “good enough” for personal tax filing, but it’s natural that self-employed people have put their trust in human expertise rather than antiquated tax software.

As of February 2016, that’s all changed. New, revolutionary tax technology has been designed with the self-employed business owner and entrepreneur in mind. The new TAXplan app is the first and only tax app in Canada that connects your data directly to a professional tax expert – a TAXpro – for filing. Now, you can have the benefit of real human expertise coupled with the convenience of a user-friendly, straightforward smartphone app, and it will fit your stealthy budget.

The TAXplan app is much more cost effective than accounting and bookkeeping fees without compromising on quality or accuracy. In fact, a TAXpro checks every self-employed tax return in detail and optimizes it for the best possible tax results. You can connect with a TAXpro using the messaging app, ask questions, and get support in the most convenient, stress-free way possible.

Your time is valuable and as a busy self-employed entrepreneur, you don’t have time to juggle the role of bookkeeper. With the TAXplan app you can easily photograph and catalogue your receipts and expenses. The app will organize and save them to your digital history in just a few clicks. You can upload additional .xls documents to give your TAXpro additional information and insights into your unique business. The system creates a digital audit trail for that just-in-case scenario, and it’s far more thorough and safe than a paper trail. The innovative Expense Tracker manages bookkeeping for you by tracking expenses and you can generate a report at the end of the year.

TAXplan is the quickest, most convenient, and reliable way to track your business expenses with high level oversight by a TAXpro tax professional. Providing professional tax preparation services online isn’t only convenient; it’s also the definitive way to get the maximum possible tax return with minimal costs.

Download the free TAXplan app today to follow the straightforward checklist and get started.

I’ve Got My T4. Now What?

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By now, you should have received your T4 as well as most of the other slips and receipts that you need for Canadian tax season. Your T4 slip will generally note your taxable income, benefits, allowances, deductions, and pension plan contributions. Remember, if you changed jobs or had multiple employers last year, you’ll need to make sure that you have T4 slips from all of them.

You may have additional tax documents. Here’s a list of documents that you may have received, with links to the CRA for more information:

Once you have your T4 in hand, you’re ready to get started. The question is: how are you going to file your taxes this year?

You may be planning to follow the same tax filing system that you used last year. But is that really the best option? Are you really using the best income tax planning software? Did you know that most tax filing systems leave large gaps for human error? People miss many potential tax credits because they are using inadequate filing methods. What tax credits might you be missing?

That’s why we created the TAXplan app. It’s the only tax app in Canada that pushes your information directly to a professional tax planner – a TAXpro – for filing. When you file your taxes through the TAXplan app, a TAXpro will help to reduce income taxes overall and ensure that you never miss a potential tax credit.

The app offers human expertise and communication. You also benefit from the convenience of technology with the choice of both a web app and smartphone app; choose between them or toggle in between. The two platforms sync for complete convenience. You can access TAXplan’s certified TAXpros to ask questions anytime and from anywhere using the messaging system. You won’t find a more convenient, cost effective, stress-free way to have your tax return processed, maximized, and filed by a professional.

The app has been designed to meet the needs of individuals, families, students, and the self-employed. With your T4 in hand, you can get started right away. There’s a customized checklist and secure file sharing vault that make it easy and convenient for you to interact with your TAXpro.

What if you don’t have your T4 slip?

If you’ve lost or misplaced your slip—or if you never received it in the first place— you’ll need to ask your employer for a copy. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us and we can advise on the best course of action.

If you’ve got your T4, there’s no reason to wait to start your taxes. With TAXplan, filing income tax online could be faster than ever. Create your free online profile today and get a personalized quote. Remember, the sooner you submit your return, the sooner you’ll get your potential tax refund. Start now.

What’s the best way to file your taxes this year?

Is it better to file your taxes online? Using software? Should you hire an accountant? How do you know if you’re making the right choice when it comes to filing your Canadian income tax return?

There have been significant innovations and improvements to Canadian tax filing options this year. In 2015, the CRA received 81% of all tax returns electronically, and only 19% of returns on paper. The rate of electronic submission has been increasingly steadily each year, and soon paper tax filing will become completely obsolete. Since early 2016, there have been even more significant developments in tax filing that have accelerated Canadian tax options forward by several leaps and bounds.

This year, individuals, families, students, and self-employed business owners are faced with a choice: to do things the same way that they did last year, or to try a new and improved system. Many Canadians are choosing to explore new options, and there are some very good reasons to do so.

Many experts say that the choice of whether or not to hire an accountant or see a tax professional depends on the complexity of your financial situation. Most software and online tax filing options leave the ultimate decisions, tax navigation, and file auditing to you.

Understanding the Options

Free Software

Free Software is accessible online or downloadable and is designed for only the most simple tax returns. If you have a very basic tax return to file, this could be a good option for you. However, you should always keep in mind that there is no guidance provided. Free software is usually form based, and does not optimize your tax return for the best possible results.

Paid Software

Paid software goes into more detail with a questionnaire format rather than just the form-based input of the free software. There are more details that help to paint a more accurate picture of your tax situation, but there is still no guarantee that your tax return will be optimized for the best results.

Tax Clinics

Some communities and universities offer tax clinics. These are generally volunteer run programs for low to moderate-income individuals and families. The clinics are really designed to just help people to input their data, but they leave a lot of room for human error and tax returns are not optimized for the maximum tax benefits.

Brick & Mortar Tax Services

There are many tax businesses that pop up in cities across the country. These are like the convenience stores of the tax world. While these options do provide trained customer service representatives who will process your tax return, they are run in somewhat of a factory format. When you use a brick and mortar service, you pay more to help cover the costs of the overhead of the office space, but you are not necessarily getting the expertise of a professional accountant.

Accountant

Having the human expertise and attention of a professional accountant process your tax return ensures that your tax return is maximized for the best possible results. They will understand your tax situation and will uncover all of the details that will optimize your file for the best possible results.

The question is, do you have to hire an in-person accountant? Or is there another way?

Introducing the TAXplan app

TAXplan is the only tax app that connects you directly with tax professionals for optimal tax return filing, right from the convenience of your pocket. It can be accessed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone and offers the perfect balance between technology and human expertise. The app is revolutionary; it’s only tax app in Canada that links your information directly with a tax professional who will process, maximize, and file your tax return.

When you file your taxes with TAXplan, you’ll never miss a potential tax credit. Our proven process ensures accuracy. Every return is processed by a TAXpro—a TAXplan Professional—guaranteeing that your fast and convenient tax return will always be optimized for the best possible tax refund and overall outcome.

Anyone with any kind of expenses that could be deducted, investment income, or business income, is much better served by getting professional help. If you’re not leveraging human expertise, there is no one to check to make sure that your file is optimized. Maximizing your tax refund or minimizing deductions by taking into account details such as expenses, claims, and investments… regular software is not subtle enough to catch all of the details. You could end up paying more money in the long run. But with the TAXplan app, you get the convenience of software without missing out on the benefits of human expertise.

The best news of all? In 2016, TAXplan is offering a special rate of just $29.95* to file your 2015 tax return. With such an accessible rate, the convenience of filing online, and the ability to start now, why wouldn’t you try this new revolutionary app this year?

Remember, the deadline for tax season is fast approaching. Don’t wait to make your decision about filing your 2015 personal income tax return. You must file on or before May 2nd, 2016 this year, as April 30th falls on a Saturday. Start connecting with a TAXpro now to have your taxes filed by a professional, right from the comfort of your own computer, tablet, or smartphone. Click here.