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What to Bring at Tax Time

Updated: Sep 13, 2018

Young couple speaking to their tax advisor.

It's tax time again!

If you aren’t keen to untangle the mysteries of tax filing on your own, you may choose to visit an accountant or tax business to file your taxes for you.

To make your visit an easy one – and to save you time – here’s what you should bring to your meeting:

1. Income Slips

Whether you are working full time, retired or going to school you likely have some sort of income coming in to help you pay your living expenses. Employers are obligated to send your T4 income slips to you by Feb 28th so if you haven’t received anything after that date, you may want to go looking for them.

Other slips to remember include those relating to Employment Insurance Benefits, Old Age Security and CPP (T4 RSP, T4 RIF), any pensions and annuities, Workers Compensation and Social Assistance payments.

2. Investments

Investing in a registered savings plan can help bring your taxable income down while saving for your retirement so don’t forget your RRSP contribution slips.

Pen on paper showing investment tracking over time

Other non-registered investments will count as taxable income. Your accountant will need your mutual funds tax slips, any interest tax slips and dividend slips (T3, T5, T5008) to calculate your taxes accurately.

3. Work related expenses

If you are student or if you must take ongoing courses as a condition of your profession, take heart! Your tuition (T2202A), professional fees and even union dues are all expenses you can claim on your taxes.

And if you work out of your home or require special tools for your job these are expenses that can go against your income and lower the amount of tax you pay. These expenses include the in-home office expenses, vehicle costs, specialty tools. Be aware though in most situations you will require form T2200 signed by your employer to claim any work related expenses.

4. Child Related Expenses

The Universal Child Care Benefit is a help to many families and as of this year it’s no longer a taxable benefit! However if you still need to file taxes for previous years you will need to bring in the previous years’ UCCB slips with you.

Child care can be claimed on taxes

Childcare expenses and adoption expenses can all be claimed against your income. But as of this year, you can no longer claim any child fitness or arts expenses.

However, if you have to pay tuition for a dependent child, up to $5000 can be transferred to you to claim on your income taxes – especially handy if that child doesn’t currently work.

5. Personal Expenses

There are a number of personal expenses that can be claimed against your income. You can claim your rent or property taxes if your income is less than $40,000 per year. If you commute to work, transit passes can be claimed. Charitable or political donation receipts are considered tax deductible.

Medical expenses can be deducted they total more than 3% of your annual income. However, disabled persons qualify for special tax credits and can claim a variety of expenses.

If you pay or receive support for a child or if you pay or receive spousal or common law partner support you should bring the corresponding legal documents to your accountant so it can be determined if there’s any positive or negative tax implications for your situation.

6. Tax Filing Information

If you plan on seeing a new accountant or tax specialist it is always good to bring in your previous year’s tax return and notice of assessment so there’s a consistency to how you file. As well, bring in any correspondence you’ve had with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

No need to bring in your Netfile access code as your Tax Accountant/Specialist is likely already set up to Efile on your behalf.

While this list may cover a number different documents there are still many more that you may need to bring. Always talk to your accountant and bring any information about any big changes you may have made or plan to make. Getting married, having children, owning multiple properties, selling a property, cashing in stocks, and planning to retire all have tax implications that your accountant can advise you on.

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