It’s Tax Time and Your Tax Accountant is Not A Mind Reader
It’s getting down to the crunch to get your taxes completed and filed. If you are like many you are flying around trying to gather all of the necessary documentation. You have toyed with the idea of completing your own taxes. After taking a quick look at the forms, and thinking of trying to master filing online you have decided it’s time to use the services of a tax accountant.
If this is your first experience with this type of expert you may not be sure what to expect. If you have used tax preparation services in the past chances are you have just dropped off your T4’s and other related documents then fifteen minutes later walked out with your taxes done. This is great at least you have your taxes done for another year. Did you get all of the possible tax breaks that you may have been entitled to?
It can be difficult to know what to tell your tax accountant as you don’t know what may be pertinent to your tax situation. It could be that you separated at the end of the last tax year, or you had a new baby or maybe even adopted. How does any of this concern your tax return? You may be surprised.
First, you need to take all of your papers to your tax accountant. Even if you think they may not be relevant. If it has to do with money then this tax expert should know about it. That doesn’t mean that you walk in with a shoebox of documents. What you go with is a list of accounting. For example, did you do home renovations in the tax year? Did you pay for drugs or medical care that wasn’t covered?
If this is your first time using a particular tax accountant, then expect to spend some time with him, and not just ten or fifteen minutes while he quickly fills in your tax forms. This expert will try to get to know you on a financial level.
This is the only way he can get your taxes done properly, glean all the potential tax breaks that may be owed to you, and warn you if you are doing something that is evident that is not tax compliant.
Often, individuals will use tax specialists such as this once, then not return for services. The reason may be that they discovered their taxes were not done right, and they received a re-assessment. While it is easy to put the blame on the expert, perhaps it means looking a little deeper. Did that individual forget to give the accountant another T4 that got lost in a drawer perhaps? People don’t realize that the CRA gets a copy of these as well and you can bet they don’t lose theirs.
Plan to spend some time with your chosen accountant, and be prepared to give him as much detail as you can about your financial status, and let him decide what is pertinent and what isn’t.