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While some people look forward to an annual cheque from the government courtesy of their tax refund, others dread the chore of filing.  Like it or not, as the expression goes: “two things in life are certain – death and taxes” and tax time is here!

Vancouver Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin of Sands & Associates shared 5 simple Do’s and Don’ts for Tax Time with Breakfast Television Vancouver.

Watch the clip below, and read on for more information:

DO:  Know (and abide) Filing and Payment Deadlines
Surprise: These are not always the same!

  • This years’ tax filing deadline is April 30, 2018 – unless you are self-employed, you need to have your returns filed by this date. This is also the payment due date for taxes owing for 2017.  If you owe CRA money on your tax returns, CRA expects you to submit corresponding payment upon filing.
  • For self-employed individuals – the filing deadline is June 15, 2018
    • It’s important to note that any balance for taxes is due April 30, 2018, even though the return has not yet been filed! Self-employed individuals should estimate their tax liability and make a payment prior to their return being submitted to CRA.
  • Interest charges can be significant! The penalty for amounts not paid by April 30, 2018 is 5% of amount owing, plus 1% monthly thereafter.

DO: Set aside Enough Time
Start thinking about what slips and receipts you’ll need for your tax return before the day you actually get your return filed.

  • Keeping track will help ensure you include all slips needed AND utilize all possible deductions and credits
  • Avoid a last-minute scramble to the filing date!

DON’T: Forget to File your Tax Return
There are few circumstances where an individual is not required to file a return for a given year.  In just about every case, it is in your best interest to file!

  • If you don’t file, or file late – you may miss out on money from the government! GST credits, Canada Child Benefits, Old Age Security and MSP Premium assistance, to name just a few key government benefits.

DON’T: Fall for Tax Scams
“If it sounds too good to be true…”

  • Every year Canadians get caught by tax scams and don’t realize what’s happened until they’re hit with interest, penalties and fines from CRA as a result.
  • Educate yourself on the latest scams and thoroughly research any “new” opportunities before signing on.

DON’T:  Ignore a Balance Owing
Owing money to CRA can be serious, they have more power than nearly any other creditor

  • For example: Visa or Mastercard is required to sue you before they can take your wages or seize your assets. CRA has no requirement for legal action first – if you ignore them, they can go straight to your employer and take up to 30% of your wages until they are paid in full.  They can also register a charge against your house or condo requiring their debt to be paid when you refinance or sell.
  • The key is to be proactive and know your options if you can’t pay your tax debt – there ARE solutions!
    • There is a single way of ‘making a deal’ with CRA to write-off unpaid taxes – filing a Consumer Proposal through a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
      • Consumer Proposals stop collection action, halt interest charges, and result in a payment plan for the balance you can afford to pay back, in full settlement of the debt.
    • If a Consumer Proposal is not possible given your personal circumstances, tax debt can also be dealt with through a personal bankruptcy proceeding.

Book your free, confidential debt consultation with a Sands & Associates debt specialist today.

In BC, only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is qualified and legally entitled to file a Consumer Proposal or personal bankruptcy on your behalf.  No referral is required to get started, and it never costs money to talk about your situation and work on a plan to become debt-free.

Find a Sands & Associates office near you – we have a network of local BC office locations to serve you.