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April 30th is the deadline for most Canadians to file a personal tax return.  Tax time can seem intimidating, especially if you owe money.  Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Senior Vice-President of Sands & Associates Blair Mantin shared some key tips with Global News to help you manage tax time.

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

JUST DO IT (file a return, that is)

There are only a 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!

  • Why? Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) views filing tax returns as a civic obligation – essentially the cost of belonging to society.
  • If you do not file returns 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, are based on your tax return and you may not receive government benefits unless you file your taxes each year.

Know the timelines

It’s important to file on time and to pay any balance owing on time to avoid interest charges and/or collection activities against you.

  • This year’s 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, they expect 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 are expected to estimate their tax liability and make a payment prior to their return being completed
  • Interest charges can be significant! Penalty for amounts not paid by April 30, 2018 is 5% of amount owing, plus 1% monthly thereafter.

Know your options for tax debt

If you filed your returns and ended up with a bill that you can’t pay; or are scared to file your returns because you think you’ll owe money, there is hope!

  • Owing money to CRA is serious, but far from a hopeless situation.
  • It’s incredibly important to be proactive and know your options:
    • There is a single way of ‘making a deal’ with CRA for unpaid taxes – filing a Consumer Proposal through a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
    • Consumer Proposals stop all collection activities, halt all interest charges, and result in a payment plan for the amount of the tax debt you can afford to pay back, in full settlement of the debt
    • For example, if someone owed $50,000 in back taxes over several years, a Consumer Proposal might succeed in reducing the total debts payable to $15,000, with monthly payments of $250/month until the $15,000 is paid off.

Get help with tax debt from Sands & Associates, BC’s trusted debt professionals.  Book your free confidential debt consultation today.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees Sands & Associates have helped thousands of people write-off unmanageable tax and consumers debts since founding in 1990.  We give you protection from your creditors, and debt solutions that provide real results, so you can get the financial fresh start you need!