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Happy Tax Day! Here are Some Tips for those Late Filers

Today is the deadline to get your income tax returns into the Canadian government and that means only one thing – there are a bunch of people who are scolding themselves for once again not getting their taxes in on time. If you fall into that group and you’re about to go scurrying off to get your taxes done, don’t scurry so fast that you forget these tips.

File a tax return

This one might sound obvious, but too many people don’t file a tax return because they didn’t make any income. Because of that, they figure they have nothing to owe and so, they needn’t bother. But that in fact, is not the case. Tax returns are one of the primary ways the federal government keeps tabs on who is deserving of what tax credits, as well as other benefits and credits that they may have coming to them. If you don’t file a tax return, the government doesn’t know that you’re entitled, and you won’t receive what’s owed to you.

Know when to use tax software, and when not to

If you have only one source of income, basic deductions and credits, using simply tax software will allow you to just plug in your numbers and it will calculate it for you almost automatically. However, if you have a business, multiple incomes, or other tax documents and history that make your return more complicated, tax software just may not cut it. You’re better off hiring a professional, ensuring that the job is done correctly, and that you’re getting all the cuts and breaks that are available for you.

Transfer unused tax credits

Are you entitled to the Child Tax Credit, but you don’t need it on your tax return? Do you have tuition, education, or textbook credits that could also be applied to your tax return, but you have enough write-offs already? If either of these are the case, you can divide the credits between you and your spouse. That way you’ll still use all the credits that are available to you, and everyone will benefit!

Claim medical expenses

As long as you keep your receipts you can claim medical expenses such as prescription medication or payments for treatments and services received. It’s important to remember that only expenses lower than $2,109 or 3 per cent of your net income can be claimed.

Find out about all tax credit available to you

There are many, but in addition to those that you already know about (or quite often forget about) there are new tax credits that were introduced in the federal budget last year. Those include the family caregiver credit, as well as the mineral exploration tax credit for investors in mines.

These are just a few of the biggest tips that many people all too often forget about come tax time. Keep these tips in hand, get your income taxes done as quickly as possible, and for heaven’s sake, send them in! You’re late already!

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