The Tax Blog for Smart Canadians

Tips and tricks for Canadian tax filers at every stage of life from UFile's tax expert Gerry Vittoratos



Last-Minute Tips to Push You to the Finish Line

by UFile Team Équipe ImpôtExpert | Apr 18, 2018   Comments:

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With the deadline to file this year’s tax return – April 30, 2018 – quickly approaching, Canadians can find themselves suddenly struggling to find the time to file.

Fortunately, for those facing a hectic 2018, there are simple strategies you can use to skip the stress – and head straight to the finish line this season.

Here are our tried-and-true tips:

Tip 1: Keep calm – and collected.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by deadline dread, don’t fret; most tax returns are actually simple and straightforward to produce. While most Canadians don’t have a lot of information to input, taking the time to compile tax slips, receipts, and other paperwork, is key. Once these documents are in order, you’ll have everything you need for a fast file.

Tip 2: CRA approved software is here to help.

Filling out forms and paperwork can be stressful – and the tricky nature of taxes often adds to those feelings of anxiety. CRA tax return software like UFile is designed to make taxes as painless as possible. Our platform will guide you step-by-step through the process, taking the guesswork out of where to submit information, what credits to claim, and what you can expect back.

Tip 3: Do it all in one go.

People often ask our tax experts whether it’s better to chip away at taxes little by little, or just get them done in one sitting. At UFile, we recommend that you produce your tax return in one sitting rather than over several days. Producing your tax return piecemeal can lead to omissions or mistakes in your file. You may forget information or miss out on valuable credits. Your best bet? Get your paperwork organized first. Then, load up your CRA recommended software and get it done.

Tip 4: Use our 5-step cheat sheet.

Following these five steps can help set you up for tax-season success:

1) Gather your documents. Collect all the relevant documents you need for your tax return. This includes your T4 or other tax slips, as well as eligible receipts such as charitable donations and medical expenses.

2) Set some time aside. Rushing won’t save you any time in the long run – in fact, it could end up costing you time and money if your filing fumbles. Make a point to intentionally find time in your schedule to load up your CRA approved software and get your taxes completed.

3) Do it digitally. The right CRA income tax software is a must. It’s not only far more user-friendly than filling in paper forms, but software like UFile actually connects directly with the CRA’s NETFILE system, making paperless filing a breeze.

4) Have the CRA guide handy. A copy of the CRA's general income tax guide should be on hand in order to make sure you have correctly produced your tax return. Since you’re filing provincially as well as federally, having a copy of the applicable provincial tax guide is a good idea, too.

5) Refer to last year’s taxes. As you work on your file, keep a copy of the previous year’s tax return handy, and compare your results when your return is ready. Reviewing old returns can help you keep track of your information year-to-year, and ensure that you have not forgotten to enter anything.

Tip 5: Start thinking about next year today.

Are you rushing this year’s return? Don’t make the same mistake twice. Take a moment today to create a folder for any documents related to your tax return – and make a point of updating it throughout the year. You usually receive your income slips at the beginning of March; however, documents for eligible expenses like charitable donations and medical receipts are typically given to you at the time of the transaction. Having a central tax folder will make it easy to keep track of all of the paperwork you need. You can then sort and filter this folder once you start producing your tax return.

Have more questions about tax time? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates on the 2017 tax return and UFile 2017 CRA approved tax software. Visit Tax & U for accurate answers to all your questions about your 2017 tax return.

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