File your tax return

2. Be sure to claim what you are entitled to claim.

You can consult the CRA website or seek advice from a tax professional if you are unsure whether certain expenses can be claimed or not. For example, you are allowed to claim certain expenses when you are self-employed, including your business use of your home. You will want to make sure you have the proper receipts, invoices, and documents to claim these expenses in case the CRA asks you for this backup information. For added security, you should not claim any expense if you do not have the receipt to prove the expense.

You will also want to make sure that you are claiming medical expenses. It may be useful to obtain printouts from your pharmacies so that you have this back-up information regarding the amounts you can claim.

3. You are responsible for the information contained in your tax return.

Remember that although an accountant can help you prepare your tax return, you are responsible for this information. If there is an audit or reassessment, you will be solely responsible for the outcome, not your accountant. Although your accountant is there to provide you with advice and guidance on your statement, you should still be able to have the proper verification of the information claimed on this statement.

4. Don’t delay filing even if you think you owe.

The deadline to file your personal income tax return is April 30 (but since April 30, 2022 falls on a weekend, your return will be considered filed on time if the CRA receives it by May 2, 2022 or if postmarked on or before May 2, 2022). If you are self-employed, you have until June 15. It is important to always file your return on time, whether or not you owe money. There are late filing penalties when you must and want to avoid these additional penalties. In addition, your return is linked to certain benefits such as the Canada child benefit and GST credits, and if you do not file a return, you will not be eligible for these types of benefits.

It is often mistakenly believed that there is no solution if you owe the CRA money for your personal income tax. You can certainly contact the CRA to try to work out a payment plan. However, if the amount is too high or you think you cannot manage it, you can contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) who can review the situation with you and review all available options. There are legislative options that will include your income tax debt.

Michelle is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Professional. She is Vice President of BDO and works in the Regina office. She has been in the industry since 2001 and believes in the system that empowers individuals to find solutions to their financial challenges so they can take charge of their finances once again.

If you are struggling or are overwhelmed by your financial situation, we can help you find the right solution. Call 1 855 BDO DEBT to book a free, no obligation consultation with a BDO debt professional.