Tax time is almost here and now is as good a time as any to get your “stuff” in order to lower your tax bill with your accountant. The awful truth is that most accountants don’t care about how organized you are because they can use your lack of preparedness to increase the amount they bill you. I can’t do that. My job is to educate and advise my client’s. Part of that advice includes how to organize your finances to :
- Understand them
- Lower your year end tax bill
Once client`s understand that the more work that I need to do translates into the more they pay, then they usually change their habits. Although, truth be told, there are some that accept this and are OK with a higher bill.
How to get prepared
- Make sure you wait to get all your T4`s, T5`s, T3`s , and RRSP slips. This cuts down on filing amended returns.
- Find all relevant receipts (hopefully they are easy to get at) if not there are usually on-line records that you can access
- Sort by type of receipt (Medical, travel, meals, donations, vehicle, entertainment, cell phone, etc.)
- Add all receipts up with a calculator (buy a calculator with a print feature) then print tab and circle total amount
- Paper clip or bind these receipts with tab on top
- Present them in one docket or file to your accountant
This eliminates 80% of what accountants do. From here, the accountant should spot check and verify amounts for eligibility and weed out duplicates. This should result in your accountant lowering your tax bill. If it doesn`t then you need to ask yourself if you are using the right accountant.
Hope this helps,