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Personal Tax Filing During COVD-19

By William Wedlock
April 07, 2020

During these uncertain times, the Canadian government has made bold moves to keep the economy, businesses, and individuals afloat. One of those changes has been the extension of the personal tax filing deadline, which has been extended to June 1st. While there are some specific reasons for this extension, if those reasons don’t apply to you, it makes more sense to file sooner rather than later. 

The June 1st extension was put in place to allow individuals who need to have face-to-face meetings with their accountants, or accounting firms who can only access documents or programs in their office, to wait until COVID-19 and self-isolation guidelines have passed to finish returns. On top of the personal tax filing extensions, the deadline to pay taxes owing has been pushed to September 1st, providing relief to those who may have been laid off or out of work due to these unforeseen circumstances.

All of that said, there are individuals who have everything they need to file, and there are accounting firms (like us), who have all the tools they need in the cloud to file them. If you are someone who has all their tax information, and you have a firm to file them for you, there is no reason not to file them as soon as possible. 

We may only work with business clients, but we still file the personal tax returns of the business owners and their family members. That’s why personal tax season is still top of mind for us, especially now. We’re still pushing for an April 30th file date, and these tips will help you hit that deadline, too:

Embrace technology

Some things are best done the old fashioned way, but when it comes to your taxes, technology is on your side – especially now. At Qmulus, we use secure portals to safely transfer your files. Not only is this more convenient, it also saves time and leaves less room for error. Take a look at the technology we use and talk to your accountant about which one works for you.

Be prompt

The faster that you send your personal tax information in (and beat the rush), the faster that the return can be finalized and filed. If you are expecting a tax refund, even more reason to file your taxes as soon as possible. At Qmulus, our target is to finalize a personal tax filing within ten days. This means that if you don’t send your package in before mid-May at the latest, there is no guarantee that your returns will be done by the new deadline of June 1, especially if there is information missing.

Send us everything at once

We know that you often receive your personal tax slips one at a time, but sending them to your accountant one by one takes up too much time and makes the process more complex. Not to mention that more time spent on your taxes leads to a higher bill to pay. Make sure you know ahead of time which receipts and/or tax slips your accountant will need to accurately file your personal taxes. Not entirely sure which we’ll need? Ask us! Once you have all the necessary paperwork together, send it to your accountant in one bulk package. Our team is staying safe and working from home during this time, and we are strongly encouraging the usage of our secure online portal to send your documents.

Keep it organized

Accountants get tons of tax returns to prepare. Rather than shoving every new receipt into a shoebox or having a series of random PDFs or image scans, bundle them together by category – medical expenses, donation slips, etc and send them to your accountant through a secure online portal. If there’s a lot, a nice touch is to summarize them into an Excel spreadsheet. If you’re saving your accountant time, you’re saving yourself money. 

Tell us everything

Just like you tell your doctor all of your symptoms, explain your financial situation to your accountant as much as you can. Pieces of information like if you hold any assets (in Canada and beyond), if you’re registered for HST, and even your citizenship status are all helpful in the tax process. If your accountant knows this before filing, they can avoid penalties from the CRA. Set up a phone call meeting with your accountant to fill them in on this important information before they start working on your file. 

We know that as uncertain as these times may seem, we’re here for you. We’ll help you focus on keeping your business afloat by taking care of your taxes and other financial concerns. Don’t forget that if you’re one of our business tax clients, personal tax filings are included in your plan. We’ll take care of your financials so you can focus on running your successful business. Schedule an appointment or give us a call at 647-476-2145 and let’s get started. 

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