BBB recommends following the ten tips this tax season:
1. Start gathering your records: Round up any documents or forms you’ll need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you’re claiming on your return.
2. Be on the lookout: All your relevant tax forms (T4's, T5's etc) should have arrived by now in order for you to file your tax return. If they have not, contact the appropriate business/organization and request they mail you the appropriate forms.
3. Check out online tax filing software: There are a number of brand-name tax software or online fillable forms available to help you with filing your taxes. Everyone can find an option to prepare their tax return and e-file it, sometimes for free or a small charge.
4. Try e-filing: e-filing is a safe, easy and common way to file a tax return. If you owe taxes, you have payment options to file immediately and pay by the tax deadline. Best of all, combine e-file with direct deposit and you get your refund returned very quickly.
5. Consider other filing options: There are many different options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer. Give yourself time to weigh all the different options and find the one that best suits your needs.
6. Consider Direct Deposit: If you elect to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you’ll receive it faster than waiting for a paper check.
7. Visit the CRA website again and again. The official CRA website is a great place to find everything you’ll need to file your tax return: forms, publications, tips, answers to frequently asked questions and updates on tax law changes.
8. Check out tax credits, deductions and benefits. There are a number of ways for individuals, families, seniors persons with disabilities, homeowners, students and the self-employed to reduce their taxes.
9. Review! Review! Review! Don’t rush. Be sure to double-check all the Social Insurance Numbers, dates and math calculations on your return as these are the most common errors made by taxpayers.
10. Don’t panic! If you run into a problem, remember the CRA is here to help. Try www.cra-arc.gc.ca or call toll-free at 1.800.959.8281.
Remember, when seeking the assistance of a tax preparer, always get referrals from friends and family on who they use and check the BBB Business Review on tax preparation services at vi.bbb.org.
For more advice on finding professionals you can trust and for filing your taxes accurately, visit www.bbb.org and www.cra-arc.gc.ca.