TurboTax Giveaway and More Great Tax Filing Tips

Doing your taxes can seem overwhelming and time consuming – but it really doesn’t have to be. The key is being prepared and using the right tax filing software.  Once again thanks to my friends at TurboTax I have a few online codes to giveaway to some lucky readers this tax season.  I’ll draw the winners of this giveaway at random in March – so make sure you enter!

To help improve your financial literacy, tax expert, writer, speaker and personal finance consultant Robin Taub recently shared some tips with me, so I can share them with you as part of this giveaway.

Robin, small business owners like myself can take advantage of a number of tax credits and deductions.  Can you remind me what these are?

Sure Mark, your readers might be interested in the Small Business Job Credit

  • If you are the owner of a small business and have employees, you may see a refund of a portion of the Employment Insurance premiums you pay as an employer.
  • The Small Business Job Credit applies to small businesses whose employer share of EI premiums is less than $15,000 annually. It translates to 39 cents per $100 of insurable earnings.
  • There’s no application for the credit; CRA will do the math for you based on the T4’s submitted for your employees.

I also believe your readers should be aware of these deductions for business expenses.

  • You can deduct legitimate expenses incurred to earn business or professional income, such as advertising and marketing, legal fees, insurance, office expenses and rent (to name a few), as long as they are reasonable.
  • You can only claim 50% of the actual amount of meals and entertainment expenses.
  • You can claim home office expenses if it is your main place of business or you use it only to earn business income, and to meet clients, customers or patients on a regular and ongoing basis.
  • You deduct the cost of capital property, like furniture or computer equipment, over time in the form of capital cost allowance.

Thanks Robin.  Great tips and reminders.  Any final advice for tax filers this year?

I would make sure you are registered for CRA’s My Account. It is a two-step process so register well ahead of the tax filing deadline of April 30.

The first step involves providing personal information to the CRA such as:

  • your social insurance number.
  • your date of birth.
  • your current postal code.
  • an amount you entered on one of your income tax and benefit returns. Have a copy of your returns handy. (The line amount requested will vary. It could be from the current tax year or the previous one.) To register, a return for one of these two years must have been filed and assessed.

Then you will create:

  • a CRA user ID and password.
  • your security questions and answers.

After step one, you will have access to limited tax information on My Account. Within 5-10 days, CRA will mail you a security code.

The second step requires you to log in with your CRA user ID and password and enter this security code. Once you do, you will have access to the full range of tax information and services on My Account.

Thanks for highlighting CRA’s My Account Robin – this is an excellent resource – and all the advice this tax season.

I’ve been using TurboTax for years and will continue to do so.  Now, it’s your turn for an opportunity to use TurboTax this year.  Enter my giveaway and good luck to all entrants!

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