Tax Deadline April 30th, Have You Done Your Taxes?
You are wondering what to do about filing your taxes this year. Every year you wait until the final few days, make a dash for it and choose the first person you meet to help you do your taxes.
You often leave thinking. Was that right? Your mind begins racing and you have thoughts, such as these. Is that all the refund I qualify for? This guy was not sure of what he was doing. He kept asking his co-workers for help. That was a lot of money to pay to have my simple tax done.
So this year I am offering you some tips to get your taxes done properly.\
- Ask for referrals from family, friends or colleagues. Find out if they have had their taxes done by this person and how satisfied they were. Would they be using them this year? If not, why?
- Ask for their credentials and experience. Are they qualified to prepare taxes? How many years of experience they have? 7 to 10 years of doing taxes are great. Do they belong to professional associations? Do they keep up to date on the changes in the tax rules and regulations?
- Ask about their fees upfront. “Do not worry about it or I don’t charge much.” Is not an answer. Get them to tell you their fees for doing your taxes not someone else’s.
- Make sure all the deductions are legitimate. Tell the person; you want them to be sure that the credits are the right ones for you. Do not take chances with the government. They come first.
- Make sure your refund is coming to you and not to your tax preparer. You are often told. “We will give you, your refund immediately.” Guess what? There is a fee for that. Just say No. Wait, you will receive your refund in 7 to 10 days. Not waiting can cost you 15% or more of your refund. If you agree to this, you will be given a debit card, which charges a fee every time you use it. It’s a withdrawal fee. Who do you think keeps making money off you? That company who just did your taxes, you keep on paying and paying.
- Sign up for automatic deposit to your bank account. There is a very simple form to complete. The person preparing your taxes should have forms available or download them from the government website. Your bank will give you all the information you need to complete the form and they will assist you in completing it.
- Keep an eye on how they prepare your taxes. Turn your phone off and concentrate on what is happening. Make sure you have all the documents you need to file a proper return. Your last pay cheque is not a T4. If the person is not explaining what is going on with your taxes, ask him/her to explain what they are doing. You are paying them to crunch the numbers, but you should have a general idea of what is going on. Make sure your return is e File. Once this is done they get a confirmation number. Make note of the confirmation number. Ask for the originals of all your T4’s and receipts. Keep them together with the copy of your return.
- Find out if they provide audit assistance. Using a tax preparation chain can be cheaper than a CA but they may not offer audit assistance. Your CA will accompany you to an audit and answer questions on your behalf. There will be a charge for this extra service.
- Ask the person whether you are able to contact them after you file and after the deadline date. If anything goes wrong with your return, or you have additional questions you need to be able to contact them.
Hope this helps and if you have further questions, please contact me.