Personal tax season is one of the busiest times of the year for an accountant. It can also be quite stressful for most taxpayers; am I getting a refund or will I have tax to pay? Will CRA audit me this year? Will I get all the deductions I’m entitled to? Avoiding these 6 cardinal sins can help ensure your return is complete, you get the deductions you are entitled to and you have a stress free personal tax season. Your accountant will also be just a bit happier too!
Procrastination: The first cardinal sin of filing personal income tax is procrastination. This is when you wait until the last minute to gather your documents, fill out your forms, and meet with your accountant. Not only does this create stress and anxiety, but it can also lead to mistakes and errors in your tax return. So, if you want to avoid the wrath of your accountant, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Lack of Organization: The second sin is lack of organization. This is when you arrive at your accountant’s office with a pile of crumpled receipts, mismatched bank statements, and unreadable invoices. Not only does this make it difficult for your accountant to prepare your tax return, but it can also lead to higher costs, missed deductions and forgotten credits. So, if you want to stay in your accountant’s good graces, make sure you keep your records organized and tidy.
Hiding Information: The third sin is hiding information. This is when you’re not forthcoming about your financial situation, including your income, expenses, and deductions. Hiding information from your accountant is a surefire way to incur their wrath, as it can lead to missed opportunities and even penalties from the Canada Revenue Agency. So, if you want to avoid your accountant’s wrath, be transparent and honest about your financial situation.
Ignoring Advice: The fourth sin is ignoring advice. This is when you disregard your accountant’s recommendations, ignore their suggestions, and do things your own way. Ignoring your accountant’s advice can lead to missed opportunities and even interest and penalties from CRA, so it’s important to listen to what they have to say. So, if you want to avoid the wrath of the CRA, take your accountant’s advice to heart.
Skipping Appointments: The fifth sin is skipping appointments. This is when you miss your scheduled meetings with your accountant, or when you cancel your appointment at the last minute. This is a very busy time for your accountant and so skipping appointments can cause delays in your tax return, make it difficult to reschedule and can even lead to missed deadlines. So, if you want to stay in your accountant’s good graces, make sure you keep your appointments and show up on time.
Not Following Through: The sixth and final sin is not following through. This is when you don’t take action on your accountant’s recommendations or when you don’t follow through on your own commitments. Not following through can lead to missed opportunities and higher costs. So, if you want to avoid your accountant’s wrath, make sure you follow through on your commitments and take action on their recommendations.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your tax return is accurate, compliant, and free from stress and anxiety. And who knows, you might even become your accountant’s favourite client. So, keep these tips in mind and let’s make tax season a little more bearable!