It’s that time of year again. Do you have what you need to file your personal tax return? Whether you're preparing your tax return yourself or having your accountant or tax specialist do it for you, use this checklist to help make sure that you’re collecting all relevant information.
Here's is a list of federal tax slips¹ you may receive, depending on your individual situation. Expect to receive most of your slips by the end of February 2021:
- T3 – allocations or distributions from trusts (including segregated funds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds)
- T4 – employment income
- T4RSP – income from registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)
- T4RIF – income from registered retirement income fund
- T4A – Pension, retirement, annuity, COVID-19 emergency or recovery benefits from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and other income (including registered education savings plan payments and self-employed commissions)
- T4A(OAS) – Old Age Security pension benefits
- T4A(P) – Canada Pension Plan benefits
- T4E – Employment Insurance benefits and Canada Emergency Response Benefit from Service Canada
- T5 – Investment income (including distributions from corporate class mutual funds and interest received from bank accounts)
- T5007 – Workers’ compensation and social assistance benefits
- T5008 – Statement of Securities Transactions
- T5013 – Partnership income
- T101 – Resource expenses
Prior years’ tax filing positions and documentation received from CRA contain important information to help you accurately file this year’s tax return:
- previous year’s tax return(s)
- previous year’s Notice of Assessment
- tax installment payments
- any reassessments or other correspondence received from CRA
Deductions and credits
Deductions and credits are key to reducing your annual tax liability. To support your claims, be sure to compile your documentation for:
- RRSP contributions (until March 1, 2021)
- investment expenses
- investment loan expenses
- moving expenses
- medical expenses
- charitable and political donations
- child care expenses
- adoption expenses
- child support and alimony payments
- tuition or examinations fees
- student loan interest
- professional and union dues
- car/travel logbook and expenses
- rent/property tax (in certain provinces).
Carry forward amounts
Some amounts that you reported in previous years but didn’t utilize then can be used this year to reduce your taxes payable:
- RRSP contributions
- moving expenses
- charitable donations
- tuition, education, and textbook amounts
- student loan interest
- capital losses.
Other planning opportunities
You may need to provide additional information if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:
- Did your marital status change?
- Did you hold more than $100,000 of specified foreign property at any time during the year (including bank accounts, shares, or real property)?
- Did you sell stocks, bonds, or real estate (including your principal residence)?
- Did you have business income/expenses (i.e., sole proprietorship)?
- Do you support a spouse or common-law partner, or a dependant with a physical or mental impairment?
- Do you work on commission?
- Do you have a home office? If yes, will you use the detailed or flat-rate method to claim that expense?
- Do you have farm or fishing income/expenses?
- Do you have rental income/expenses?
- Are you a volunteer firefighter?
- Are you eligible for the disability tax credit?
- Are you a northern resident?
With hundreds of deductions and credits available in the Canadian tax system, this checklist isn’t intended to be a complete list of all potential available deductions and credits, or the possible documentation that you may need. We strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a professional to make sure you have the information and documentation appropriate to your specific situation so you’re minimizing your tax liability and not leaving any money on the table.
1 Residents of Quebec will also receive the relevant Quebec tax slips.
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