January 25, 2015 | By: Phil Brown

Resolve to plan your taxes early.

You’ve probably framed or planned your resolutions for the New Year. Maybe they cover solving your debt issues, your diet, or finally finishing that novel this year. But have you considered one of the most important resolutions of all?

It’s your taxes. Yes your taxes. There are many people who handle their financial planning like they are running a business. And like a business, you need to do the work all year round. Not just before the tax deadlines.

Remember the deadline for the individual tax return is April 30, 2015. So far the deadline for the self-employed and their spouse is June 15, 2015.

Ok, first things first: have you made a checklist of all the receipts you need to complete your individual tax return, such as your sources of income; the RRSP top ups you did? How about the donations you made and medical expenses you incurred? Don’t forget your Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) too.

How are you going to complete your taxes? Are you going to use the snail mail option or a filing program to file online?  The CRA has a list of certified programs that require your name, social insurance number and date of birth to do your taxes. Using them to file your taxes allows you to send your returns directly to the CRA which is better than having to upload to their site. Remember also to print your tax returns and post them before the deadline.

Programs like Turbo Tax and Netfile do help you do things efficiently but they do come with a cost. Simpletax is a free program that developers have created to help you to get things done on time. This allows you to download the program to your computer in either Windows or Apple platform.

Planning and working out these financial matters and incorporating them into your budget over the course of the year will reduce the overall tax burden for you and your family at the end of the year. It will also save you a lot of time and hopefully put more money in your pocket. It is also advisable to review and update your tax plan periodically and adjust it if necessary.

Here are links that will help you figure things out: 

CRA-certified tax-preparation programs

Child-friendly credits and benefits

Charitable donations

If you need help contact Credit Canada for professional financial planning and again, there’s no better time to plan your taxes than NOW!

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