- Do you know anyone who can refer an accountant?
- Is the accountant certified and licensed?
- Are you compatible with the accountant?
- Does the accounting firm offer the services you need?
e.g. bookkeeping, filing back taxes, financial statements, estate planning, payroll services, cash flow and budgeting analysis, etc.
- Does the accounting firm communicate a status update and deadlines?
- Are you comfortable with the payment structure?
Once you decide on an accountant ensure that you both sign an agreement outlining the expectations from both parties.
Preparing for tax season, but not sure what to provide to your accountant?
Personal and Sole Proprietorship Tax Season Checklists:
- T1 Personal Tax Pre-Season Checklist [.PDF]
- Rental Expenses Pre-Season Checklist.pdf [.PDF]
- Moving Expenses Pre-Season Checklist [.PDF]
- Employment Expenses Pre-Season Checklist [.PDF]
- Business Proprietorship Pre-Season Checklist [.PDF]
Corporate Tax Season Checklists:
- Establish the best business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, partnership) for your situation.
- Assist with the financial analysis in your business plan.
- Recommend accounting software.
- Provide advice and assistance on opening a business bank account.
- Make sure your accounting procedures comply with government regulations and requirements.
- Advise on how best to track expenses during your daily business activities.
- Explain the importance of keeping personal and business expenses separate.
The standard penalty for not filing your individual and corporate tax is 5 percent of what you owe plus 1 percent for every month missed for not filing your return. It can really stack up fast so, it’s best to file as soon as possible.
Before you contact the CRA be sure to review the following steps:
- Locate your last notice of assessment.
- Collect all of your T slips from every year you missed (note: an accountant can help you recover those missing T Slips from the CRA).
- Gather your RRSP contributions and any other investment activities.
- Compile all of your receipts from charitable donations to expenses e.g. medical, disability, moving, rental, business.
- And book a meeting with a licensed accountant so, you can discuss your situation and review you options including if you qualify for the Voluntary Disclosure Program, which could result in some penalty relief.
Here are some general tips to help prevent your business from being audited by the CRA:
- Have a licensed accountant advise you.
- File your tax return on time.
- Be consistent with your expenses.
- Understand what expenses can be claimed.
- Make sure your books and records are balanced.
- Pay yourself properly from your corporation.
- Review your return before submitting it.
- Have you already been audited? Request an appointment with Debbie to see how she can help you.