If there is one overriding emotion that dominates tax season in Canada, it is panic.
As a certified tax preparer, I see it every day.
People really do arrive with shoeboxes of receipts and looking like they are about to break from the strain of their paperwork.
The deadline for your 2017 income taxes to be filed is on or before April 30. If you are self-employed, the deadline is June 15, but if you owe money, it must be paid by April 30.
You can take the panic out of April each month by outsourcing your bookkeeping.
At Piligrim Accounting, for example, we handle clients from Halifax to Victoria. We ensure that their small and medium-sized business affairs are in order, their tax plan is in place, and their taxes are prepared without stress.
We have long passed the point where small businesses can expect to shove all their receipts into a box or a bag and sort it all out in one month.
Meeting Canada Revenue Agency requirements means maintaining proper books and records throughout the year so that you don’t feel panicked at tax time.
It is difficult to watch people who work hard for their money in their small businesses arrive at tax time and discover that had they handled some of their bookkeeping differently, they would have been eligible for a tax refund. Sometimes they are eligible, but they have lost the receipts that would support their claim.
It is also understandable that people who run small businesses cannot find the time each day, each week and each month to do their financial reports and keep their books up to date.
They are doing what they need to do each day, which is producing their product or services, keeping their sales strong, and ensuring their distribution system is effective.
But if they had reliable, up-to-date reports on their financial health, they could make better business decisions.
It just makes sense to have access to books that are in order, and weekly or monthly overall reports showing cash flow, profits, return on investment and other key indicators of how the business is doing.
Not only that, but with Cloud-based online bookkeeping and tax preparation companies such as ours, you can access your financial accounts 24/7 and ensure your reports are always up to date.
By digitizing and automating your bookkeeping, you also free up storage space in your facility and negate the need to have a bookkeeper on staff.
The best decisions and responses do not emerge from panic. If you keep good records all year, you can eliminate desperation in your business and greet tax season with the calmness of the prepared.
Once you experience it, you won’t want to go back!
Certified professional bookkeeper and certified tax specialist Elena Ivanova is managing director of Piligrim Accounting Inc., a national accounting and tax preparation service based in Richmond Hill, Ont. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.