Five Tips To A Worry-Free Relationship With The CRA
The mere mention of a financial audit or notice from the CRA is enough to send shivers down most people’s spines and give them nightmares. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories. It also administers various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system.
Additionally, the CRA charges penalties and interest on an outstanding tax debt, and the CRA collections department can legally take firm action to collect the debt that is owed. This means that the agency is often challenging to negotiate with since it holds so much power.
At FILETAXHERE INC., we helped hundreds of hard-working people from different countries, origins, and cultures. To help you develop a good relationship with the CRA and stay compliant, we have put together a list of five tips that should help you in correspondence with the tax authorities.
Tip #1: Have a “CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) is a friend” mindset
Yes, not all of us are too agreeable to the idea of paying taxes. We worked hard for the money we earned. Therefore, it should be just ours to spend. But let us remind ourselves that the country operates and infrastructure is maintained by a combined effort and collected taxes. Keeping all our systems running smoothly requires money, and it is through the taxes we pay. In that regard, the CRA plays an essential role in administering the tax law fairly. So if they are reviewing you, they are just doing their job.
Tip #2: Register for an online CRA account
Are you looking for your previous year’s Notice of Assessment? It’s on your CRA online account. Do you want to update your address? Or maybe you want to change your direct deposit bank account. You can do that there too and many more. Access to your CRA online account is much more convenient than calling whenever you need something from the CRA. Ask us if you need help registering or visit CRA’s website.
Tip #3: Keep your tax documents for six years
So you already have your Notice of Assessment and have already received your tax refund, that does not mean you can relax and discard those documents you used in filing your return. Even if you do not have to attach certain supporting documents to your return, or if you are filing your return electronically, keep them for six years in case the CRA asks you to provide them later.
Additionally, the CRA may ask for documents other than official receipts, such as canceled cheques or bank statements, as proof of any deduction or credit you claimed.
Tip #4: Take photos of your tax documents
This is not to suggest replacing your paper documents is acceptable because CRA has strict policies and procedures for keeping documents as electronic records. Still, over time some receipts and invoices do wear out and become unreadable. And having them as a soft file (electronic/digital file) is easy to manage and submit to CRA when required through your CRA online account.
Tip #5: Sign up for the CRA mailing list
It’s smart to be always in the know on issues affecting your taxes, benefits, and important tax news. We know you are already receiving a lot of emails from companies you don’t even know. However, of all the resources on the internet, the CRA mailing list is one of the few you will need. Click this link here for the mailing list.
For more tips on how best to get the maximum out of your tax returns, reach out to FILETAXHERE INC. We want to make your tax filing hassle-free for you, So we do our tax preparation with your convenience in mind. Our tax services are extended to clients across Lloydminster, Wainwright, Kitscoty, Vermilion, Cold Lake, Alberta, Maidstone, Saskatchewan, and the surrounding areas.