By: Banky Lumor
Why should you file your taxes?
If you received income during the year or if you want to receive some cash back from the tax you pay (free money!).
Likewise, it is wise to file even if you did not have income during the year as your tuition expenses and charitable donations would useful down the road. (See CRA – Canada Revenue Agency detailed information http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/flng-blgtns/menu-eng.html)
Where can you file your taxes?
You can either file your taxes yourself, visit a professional (an Accountant, a friend, H&R Block), or attend a tax clinic. The International Relations Office at UPEI offers tax clinics during tax season, as well as Murphy Community Centre downtown. If you are filing online, a few websites like Ufile.ca, Turbotax, or Simpletax could help.
What do you need?
H&R Block has a wonderful checklist that’ll be helpful in gathering documents.
Some important ones include:
- Your social insurance number.
- Previous year’s tax return if applicable.
- Banking information if you are interested in direct deposit.
- The T4’s from all the companies you received employment income, and any other information about your income.
- Any adjustments or deductions to your income T2’s from the university or college from tuition (for UPEI students, you can find this in your campus login when it is available)
- Any RRSP’s, TFSA’s, Investments, retirement plans, and funds
- Medical expenses, charitable donations, or other documentation that will help.
With the documents handy, you could file yourself. It will definitely be easier for anyone helping you.
The rest of the write-up and explanations apply more to the Ufile software. So simply select all that applies to you on the left side of the screen.
- Interview questions – basic information.
- Netfile – This is how you transmit your return electronically. First-time filers you would need to print and mail it.
- Controls – The other info has ‘?’S on them so it is explained but do not forget to sign up for GST/HST credit for the province.
- T4 and employment income. Simply follow the information on the T4, and enter them accordingly on the page. You can add as many T4’s as you received.
- RRSP – All the info you need would be in the form received by on the information you received from your financial institution.
- Education Tuition credits: Enter information per information on the T2. For second time filers, your unused tuition would be on your previous tax return. For first time filers, enter eligible tuition fees and months of full or part-time education.
- Charitable donations: Enter amount you gave to charitable donation based on the information you received.
If you are getting a refund or had no employment income, CRA will carry your donations and tuition credits forward. They will use it as a deduction against future income.
Once you are confident that all the information is true and to the best of your knowledge, do calculate results, and mail out or file online.
For students, there is a special offer on Ufile so check the site before you complete it. Other software’s should also have a way you file your taxes free. You can also setup direct deposit for your refund to go directly to your bank account.
Finally, register or login on CRA’s website. (First time Filer – You would not be able to file online or register, you would enter the information on the tax software and mail it to CRA office on 30 Brackley Point Rd. Charlottetown PE C1A 6X9).
I hope this helps you.
Bankole ‘Banky’ Lumor is an Accounting Technician with DP Murphy Inc. He is also alumni of UPEI.