Tax Q&A: What you need to know about filing your pandemic taxes

Tax Q&A: What you need to know about filing your pandemic taxes

Your taxes may look a bit completely different this yr due to the pandemic. With particular authorities help just like the Canada Emergency Response Profit and new deductions for individuals who work at home, this tax season guarantees to be distinctive.

The Canada Income Company says it’s anticipating a flood of queries associated to COVID-19 advantages.

To assist these with questions, private finance professional Shannon Lee Simmons sat down just about with CBC’s Jacqueline Hansen to debate how taxes are completely different this yr.

Listed here are these solutions, edited for readability and size.

Q: Tax season often kicks off once you get that T4 type from employers. This yr, there are completely different types. Are you able to stroll us via what different types Canadians might be anticipating?

A: When you obtained authorities help final yr (whether or not via CERB, CRB, or CSB), that is going to point out up on a T4A. And crucial factor you are able to do for your self is have a my CRA account. You’ll be able to go to earlier tax years; you’ll be able to be sure you have all of your tax slips and discover all of your T4 paperwork.

For residence workplace employees — there’s additionally the T2200 type. The T4A for presidency help and the T2200 for residence workplace bills are the 2 new types you ought to be watching out for.

We’re additionally used to seeing T4Es. These are the Employment Insurance coverage types and used for parental depart as properly. When you have been an worker and also you have been laid off this yr, Service Canada modified it in order that throughout the board — everybody obtained $500 per week.

Q: A YouTube consumer requested: Are there any indications that the CRA will delay the return submitting due dates (like they did final yr) past April 30 for private tax returns, and June 15 for firms?

A: I did not see any indication of that. It is actually necessary to know: There is a large distinction between submitting your taxes and paying any balances owing. The large deadline that everybody often talks about is that this April 30 submitting deadline for private taxes.

And it is June 15 for people who find themselves self-employed, which might be when you’re a sole proprietor. However I fear about folks considering that they’ve till June 15 to file their self-employment taxes as a result of the cash continues to be due April 30.

How will you know essentially what you may owe by April 30 if you have not filed but? Attempt to determine what you owe and get it finished by April 30. As a result of then you aren’t getting charged any curiosity — that is my blanket recommendation.

Q: Who would not must pay straight away? Who has a yr to pay the taxes that they owe?

A: Very particularly: when you made $75,000 or much less in 2020 and also you have been on one of many authorities packages (comparable to CRB, CSB, the caregiver allowance, or CERB), you could have an quantity excellent. You have got till April 30, 2022 to pay these taxes with out the federal government charging you any curiosity. 

When you revamped $75,000, you do not qualify for that extension.

Monetary professional Shannon Lee Simmons recommends all Canadians get a my CRA account to make doing all your taxes simpler. The Canada Income Company web site is proven right here. (Doug Ives/The Canadian Press)

Q: What ought to folks do in the event that they cannot get into the my CRA accounts?

A: The CRA shut down 800,000 Canadian accounts just lately. So the perfect factor to do if that is taking place to you is simply reset it. It is going to be annoying. You are going to must get on the cellphone.

I’ve had some shoppers say that they waited three hours to get via, so put your cellphone on speaker and perhaps watch a present or do some work. Finally after they choose up, they’ll want final yr’s tax data. Hopefully you have obtained your Discover of Evaluation helpful however they do have a method of asking different safety questions in case you do not.

Q: Stephanie on YouTube requested: My T4 for CERB is on my CRA account however I have not obtained the bodily copy within the mail but. Can I take advantage of that digital file with a purpose to file my taxes?

A: 100 per cent. That is what it is there for.

Q: Margaret by way of Fb requested: My boss laid me off final March and nonetheless has not provided me with my T4. What do I do?

A: Legally, your employer has to file that T4 by Feb. 28 of this yr. You could not have gotten a bodily copy, however it could nonetheless be posted to your My CRA account. Test there first. It needs to be there, even when you have not gotten the bodily copy, as a result of typically employers will overlook or they will be lazy or one thing will occur administratively for small companies. That is the best answer.

Quantity 2 could be to name your previous employer, communicate to the supervisor, communicate to someone and see if they’ve that data. Ask them: “What did they file to the CRA?” They need to have filed it legally with the CRA already, so that may be a larger concern in the event that they have not.

WATCH | Detailed or flat price: Which submitting technique for working from house is for me?

Are you a renter or a house owner? Tax professional Shannon Lee Simmons breaks down which technique of submitting for home-office bills may make sense for you. 7:03

Q: Saba from Fb requested: Are you able to write off a portion of property tax (when working from residence) when you’re a house owner?

A: No, not until you are an worker who earns commissions. The home-owner right here actually is just not arrange for the perfect bang for his or her buck so far as the “detailed technique” (for calculating home-office bills) goes.

For lots of the shoppers I’ve seen, the flat price tends to be simpler, sooner and price extra for lots of people who’re owners.

For the flat price technique, you simply tally up what number of days of your yr that you just have been mandated to work at home (trip days do not rely) after which be sure you do run that by your employer.

WATCH | Are you able to expense newly bought home-office gear?

Tax professional Shannon Lee Simmons solutions a query in regards to the single most disappointing piece of reports she has for folks establishing a house workplace. 1:31

You’ll be able to write off as much as 200 days for all of 2020. Be sure you’re agreeing on the times you labored from residence along with your employer and then you definately multiply that by $2 and that is your deduction. So when you had the total 200 days, you multiply that by $2 to get a $400 deduction, finished. No work, no effort, no receipts.

Lots of people are opting to do this, particularly owners who work out their electrical energy, and their warmth, after which as soon as they take their time and sq. footage under consideration, it is like properly that is solely a $200 deduction.

Lee Simmons recommends testing this calculator.

Q: Danny on Fb requested: Is there something completely different about this tax season that college students have to know specifically?

A: Primary, when you’re a scholar and when you have been on the Canada Pupil Profit, it’s thought of taxable revenue. Similar to CERB, it may be handled the identical method and you are going to get a T-slip. In order that’s one thing to be careful for.

Nonetheless, as a scholar, you in all probability have tuition credit which might be going to utterly offset that.

So just remember to’re making use of these tuition credit and placing them in correctly. And do not forget so as to add any carry-forward tuition from earlier years. The extra tuition credit you could have, the much less tax you are paying.

Q: This can be a completely different yr for fogeys. Are there any potential tax surprises for fogeys as sometimes baby care would have been a giant value?

A: It is a large change this yr for fogeys. If in case you have baby care, the everyday quantity when you have a baby below seven — you’ll be able to deduct as much as $8,000 per child. So take into account that most individuals are going to spend between $15,000-$20,000 per child. After which to have the ability to write off $8,000 as a deduction is large for households. When you’ve obtained two youngsters that might be a $16,000 deduction to your family.

It really works the identical as an RRSP deduction. Think about you made a $16,000 RRSP contribution, it could have the identical constructive influence in your taxes.

This yr, what I am noticing is folks might not have spent the total $8,000 as a result of perhaps for six months they weren’t paying baby care or day camps weren’t working. So all of the issues that used to qualify for that now do not; they could now not have the total deduction quantity. In order that is perhaps a shock. However you additionally spent much less, so keep in mind, you have been saving some cash.

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