It happens every year between now and April 30th – each year the Federal and Alberta governments impose income taxes on individuals and businesses. Depending on what required information is entered into the income tax return, you will be placed in a tax bracket with high income residents paying a higher percentage than the low income residents. The challenge is to make sure you end up in the correct (and lowest) bracket. To begin the process of your income tax return, make sure you have the following information:
• Social insurance number.
• Tax information slips sent by employers, banks and businesses to tell you and the Canada Revenue Agency how much income you received and the amount of income tax that was deducted.
• Information on other income such as self-employment income.
• Receipts for tax deductions e.g. charitable donations, business expenses.
• Personal income tax information you might need such as your RRSP contribution limit.
It’s like the old saying, “It isn’t how much money you make, but how much you keep.” Although protecting your hard earned dollars from the taxman can be confusing for some – perhaps even most – there are professional accounting firms in Wetaskiwin to help with navigating through what is eligible, and what is not. But these professional services are often too expensive for low income individuals and families.
FCSS (Family and Community Support Services), Wetaskiwin, to the rescue. FCSS will be hosting free income tax preparation services for eligible individuals who have a modest income and a simple tax situation. They have recruited and trained volunteers to prepare income tax and benefit returns. FCSS Tax software and training is provided to each volunteer.
The program will be available to City of Wetaskiwin residents who meet the low income guidelines from Revenue Canada and have NO ability to pay. The program will run from March 1 to April 30 and will be appointment only. Please call FCSS at 780-361-4425 for more information.
To file your taxes, you need an income tax package for the province in which you lived on December 31 of the previous year. The package includes a return (form), federal tax worksheet, schedules (more forms), a provincial or territory tax worksheet and an information guide.
Most Canadians can file their income taxes over the Internet using NETFILE. You prepare your income tax form using commercial software or a Web application that has been certified by the CRA. If you file your taxes online, the tax package comes with the software. Be sure you get the version of software that meets your tax situation. For more information about online filing, go to www.cra.gc.ca/getready.
Although the Canada Revenue Agency is encouraging Canadians to file their income taxes online, you can still file your taxes by mail or by hiring someone to do it for you:
• Order a Tax Package by Phone – call 1-800-959-8281 during business hours.
• Select the forms and publications you need, and fill in the order form online to have the CRA mail you printed copies. The order form is available starting January 6, 2015, but ordered packages will not be mailed until February 2, 2015.
• Pick up a Tax Package in Person – The income tax forms and general guide should be available at postal outlets and Service Canada offices starting February 2, 2015.
Combined Alberta and federal personal income tax rate brackets for the Year 2014: Up to $43,561 – 25%; $43,562 to $87,123 – 32%; $87,124 to $135,054 – 36%; and $135,055 and Over – 39%.
The deadline for filing your Canadian income taxes for 2014 is April 30, 2015. If you owe income tax and file your income tax return after the deadline, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will charge a penalty and interest on the unpaid amount.
• 2014 maximum RRSP contribution limit: $24,270
• RRSP Deadline 2015 for 2014 Tax Year: March 02, 2015
You can pay your Canadian income taxes by mailing a cheque to the CRA, using your regular online or telephone banking, using the CRA’s My Payment Service or paying at a Canadian financial institution. You can also pay by installments by setting up a pre-authorized debit plan.
Arrange for Direct Deposit of Canadian Tax Payments – The Canadian government is phasing out the use of paper cheques by April 2016. CRA can make direct deposit of Canadian tax payments to your bank account. Direct deposit is convenient and secure, ensures your payments arrive on time and saves on trips to your community mailbox.