Need guidance for tax season? Want it for free? It’s out there if you look – the latest news, information and a little advice from a variety of government bodies, associations and websites. Here are just a few of the resources available to help you get it right.
Canadian Tax Foundation: This non-profit research organization analyzes personal, corporate and international tax and government-finance matters. It publishes a broad selection of analysis and commentary on current issues in Canadian and international case law, tax policy and finance. Its recently published textbooks, Tax Policy in Canada and Taxation of Private Corporations and Their Shareholders, offer introductory overviews, analysis and practical information.
Many of the foundation’s publications are distributed free to its members. (Cost for membership ranges from $30 for students to $350.) The foundation publishes three newsletters, one of which, the quarterly Canadian Tax Focus, is available free on its website.
Canada Revenue Agency: The feature My Business Account allows business owners, including partners, directors and officers, to access their GST/HST, payroll, corporation income tax, excise tax and other accounts online and make payments. The Payroll Deductions Online Calculator is handy. You can also download all CRA forms.
The CRA website includes tax tips and newsletters for business. You can subscribe to its RSS feeds or follow the CRA on Twitter – @CanRevAgency. If you have questions, there’s an e-Services Helpdesk for businesses, available in English and French: 1-877-322-7849.
There is also a section called Complaints and Disputes, which offers information about objections and appeals under Ontario’s Corporations Tax Act.
KPMG Law: KPMG’s affiliated law firm offers articles and tax publications free on its website. The Canadian Tax Advisor feature offers news and analysis, while Tax Facts 2014-2015 offers corporate tax tables and information relevant to corporations. If you’re using an iPhone or Android smartphone, you can use the KPMG Tax Hub Canada app free for timely tax news.
Turbo Tax: The maker of tax software provides basic information online for business owners. The site includes relevant links about credits, incorporation and qualifying expenses. The TurboTax blog is also a resource for tax planning, tips and advice.
H&R Block: Offers a free small-business tax consultation to incorporated business owners at participating locations across Canada. On its website, a feature called Tax Talk provides articles and blog posts with advice.
Grant Thornton LLP: Offers an online tax planning guide with references on the latest developments for businesses and individuals. Federal corporation tax tables for nine provinces (excluding Quebec) are also available.
Barrett Tax Law: This Toronto-based business offers a toll-free number throughout Canada (1-877-8-TAX-TAX) where small business owners, the self-employed and taxpayers can schedule a free, one-time consultation with either a tax lawyer or tax specialist in accounting. “Tax is one of those areas that’s very difficult to negotiate by yourself,” says Dale Barrett, tax counsel and principal, who acknowledges that the majority of callers don’t turn into clients.
Mr. Barrett’s book, Tax Survival for Canadians: Stand Up to the CRA, published by Self-Counsel Press, provides a general overview about tax procedures and the appeals process. “After reading the book, you can do a lot of things without having to get a lawyer,” he says.
Income Tax Act of Canada: This document is where you can find basic rules and calculations used to determine income taxation, including your liability for tax. Find it on the government’s Justice Laws website, which has implemented a new search engine with improved capabilities and options to narrow down search results.
Finance Canada: The website of this federal department provides up-to-date information on tax-related concerns or details on the federal budget for 2015. Archived news releases go back to 1995.
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