Avoid common tax filing mistakes and missed refund opportunities.
Forgetting to put out the garbage, arriving late to a movie or misfiling your tax return – we all make mistakes! While some have more serious consequences than others, these mistakes are often avoidable.
According to a recent H&R Block survey, 56% of Canadians filed their taxes without the assistance of a tax professional last year. While the independence and initiative to take on such a task is great, it’s important to ensure you’re not making some of the most common filing mistakes. Between tax law changes and unpredictable life circumstances, it’s easy to overlook some aspects that could significantly implicate your tax scenario.
Here are some of the most common tax mistakes Canadians make when filing their own tax return and how to avoid them.
It’s common to make mistakes, like math miscalculations, filing status errors or even typos, but to avoid some of the most common tax mistakes like double-reporting, not accounting for earned tips (that’s right, tips are taxable!) or missing key information on your T4 slips, we recommend consulting a tax professional or have someone read over your documents. It never hurts to have a second pair of eyes to ensure you’re being transparent and accurately reporting. Who knows, this might result in an awesome find you could have overlooked!
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) also has you covered on filling errors with its secure Auto-fill My Return Service. It’s a certified software that allows you to automatically fill in fields, information from previous years’ income tax and benefit return with information that the CRA has available at the time of filing.
It’s important to get what’s yours. Moving expenses, child care expenses and credits for supporting someone with a disability are just a few of the common tax credits and deductions that are missed every year. Additionally, medical treatments, devices and even items prescribed by medical providers but not covered under personal insurance may be claimed as medical expenses. This can also include reading enhancements like contact lenses or glasses, and hearing aids!
Missed part of a previous year’s return.
Did you just realize that you missed a few things from previous years that could have been claimed? Before you start sobbing, we’re happy to tell you that you can adjust old returns from previous years up to the past ten calendar years.? You can request a change to your tax return by amending specific lines to your return. But we suggest waiting until you receive your notice of assessment before asking for changes to your return.
H&R Block’s ReFILE service, part of our DIY tax software, enables you to adjust and re-file a return to the Canada Revenue Agency, even if you have already submitted that return previously. And through our Second Look service (available in office locations), tax experts have helped clients find an average of more than $1,400 by claiming their old tax returns.
These are a few among a long list of common tax filing mistakes and missed opportunities that those who file on their own make every year. To ensure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to and to avoid having to adjust your return from previous years, an H&R Block Tax Expert is available year-round at a location near you to elaborate on the above as well as share additional challenges Canadians have when filing.