15 Tax Tips for 2016 [Part 1 of 3] | FBC, Canada's Farm & Small Business Tax Specialist

15 Tax Tips for 2016 [Part 1 of 3]

15 Tax Tips for 2016 [Part 1 of 3]

Do you feel like 2016 is going to be a great year for your business, one where you'll reach your goals?

Hope always springs eternal when Jan. 1 comes around, and this year is no different. However, many Canadians aren't as optimistic about reaching their goals as they've been in the past.

At least according to a survey last year from CIBC that asked 1,000 respondents if they felt confident about accomplishing their goals over the next 12 months. Roughly 66% said that they did, which is a majority, but more than 10% less than the results of the same poll from the previous year.

As a business owner, your main goal is likely to perform better financially. One of the best ways of accomplishing that is by earning money in new and different ways, whether that's by improving your services or products or something more administrative, like taking advantage of tax deductions and minimizing your liability.

"Here are 15 tax tips to make 2016 a year of financial success."

The following are 5 of 15 tax tips that you should aim for in 2016. By being conscientious about them, you could reach your financial goal before the year is over, bolstering your confidence by proving you have what it takes to accomplish your goals.

1. Minimize Your Errors

No one is perfect. You're bound to make mistakes in your dealings with customers or employees. But one area where you can hone your flawlessness is when you file your taxes in April.

These mistakes are often times the simple ones, such as forgetting to write your social insurance number or writing down the wrong sequence of numbers. You may also make an error when doing calculations.

Tax filing software can help minimize these errors, but they can only correctly quantify the numbers that you input. So if you enter the wrong data, you'll get a wrong result. Make sure you double check what numbers you're calculating.

2. Don't Miss Out on Deductions

Talk to any tax specialist, and they'll likely tell you that the biggest reason why business owners and consumers don't see a bigger refund is because they overlooked deductions, not realizing that they were even available.

Some of the more common ones can include:

  • Employee's moving expenses if you or your company were involved in a worker's relocation
  • Losses from theft or embezzlement
  • Office supply expenses
  • Charitable donations

3. Keep an Eye on the Calendar

There are several big tax dates that you should be mindful of as a business owner, not all of them occurring in the spring.

Of course, the big one is April 30. As a small business owner your filing deadline is June 15; however, any income taxes owing are due April 30 to avoid any interest or penalties.

There are other dates to pay attention to as well, for things like payroll, income tax installments and other tax requirements for corporations (GST/HST). CRA has an app to help small business owners remember tax-related deadlines.

4. Take Advantage of Seminars

Speaking of the CRA, throughout the year, it offers free seminars to both individuals and small businesses, helping them learn about topics such as income taxes and GST/HST. They're usually available in most provinces so be sure to check in your area.

5. Stay Abreast of Tax Law Changes

Every year brings new updates and changes to tax laws. These are usually announced by the government. Though they can be complicated to understand, monitor the CRA's website, which announces tax law changes when they happen.

Your FBC tax specialist can help you understand what they are and whether they affect you and your company.

UPDATE: Check the second installment of this three-part series for more small business tax tips!

"Financial peace isn't the acquisition of stuff. It's learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can't win until you do this." — Dave Ramsey