Tax Filing Tips Fort McMurray

Welcome to Pinkney Tax Services. As part of the Fort McMurray community, we have provided professional tax preparation and tax filing services for almost 20 years.

We are here to discuss your specific tax needs.

Please note that the information provided under this heading on specific topics is in most cases very general and certainly not everything one has to know to fully address all situations under these individual topics.

They are meant to simply assure that the client is aware of topics they may wish to address with their tax consultant when they meet. The consultant will be aware of the more detailed information required in order to address these topics in the tax return, and the consultant will know if the tax tip does in fact apply to your situation.

Call or visit us today to discuss your needs.

For more information be click here for our complete services.

Pinkney Tax Services

Visit us today.

Click here for directions.

Unit A, 9903 Franklin Avenue

Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K4


1.  Can I file as an Alberta Resident?

Two of the questions our consultants will be asking you are; “Where were you living on December 31st, last year?” and “Do you have a home, spouse and/or dependent children living in another province?” The answers to questions such as these will clarify your province of residency.

2.  Northern Residency

Your tax consultant will want to know your living arrangements. If you share an apartment does the prime renter claim 100% of the residency allowance? If you rent a room in many cases the owner or lessee likely claims 100% of the allowance. Before coming down to Pinkney Tax to file you may wish to clarify this situation with your roommates or landlord. Your tax consultant will then be able to give you a clear answer.

Camp dwellers registered in camp for a minimum of six consecutive months may be able to claim the basic deduction for northern residency. Such claims will require written documentation from the camp administration office. Your experienced tax consultant will be able to tell you if you qualify for this deduction.

3.  Box 32

Some employers pay a special allowance for employees and their families traveling outside Fort Mc Murray twice a year. This amount shows up in Box 32 of your T-4. Among companies providing this benefit in the past (may change in the future) are the Public and Catholic School Districts, the Municipality of Wood Buffalo for some employees, Suncor, Syncrude, Shell, Nexen and Finning. We cannot be sure of which companies will give this benefit from year to year, but it will show in Box 32. If your T4 does not show an amount in Box 32 then you do not receive this benefit.  If your employer provides this benefit it is important to keep gas or airline receipts as well as hotel receipts for your trips and a record of family members  who accompanied you, on which dates.

Your experienced Pinkney Tax consultant will know the relevant details, and will be able to calculate precisely what you are entitled to claim.

4.   Medical Expenses

In order to claim medical expenses, your family medical related expenses must exceed 3% of the income of an individual, or their spouse (up to a threshold amount). For those who require medical visits to Edmonton, Calgary or other cities it is most important to document all travel related expenses. If you require a travel companion because of your medical condition, some related expense claim may be possible. Specialists outside Fort McMurray will usually be familiar with CRA requirements and may issue you a CRA acceptable appointment summary, which will become the base of your travel claim.

If you carefully track and document these expenses, our experienced tax consultants will be able to better assist you in obtaining the full claim to which you may be entitled.

5.  Pension Splitting

Those receiving a pension may be able to transfer part of that income to a spouse, and thereby lower their overall taxes. The tax payer if over age 65 may have even more opportunities for transferring income to a lower income spouse, including that derived from RSPs or RIFs. Our experienced tax consultants will be able to tell you if you are eligible to benefit from income splitting.

6.  Misrepresentation by a Tax Client

Every year our tax consultants are aware of a few cases where a client is purposely submitting incorrect information. In such cases our consultant is required to refuse to submit such a return, as they are not allowed to assist someone in submitting knowingly false information.

7.  Moving

If you moved to Fort McMurray during the tax calendar year for work, you may be entitled to a tax refund if you can document your travel with meal, gas, hotel, and/or airline receipts. Some employers fully or partially reimburse new employees for their moving expenses, which must be considered. If you think you may qualify please discuss the related details with your tax consultant, and bring all related documentation with you. In a case of partial compensation a written acknowledgement from your employer may be required.

For more information be click here for our complete services.

Pinkney Tax Services

Visit us today.

Click here for directions.

Unit A, 9903 Franklin Avenue

Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K4


8.  RRSPs

You may claim unused RRSP purchases from anytime in the past, and purchases made during the first sixty days may be used against income in the prior calendar year. Pinkney Financial, an independent financial company in the same building as Pinkney Tax Services normally is willing to sell RRSPs up until 8 pm of the last day of the RSP season. For some people the deduction for RRSP purchases is not only good retirement planning, but also results in the taxpayer reducing their taxes due. If you are married then it is important to consider a Spousal RRSP purchase as opposed to buying it in your own name.

Some of our regular clients will come in just at the end of February, last couple days of the RSP season, and have the consultant start their return, having their consultant put in a RSP purchase, and when they see the result they like, they will then buy that amount of a RSP from Pinkney Financial and have their return finished, all in one stop. They look after their RSP purchase and have their tax return prepared.

9.  Tax Deadline

The last day for submitting taxes on time is April 30, which is extended to the following Monday if the 30th falls on a Saturday or Sunday. On the last day our tax consultants are prepared to assist anyone with a normal return, who is inside our premises by 9 pm. Small business owners, and some other individuals, have slightly different requirements which our consultants can explain it you might fall into that tax payer category.

10.  Late Filing

If the taxpayer is receiving a refund there is no penalty for late filing, but if you owe taxes and file late you may be subject to both a penalty and interest charges. Occasionally we see people come in years behind in filing their taxes. Sometimes however CRA will assess your income taxes due if you are delinquent, by using your T-4s they have on hand. In this case of course you may be losing out on deductions, and therefore paying more tax than you would have, had you filed properly.

Another related situation; if you have not filed since 2005 for instance, we can submit 2011 and 2012, but CRA will not issue any refunds due until 2006 up to 2010 is received. They may however file 2006 up to 2010 for you to your possible detriment, as explained above.

The bottom line is if you have not filed for years you could be in trouble. If CRA thinks you may owe money they will attempt to track you down and garnishee your wages, which will mean your pay cheque will suddenly be much less than you planned on, and your employer may not appreciate the inconvenience of having to work with CRA on your case.

If you are behind with submitting your taxes, come in and talk to one of our experienced tax consultants who will lead you through the CRA requirements, and get you back on side with CRA. If you are behind in your tax filing and apply for a mortgage or other types of credit, it is very possible that your application will be automatically rejected.

These cases can represent many hours of work from our office, and you should be prepared to pay for a deposit before we start the process. This can also be discussed with our consultant.

11.  Lost T4s

We regularly encounter individuals who have lost one or more of their T4 slips and use that as an excuse not to file for years, which of course can be to their detriment. In such cases we refer the taxpayer to the appropriate CRA toll free number (1-800-959-8281), for obtaining duplicate T4 copies, which will be mailed out to them. If you sign a form in our office, making us your representative with CRA, we can go on line and get your T4s ourselves (for the past three years).

12.  Apprentice Mechanics and Trades Person Tools

When apprentice mechanics, and trades workers make a tool purchase, they may be eligible for a tax refund. The use of a tool purchase for income tax credit may be affected by a number of issues, including the workers annual income. When making such a claim your employer must fill out a T 2200 Revenue Canada form.

It is not our intent to go into further detail on this issue, but to simply inform you that should you think this might apply to your situation, ensure that you bring your documentation if available, and raise the topic with our experienced tax consultant.

13.  Small Businesses and Rental Property

Many clients here in Fort McMurray have a small business or rental property. These issues can substantially increase the time needed to complete a return, and the consultant may or may not be able to finish the return while you sit with them. In many cases the client will simply meet with the tax consultant and give them the related information, and then return at an agreed time. Should further information be required, we often request the same by email, or phone. It is important that you bring all related documentation to your meeting, and that you respond to requests for further details to ensure your return is completed in a timely manner. Items such as receipts and expenses already neatly arranged and tabulated will reduce the time necessary, and in some cases the related costs.

You may be sure that all of our experienced tax consultants are familiar with the requirements for such returns.

14.  Stocks and Other Investments

Stocks and other investments are a very detailed and sometimes time consuming issue for income tax preparation. It is important to have the buy and sell information clearly laid out for our tax consultant to work on. While it is sometimes possible to complete the return while the client is sitting with the consultant, on busy days this information may have to be left for a day or two, to allow sufficient time for such a return to be properly completed.

15.  Canada Pension Plan Income

Most senior taxpayers will be entitled to Canada Pension Plan income starting any time after age 60, and Old Age Security starting at age 65. Other common sources of income for those over age 65 might be former employer pension plans, investment income, RRIFs (RRSPs when turned into a monthly or annual income stream), LIFs (Locked In Retirement Accounts turned into an income stream), Guaranteed Income Supplement, rental property income, and in some cases regular income earned through part time or full time employment. Retirement income might spike in years when land or properties not considered a prime residence are sold, or a year in which a large RRSP or RIF is cashed in.

There exists among some of those approaching retirement great concern in regards to the claw back of their pension incomes. The one claw back by the Federal Government is from Old Age Security for  taxpayers  65 years of age or older, and earning a taxable income in excess of $70,954 in 2013 which will then increase each year. Considering personal income tax deductions this then means that those seniors impacted by the claw back will have an income exceeding $82,000 (allowing for basic deductions). Those over 65 with a taxable income approaching $120,000 may suffer the claw back of 100% of their OAS payments. The formula used is for every dollar of income above the threshold 15 cents is clawed back. A senior could have a claw back one year, and no claw backs the following years.

It is interesting to note that only approximately 5% of seniors affected by the claw back actually lose 100% of their OAS payments.

The Canada Pension Plan is never subject to a claw back, only the Old Age Security pension.

PLEASE NOTE: these thresholds on the claw back will change every year, and the above information should not be regarded as being precisely accurate. Our comments are simply meant as a guide for your general information, and more precise information as it may apply to your situation may be found on government websites. We have also included a short comment on this topic in our attachments. Your experienced Pinkney Tax Services tax consultant will be able to determine if you are impacted by the claw back. This is a topic you may wish to discuss with a financial advisor.

For more information be click here for our complete services.

Pinkney Tax Services

Visit us today.

Click here for directions.

Unit A, 9903 Franklin Avenue

Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2K4


Theme: Overlay by Kaira Copyright 2020 Pinkney Tax Services Inc.
View our Privacy Policy