As a baker who operates a nut-free dessert catering company out of her Montreal home, Mandy Menshick has to be as meticulous with her financial paperwork as she is with her ingredients. “It’s very important for me to be organized,” says Menshick, 48, of her business Em & Breez. “I’m a one-person show here – I don’t have time to be looking for stuff at tax time.”
Dig out last year’s tax materials and make a list of all the slips and receipts you needed for 2017; chances are you’ll need the same ones for 2018.
Her recipe for stress-free tax filing includes day-to-day sorting of all her invoices, receipts for supplies and other expenses, and any government or tax forms she receives. “As things come in, I put everything in its proper place,” she says.
Whether or not you’re self-employed like Menshick, there are many benefits to compiling your tax documents as early as possible instead of waiting until the tax deadline, says Jonathan Braun, Manager, Tax & Estate Planning at IG Wealth Management.
“Unless you have a very simple return with just a T4 slip from your employer, it’s important to get organized and gather everything you need in advance, so you can be sure to claim all the deductions and benefits you are entitled to,” he says.
Braun offers the following tips to get ahead of the game and avoid the last-minute tax scramble in April.