Following the Heartbleed bug that shut down the CRA online filing system for a couple of days, the tax-filing deadline extended from April 30 to May 5. As a result of this extension, many will be using this final weekend to file. If you’re among these procrastinators, be careful to avoid any errors in the rush. Here are the top mistakes that last-minute filers face, courtesy of H&R Block Canada:
Missing a credit: Miss a credit and you could be missing out on getting more money. Even though the clock is ticking, it’s worth the extra effort to research credits and deductions including medical expenses, first-time charitable donations, moving expenses, tuition, children’s sports or arts fees, etc. (A recent H&R Block Canada survey found that only 4% of Canadians took advantage of the Children’s Art Credit.)
Forget a T slip: The Canada Revenue Agency receives copies of all of your T slips so if you don’t report all of your income, it will likely result in a reassessment. If you’ve lost or misplaced a slip, you can phone the CRA and ask for a duplicate copy or ask for details of your missing tax slips. You can also access your T4 slips through “MyAccount” on the CRA website.
If one doesn’t arrive in time, estimate the income on your return and then file an adjustment through the mail or online with the right amount when you get the replacement slip, says H&R Block.
Not pooling receipts: Married and common-law spouses may be able to pool charitable donations and medical expenses to maximize their tax savings. Also, parents can claim transit passes for children under 19.
Not filing: Even if you have no income to report, you should still file your income tax return to be eligible for some tax credits and benefits. The GST/HST credit and the Canada child tax benefit is based on your yearly tax return, for example.
Giving the government an interest free loan: A tax refund is money that you overpaid the government. The longer you take to file your claim, the longer the loan you are giving Ottawa interest free. If you don’t claim your refund, you’re loaning Ottawa money interest free. The CRA says that there may be delays in GST/HST credits, Canada child tax benefit payments or old age security benefits for those who file after April 30, so file as early as you can.
Article # 13
Headline: REASONS WHY SMALL BUSINESSES FAIL
Categories: Small Business
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An economist writing for the CBC in September of 2012 said that 50% of new business start-ups will fail in five years. With that said, here are some of the reasons we at GMS believe they do.
You need to know much more than what your business will do or where it will be located. There should be a detailed written business plan that includes:
Starting up for the wrong reason
Some people start a business simply because they believe it is the gateway to riches. This usually leads to disappointments and they quickly pack it in. Assess the following when considering a business start-up:
Lack of Capital
Some entrepreneurs think they can make profits from the start, spending most if not all of their resources immediately only to find out later that they do not have enough capital to fund successive business lifecycle stages. This is where a proper plan will come in handy as every possible cost would be considered to ensure there is enough funding when required.
I don’t believe there is anyone who has not heard these “three” words, location, location, location. You should consider your target market and their habits, as well as the direct competition in the area.
Small business owners usually come into their industries with little knowledge of handling the multiple facets of a business such as financial management, marketing, employee relations yet still believe they can take care of business. Get good advice as the devil is in the details and only the professionals know the details.
You can have an excellent business plan but it will amount to nothing if each objective is tackled lethargically or with incompetence. Well thought out hiring practices and training are critical to avoid this.
Small businesses need to market their brand considering the touch competition they will face from established players. Additionally they should think less about the mass market and start obsessing on a niche. The natural thing is to go after the mass market because it feels harder to fail, but this is not so, it could actually be a shortcut to the “showers”.
Poor Stewardship of Funds
No business runs without cash so it is of utmost importance that entrepreneurs practice strict financial record keeping so that every penny is accounted for. Having a good handle on exactly how much money is going into and coming out of your business is priceless information for making decisions.