With tax season underway and the April 30 deadline looming, some Manitobans are getting anxious about their income taxes.
According to a Winnipeg accountant, however, there are some tips leading up to the deadline that can help make sure your tax filing goes smoothly.
“I think oftentimes where people are frustrated around taxes is when you submit or prepare or file something that doesn’t have complete information because you haven’t gathered up all your slips,” said Mike McLenehan of McLenehan and Associates Chartered Professional Accountants.
“It’s important just to have a system or a process that you go through each year to gather the information that you need to be able to file your taxes — and know that that is complete and accurate information (and) that you’re not missing anything.”
McLenehan told 680 CJOB that the COVID-19 pandemic has added to tax season stress for many, as more people are working from home than ever before and trying to navigate the process — which may have included skipping meeting with tax experts due to pandemic safety concerns.
“During the pandemic, there were people who just didn’t feel comfortable going out and, say, meeting with an accountant or even dropping off information,” he said.
“Especially (for) those people who are dealing with providers that didn’t accommodate a sort of virtual or digital option, it would have been difficult to be able to get your taxes done.”
A tax deduction for home office expenses, announced by the federal government during the pandemic, might help those who have been moved out of a traditional office setting.
“It allows you to claim home office expenses using a simplified method you can claim so long as you work from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” McLenehan said.
“You can claim $2 for each day that you work from home during that period. In 2021, you can claim a maximum of 250 days. And so that’s a $500 tax deduction that you’d be able to claim on your tax return that maybe you previously wouldn’t have had access to, depending on your personal marginal tax rate.”