Key Takeaways

  • A financial planner can help you factor your taxes into your larger financial plan.
  • Planning ahead allows you to avoid scrambling at the last minute.
  • Organizing all your slips and receipts for each year will help you save time and avoid stress.
  • A Certified Financial Planner® professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professional can play an important role come tax time.

Tax season happens every year. To make the most it, be sure you’re prepared - and learn how to make your money work for you! 

Ready to Make the Most of Tax Season? 

What’s the biggest group activity that millions of Canadians do at the same time each year? Why, tax preparation, of course!

 One thing I love about this activity is the fact that there’s an end to it. When you complete your return and sign it, you’re done. And, of course, many Canadians are treated to a refund for money overpaid to the government during the year.  

Here are some tips to make tax preparation as painless and profitable as possible—whether you do your taxes yourself or work with a professional. 

Working With the Right Professionals

Are you expecting a refund this year? An accountant can provide timely advice and guidance on your taxes—and even file on your behalf—but a financial planner can also play an important role. For example, a Certified Financial Planner professional or Qualified Associate Financial Planner professional can help you put your refund to good use by ensuring it helps you meet your financial goals. 

In addition, there are strategies you can use to pay less tax in the future. Getting good financial planning advice that takes your entire financial situation into account is the first step. 

Get Organized 

Everything is easier when the required information is in one place. It’s even better if it’s organized into categories. 

Your method could be as simple as using an envelope, a folder, or even a shoebox labelled “this year’s taxes” where you place all the slips that come in the mail or are printed off from your online account. You may opt to save everything securely online instead and do away with paper altogether. Whichever method you prefer, if you didn’t make a point of putting aside and organizing your documents for this tax year, get started now—and make it a habit in the future. 

Crucial tax slips include T4s (employment income), T5s (investment income), T3s (trust income), and RRSP receipts. These are all typically available in February and March of each year. 

Once the pile is in place, organize the slips by type. Put an appointment in your calendar now to get started, with an alternate date in case of unforeseen scheduling conflicts. 

Setting Yourself Up for Success 

It’s important to make sure all the numbers add up—and not just at tax time. Luckily, financial planners can help ensure that your money works for you.

To find a CFP® professional or QAFP® professional who can help you put a solid financial plan in place to minimize your tax burden, use the Find Your Planner tool. 

Happy filing! 

David Christianson. He is wearing glasses and a dark blue suit jacket. He is smiling warmly

David Christianson, CFP, is a Portfolio Manager with Christianson Wealth Advisors at National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Winnipeg.

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