This post originally appeared on Food Bloggers of Canada and has been republished with permission. While these posts specifically reference food bloggers, much of the information can be applied to any blogger earning income.
Does filing your taxes scare you? Check out this tutorial using @simpletax and never feel scared again!Click To Tweet
I’ve received a number of questions on personal taxes, related to how to do it, what programs to use, etc. I thought the best approach would be to walk through using SimpleTax (no affiliation – I just like them because they’re Canadian, online, NETFILE, and payment is by donation).
This tutorial covers the most common scenarios, but in no way covers all the possible personal tax situations. I’ve included a tutorial for the below:
- Medical expenses
- Monthly bus pass
- Self-employment income (here’s a link to the sample I used in the video)
- Student loan payments
SimpleTax also requires you to know the forms you need, as the setup isn’t interview based like other tax programs. As you’ll see in the tutorial, if you don’t know the form number, you can search for what you need.
The basic premise (with the exception of self-employment income) is taking the information from the box on the tax slip received, and inputting it into the corresponding box within the tax software. For real, it’s that simple.
When it comes to inputting your self-employment income, be sure you’ve updated your spreadsheet that you’ve used to track your income and expenses. You’ll also want information related to your home (head here for a downloadable spreadsheet) so you can include that in the calculation.
Finally, if you have made any larger purchases (think camera or laptop) for your business in 2016, have those receipts handy and you’ll see how we enter those in the video. I didn’t spend a ton of time explaining CCA, so if you’re confused, or uncertain, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
All set? Great, hit play, feel free to pause when needed, and scroll down for a summary of what we did. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment, or send me an email. I did my best to touch on most things, but every tax situation in unique, so if you have something not covered here, I’m happy to help.
In the video, I didn’t cover all of the types of forms you may need, so here are a few you might want to be aware of in your tax situation.
- TFSA – or tax free savings account. If you make contributions to a TFSA you need to report them on your taxes. Just search “TFSA” in SimpleTax
- T3 – trust allocations. If you’ve received a T3 slip in the mail, this is where you enter it. Search “T3” for the form.
- T5 – Statement of Investment Income. This is income related to investment holdings that are not in a tax shelter (ie. RRSP). Search “T5” for the form.
- T2202A – tuition, education and textbook amounts. Just search “Tuition” for the form.
- Donations and Gifts made to a registered charity (note that it must be a registered charity and you must receive an official tax receipt. Search “Donations” for the form.)
- T4E – Employment Insurance amounts. If you were unemployed, or on leave and received employment insurance (EI) this must be reported on your return. You can find this by searching “Employment Insurance” or “T4E”.
- Tips, Royalties, Occasional Earnings – if you have been hired as a casual worker, or work in a field where you receive tips on top of your wage, you will report those amounts here if they haven’t been included on a T4 slip or elsewhere. Find by searching “Tips”.
- Make sure you have all of your tax slips and self-employment spreadsheet organized before starting
- To find the forms you need, just search the name of the tax slip you’ve received. If you have a T4, search T4 and enter the information there.
- If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for the CRA My Account
- If you have questions, or aren’t sure, don’t guess. Feel free to send me an email and I’ll happily answer any questions you may have.