In February, many Canadians will start thinking about their taxes. With proper planning, you can tackle your taxes and stay stress-free. Even if you’ve been filing your own taxes for years, you might want a little help. Read through our tips to be tax-ready by April 30th.

1. Pick your tax solution

Hiring a service to file your return can make tax time even more stress-free. They’ll take all your information to make sure you’ve submitted properly and on time. They can also answer any questions you have about the process.

If you prefer to work on your taxes yourself, you can choose from some great tax software. Some solutions are available online to make filing even easier. Tax packages are available for pickup if you want to file a paper copy. Visit your local post office or Service Canada to pick up your forms to get started.

Remember that you can file your taxes as early as February 26.  

2. Get your papers together

Get into the habit of keeping your important tax papers together as they come in. This includes medical or child care expenses, or any other expenses you can claim on your taxes. Print off any electronic receipts when you get them to save the hassle of tracking them down! Having this information in one place will make it much easier to file before the end of April.

Other slips are sent out at this time of year, like your T4 (employment income) or education expense slips. As they arrive, put them into your tax folder.

Don’t forget to include your RRSP contribution receipts. Still looking to invest? The RRSP deadline is March 1.

3. Create a checklist

Make a checklist of the slips and receipts you’ll need to file your taxes. This way, you won’t miss an important tax credit or deduction!  

We’ve listed a few important documents to help you get started:

  • T4 slips
  • Employment insurance benefits
  • Interest, dividends, or mutual funds
  • Tuition receipts
  • Universal child care benefit
  • Old Age Security/CPP benefits
  • Social assistance or workers’ compensation payments
  • RRSP contribution receipts
  • Child or spousal support
  • Professional expenses or union dues
  • Medical expenses
  • Child care expenses
  • Children’s arts and sports programs
  • Charitable donations or political contributions
  • Student loan interest payments

A personalized list will make it much easier to include the important details. You can use last year’s return as a baseline for what to look for in the next year. We suggest updating your list throughout the year so it stays current.

An organized approach to your taxes will make sure you get the most out of your return. You’ll also feel more confident going into it, and definitely reduce your stress!