Ads keep this website free for you. does not research or endorse any product or service appearing in ads on this site.  Before making a major financial decision you  should consult a qualified professional.

Tax Planning - Plan Ahead
Canadian Tax and
Financial Information Home

What's New

Links & Resources

Site Map

Need an accounting, tax or financial advisor? Look in our Directory.  Use above search box to easily find your topic!   Stay Connected with!


Home  ->  Personal Income Tax -> Plan ahead for next year's tax return

Tax Planning For Individuals - Start Early!

Plan ahead so you are prepared to file your tax return next year more easily. Tax planning should always be on your mind. If you have a business or are a high-wealth individual you should seek professional tax advice from a CPA tax specialist or a tax lawyer.  Tax planning should never be an afterthought.

Tax Documents Checklist

Tax Planning for Employees

Tax Planning/Preparation for Investors

Tax Planning for Seniors - or Planning Prior to Age 65

Finding a Tax Professional Calculators

Tax Documents Checklist

One of the most important things to do during the year is to store all tax-related documents in one place.  Our preference is to retain electronic versions of all documents, and we have a "folder" for each tax year, with subfolders for tax slips, donation receipts, etc in each tax year.  Any electronic files should always be backed up!  If you don't retain records electronically, just on paper, then if you have a filing cabinet, have one or more folders for these documents, including:

  1. your tax returns and supporting documents for previous years

  2. notice of assessment and any other correspondence from Canada Revenue Agency

  3. records of tax instalments made

  4. wage statements

  5. medical and dental cost receipts - see eligible medical expenses article

  6. receipts for attendant care, including attendant care expenses paid to a retirement home

  7. transit pass receipts (only for Ontario seniors)

  8. receipts related to fitness/activity credits and children's arts tax credits for Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, Saskatchewan and Yukon

  9. child care cost receipts - could include summer camp receipts

  10. receipts for moving expenses, if you moved at least 40km to be closer to a new job, to run a business, or to attend a post-secondary educational institute full time

  11. receipts for costs related to home renovation and home accessibility tax credits

  12. charitable donation receipts

  13. political donation receipts

  14. RRSP contribution receipts

  15. records of repayments to Homebuyers' Plan or Lifelong Learning Plan

  16. records of RRSP or RRIF withdrawals, and the amount of tax withheld

  17. records of investment purchases and sales in non-registered accounts (transaction confirmations).  These should be kept until 6 years after the investments have been sold.

  18. investment account monthly statements

  19. records of contributions to First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

If you don't have a filing cabinet, pick a drawer or two in which to store these records, or get a multi-pocket expandable file folder, preferably legal size. Better yet, keep electronic records of these items on a computer which is backed up frequently!

See our article Records Retention - What Books and Records Must be Kept by an Individual or a Business?

Tax Planning for Employees

If you are an employee, make sure that the TD1 form filed with your employer is up to date.

Review the amount of income taxes, Canada Pension Plan contributions and Employment Insurance Plan premiums being withheld from your wages, by checking against the CRA payroll calculator.  See our article on take-home pay calculators.

Tax Planning/Preparation for Investors

If you have investments in non-registered accounts, see the following:

Tax Issues re Investing, and Tax Treatment of Different Types of Investments

Foreign Asset Reporting - Form T1135 Foreign Income Verification Statement - VERY important!

If you use spreadsheet programs, it can be very helpful to have an investment continuity schedule for non-registered accounts.  The worksheet should have beginning of year balances, purchases and sales during the year, and end of year balances, with capital gains being calculated in the worksheet for any investments sold.  If the investments are in US dollars, all amounts should be converted to Cdn$ using the exchange rate as of the date of the transaction.

Tax Planning for Seniors - or Planning Prior to Age 65

Plan ahead, especially if you are an investor with some capital loss carry-forwards, regarding the Old Age Security Pension Clawback - capital gains can increase the clawback, even if they are completely eliminated by capital losses carried forward.

See Topics and Resources for Seniors.

Need a Tax Professional?

Now is the time to look for a tax professional if your financial situation is getting more complicated.  Don't wait until next tax season, when they are all extremely busy.  Our Directory has links to accounting, bookkeeping and financial planning organizations in Canada. Tax Calculators

Use our Canadian Tax Calculator to project what your tax situation will be for this year, and let it help you to determine how much to contribute to RRSPs during the year.

Use our Investment Income Tax Calculator to see the big difference in taxes for different types of investment income.

Tax Tip:  Nobody plans to fail - they just fail to plan!

Revised: June 06, 2024


Copyright © 2002 Boat Harbour Investments Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  See Reproduction of information from

Facebook  | Twitter  |  See What’s New, stay connected with by RSS or Email
The information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.  Each person's situation differs, and a professional advisor can assist you in using the information on this web site to your best advantage. 
Please see our legal disclaimer regarding the use of information on our site, and our Privacy Policy regarding information that may be collected from visitors to our site.