Many businesses put off completing their annual tax return – after all, it’s likely to end in a bill. But smart founders know that the tax return is an opportunity for saving money too
Completing a tax return is an unwelcome chore for business founders and self-employed people everywhere: it’s a lot of work, forces you to dig out and look at columns of numbers and it usually ends in a big bill that you have to pay on pain of prosecution. No wonder that many put it off.
Swoop cannot guarantee you will ever learn to love completing your tax return, but we may be able to help you see it as an opportunity to save money. We had better say at the outset that Swoop does not offer tax advice and we strongly urge you to seek accredited, professional guidance to minimise your tax liability and maximise claims. This article will, however, give you an idea of where you could make substantial savings.
For starters, anyone who wishes to claim the GST, HST credit or Canada Child Benefit, will need to complete a tax return as the net income declared will determine how much you will receive.
Filing a return also allows you to claim:
- Provincial tax benefits
- Tax refunds for installment or source deductions
- Refundable medical expense supplement
- Canada Pension Plan or Employment Insurance (EI) premium overpayments
So much for individuals; for businesses, the opportunities are even more attractive. If you are running a business, you will be able to reduce your taxable income by deducting items including:
- Advertising expenses
- Business-use-of-home expenses
- Meals and entertainment
- Office expenses
- Vehicle expenses
Certain sectors have further deductibles: farmers, for example, may claim back expenses related to land management and pesticides; construction firms may deduct bad debts, supplies and tools, union dues and membership fees.
Beyond these deductibles, there are further tax incentives for businesses, especially those in innovative and scientific sectors.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits program uses tax incentives to encourage Canadian businesses to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada. Through Swoop’s network of trusted partners, you can quickly unlock cash from innovation being created by your business.
To find out more about SR&ED Tax Credits and whether your business qualifies for them, click here.
We get it: filling in your tax return will never be fun. But you might find that you are able to use the tax system to increase your spending power as a business and make the money you have work harder. Working smarter with the tax system can also make your business more attractive to investors who may have their own tax incentives for funding your operation. Put it this way: filling in a tax return will be a chore one way or another – so you might as well make sure you get a good return on your effort.