Canadian Tax Filing Tips With Able2Extract Pro 12

Canadian Tax Filling Tips

If you’re a Canadian, then you know that the deadline for filing your 2017 tax return is looming. You have until Monday, April 30, 2018, to submit your return to the CRA and avoid paying penalties and interest. If you’re self-employed, the deadline isn’t so tight–you have until June 15 to file your return.

Now many of us find the task in question daunting and fight the anxiety in the worst possible way: by procrastinating. As the deadline approaches, the nation-wide scramble begins to get acquainted with the new tax rules for 2018, check the eligibility requirements for claiming credits and deductions, collect all necessary documents, make accurate calculations, fill in forms, etc.

Of course, there’s always the possibility of hiring an accountant to do your taxes. But the truth is, no one in the world cares more about your money than yourself. So, if you want to really understand the tax system, learn something new, and save money in the process, it’s best to do your own taxes.

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You Just Filed Your Taxes, Now What?

Consistent Data Formatting

Tax season just ended, and you probably filed your return with either the CRA or the IRS. So now what?

Even though you may be taking a deep sigh of relief that it’s over, don’t be too quick to celebrate. There are still a few things you can do to ensure that next year goes a bit more smoothly.

Here are 3 things you’ll want to keep in mind after you file your taxes.

Continue reading →You Just Filed Your Taxes, Now What?

How To Redact Sensitive Data In PDF Tax Documents

Performing Manual Calculations

Paying income taxes can be a real nightmare for some, but we all pay taxes in one form or another. For example, when you work at your job to make money, taxes are deducted from your pay. Also, when you make purchases at stores, some percentage of the cost you pay goes towards sales tax. The same thing goes for owning property — you pay property taxes. But, how did income taxes all start?

Continue reading →How To Redact Sensitive Data In PDF Tax Documents

8 Last Minute Resources To Help You With Your Tax Return

Filing Tax ReturnsAudits, tax payments, confusing forms—just three reasons why everyone hates tax season. And though you don’t need another, you can probably think of a few more yourself.  It’s hard to feel anything but dread this time of year.

So you do what you can to make things easier and cheaper. But even that has its drawbacks. For instance, if you decide to cut out the accountant and the fees, you may have to do some major research to properly file a tax return on your own.

That being said, if you aren’t too tax savvy, finding answers to your questions will be the real challenge. Of course, there is the IRS website for official directions and answers, which should be on the top of your list. Yet if you need some clarification or insight, what sources do you turn to at the 11th hour?

Try and see if a few of the following sites can help boil down the essentials for you. They come well-stocked with helpful, easy-to-read articles and credible writers that have extensive experience and knowledge in the field.

H&R Block TaxTips

The Tax Tips section of the H&R Block blog covers some of the most common topics including filing status, tax deductions, and tax refunds. This blog makes sure that you have the answers to all the basic questions on filing.

Intuit Accountants

As you may know, Intuit has been providing small businesses, accountants and individuals with tax preparation tools like QuickBooks. Fortunately, the accountants that use the software are highly active in helping their clients and each other with tax questions on both the blog and the online Intuit Accountants community. Sift through them with a few keywords and you’re likely to find a thread or post that can point you in the right direction.

TurboTax Blog

The TurboTax blog is also another good starting point for tax tips. If you’re a TurboTax user, you might be going through this blog already.  Topics you can find posts on include deductions, 401K, incomes and investments, home, education and a few more categories that can generate some of the most commonly asked tax questions.

About.com Tax

Because instructions and policies on filing taxes can be really confusing, a good idea is to start at the beginning. The About.com Tax section is filled with basic (and intermediate) tips for individuals, articles for business professionals, and even advice for tax preparers.  There’s a good list of Tax Planning categories to explore, so you’re bound to find the answers you need.

TaxGirl.com

Unlike most of us, Kelly Pillips Erb, tax attorney and tax writer/blogger is enthusiastic about taxes—and it shows! Her blog, TaxGirl.com, and column on Forbes.com are both all about explaining and discussing tax issues as well as covering news in the industry. Her insights and articles provide a lot of perspective that can help you make well-informed tax-filing decisions.

eSmartTax.com & Liberty Tax Service

eSmartTax.com is the online division of Liberty Tax Service, a  US-based tax preparation service. The site and content are easily accessible and provide you with tax related topics, discussions and resources. The main Liberty Tax Service site itself contains a good section on tax resources and posts on their Tax Lounge blog you can go through.

AccountingWeb.com

It was hard to pick one single blog from this roster, so we give you the full list. Like the Intuit Accountants community, AccountingWeb.com  is a good starting point for those needing the perspective of an accountant. All writers have their credentials and fields of expertise listed, so you can determine which professional might have the answers you need.

Tax Policy Center

This one makes the list for its authoritative value. Made up of experts with years of experience in tax, budget, and social policy, Tax Policy Center is focused on bringing you information on the policies behind the taxes you file. With an official library of publications, a dedicated blog,  and sections devoted to Tax Facts and Tax Topics, this site is hands down a must-visit resource.

Remember that these sites only provide you with extra information, not legal financial advice on preparing your taxes. Thus, while you may feel some anxiety about filing taxes on your own, it doesn’t mean you have to go into it unprepared.

This was a very short list for such a complex topic. If we missed one which you think should be on here, let us know by adding your own go-to resources in the comments!

3 Tips On How To Use Excel For Calculating Taxes From PDF Data

Calculating-Taxes-Excel Photo Credit: gonzalo_ar via photopin cc

Tax season rolls around every year and with it comes the head ache of getting organized. It means digging up year old statements and revisiting your ledgers, which is a daunting task in itself. Even worse, if you’re a procrastinator, it may mean the added stress of finding walk-in tax centres booked solid, forcing you to take the DIY approach.

Admittedly, doing taxes yourself can be risky. But user-friendly tax software and speedy e-filing methods are incentive enough to make the attempt. Getting the numbers right is what matters most.  For that, there’s Microsoft Excel, one of the handiest tools for calculating and dealing with complex data.

If it’s your first time doing your taxes online, we’ve got a few important pointers that can make working with taxes and Excel easier for you.

1. Insert, Adjust And Calculate Your Tax Data In Spreadsheets 

Tax CalculatorPhoto Credit: Jorge Franganillo via photopin cc

First off, to calculate your income taxes, you first need to calculate your taxable income. To do this, convert your financial data into Excel so you can work in your applicable deductions, credits, and exclusions using Excel formulas and functions. They can seem scary and complicated, but once you get the hang of them, they are invaluable!

Second, because all invoices and tax deductible receipts are different, you want to ensure that your converted data is properly adjusted and laid out.  If you’re calculating your federal income tax using tables in Excel, your results depend on where the data is placed. Thus, correctly inserting disparate data from the start will help prevent major calculation errors.

Able2Extract Excel Preview Panel A custom PDF to Excel conversion though can fix the alignment of cells and their data just where you need them. Able2Extract lets you manually move the row and column lines and even give you a preview of how the data will look in your spreadsheet.

2. Use Separate Worksheets For Data Calculations

Every tax filing is different and depending on your situation you may need to use supplemental tax forms and schedules. You may also need other tools, like updated tax tables or the tax computation worksheet from the 1040 US tax return instructions.  So consolidating your data where needed can be an efficient way to stay organized.

Excel Worksheet Names

Every tax form, calculation, or schedule requires special attention. Consequently, you may want to use separate worksheets for different schedules or forms. This way you can set each one up with defined formulas for calculating specific data.

This has a lot of convenient benefits. Each year, you can go back to the same worksheet and just drop your updated numbers in. If you need numbers from different PDF statements, you can convert the relevant data into the same worksheet using Able2Extract.

Able2Extract Custom Excel TemplateMoreover, its custom Excel template feature, you can set up your Excel conversion once, save it as a template (seen above), and use it on next year’s PDF statements, which, more than likely, will be formatted with the same layout.

3. Keep Data Formatting Consistent 

Consistent Data FormattingPhoto Credit: Jorge Franganillo via photopin cc

If you use different Excel formatting due to language and cultural preferences (commas for decimals or pound signs instead of dollar signs, for instance), you should make sure that all notations are consistent to avoid misinterpretation. Fortunately, Microsoft Excel is highly specialized in formatting and manipulating data.

To fix the formatting in Excel, you can use the Sort & Filter and Data Tools section in the Data tab or the Numbers and Editing sections in the Home tab.  To do this even more efficiently, reformat your PDF data even before it even reaches the spreadsheet. With PDF receipts and records, you can change the notation and formatting during the PDF to Excel conversion.  

Able2Extract Excel Conversion Parameters

Using the MS Excel conversion parameters in Able2Extract will adjust your data to fit the format you want to use in your spreadsheet, like whether or not to replicate the fonts from the PDF. Retain the dollar sign as a separate symbol, use European continental settings, or treat rows as columns and vice versa.