If you're anything like us, last year you worked at least once from a laptop in your dining room, bedroom, garden shed, or in a kind of office-fort in your basement, nestled among drop-cloths and towers of possibly expired house paint.
Challenging times call for creative solutions.
But are those solutions tax-deductible?
Here are the highlights that will help you file your 2021 taxes. For a list of every tax and benefit that's changed this year, visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.
NORMAL DEADLINES ARE IN PLACE
|How are you filing?||Filing deadline||Payment deadline|
|If you're filing as an individual||May 2, 2022||May 2, 2022|
|If you, your spouse or common-law partner are self-employed||June 15, 2022||May 2, 2022|
|If you're filing on behalf of your corporation||Six months after the end of the corporation's tax year||Generally, corporations have to pay their taxes in
instalments, either monthly or quarterly.
The balance of tax is required to be paid two or three months after the end of the tax year, depending on your balance-due day.
HOME OFFICE EXPENSES
At the beginning of the pandemic, the CRA made it possible to claim up to $400 per year for expenses you incurred while working from home. That benefit is still in effect. You don't need any supporting documents from your employer to make the claim. Anyone who meets the eligibility criteriacan claim $2 a day, up to $400 for the year. If you want to claim the actual amounts you paid (on printers, paper, and all your other office costs) you'll need receipts and a completed and signed Form T2200S / Form T2200 from your employer.
Compare the two optionsto see how they apply to your 2020, 2021 and 2022 tax returns.
YOUR FIRM MAY QUALIFY FOR THE CANADA EMERGENCY WAGE SUBSIDY (CEWS)
If your firm's revenue dropped during the pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employees' wages, retroactive to March 22, 2022. The same subsidy may apply if you're a sole proprietor. Learn about the eligibility requirements here.
ADDITIONAL COVID-RELATED SUPPORT
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) ended last December, but you or your family may still be eligible for two other pandemic-related benefits. If you received any of these benefits last year, you've likely already received a T4A tax slip from CRA and must report the benefits as income when you file your 2021 return.
|Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)||Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)||Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)|
|Status||The CRB closed to retroactive applications on December 23, 2021. You can no longer apply for this benefit.||Individuals unable to work during the pandemic because they must look after a child or family member who needs supervised care.||Employed or self-employed individuals who are sick or need to self-isolate due to the Covid-19 pandemic.|
YOUR 2021 TAX YEAR CHECKLIST
Whether you file your taxes yourself or work with a team of experts, here's a list of everything you should double-check before filing your 2021 taxes.
Here are a few things you'll need to have on hand.
- Last year's tax return and CRA Notice of Assessment for you, your spouse or common law partner, and any dependents
- Records of any tax instalments you paid throughout the year
- A list of assets held outside of Canada
- Charitable donation receipts
- Political contribution receipts
- Medical receipts for any treatments you had in 2021
TIP: You can access your CRA Notice of Assessment online by creating a MyCRA account and using the mobile appto view your documents.
ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
Parents can use tax credits to claim many of the substantial (and growing) costs of raising a family. Be sure to account for everyone and everything.
- Tuition slips (T2202A) for yourself or for a child
- Childcare expense receipts
- Medical receipts for your family's 2021 treatments
Depending on your age and job, your income may come from more than one source. Give yourself enough time to track down all the details.
- Employment income (T4)
- Employee profit sharing (T4PS)
- Employment Insurance slip (T4E)
- Pension, retirement and annuities income slips (T4A)
- Registered plan income (T4RSP & T4RIF)
- Dividends from your incorporated practice
- Old Age Security (T4A-OAS)
- Canada Pension Plan slips (T4A [P])
If your investments are consolidated with one investment firm or advisor, you should receive all of this information automatically. Ask your advisor if this information is available online.
- RRSP contribution receipts
- TFSA contribution amount (available through MyCRA)
- Investment income tax slips (T5)
- Income from trusts (T3)
- Income from partnerships (T5013)
- Capital gains and losses summary (T5008 or Statement of Securities Transactions)
- Receipts for investment advice
- Receipts for interest paid on investment loans
CONSIDERATIONS FOR ALL LAWYERS
As a Lawyer, you may be entitled to the following deductions related to personal and professional expenses. If in doubt, consult a tax expert or ask your firm's payroll provider for advice.
- Professional and union dues
- Moving expenses if you relocated for work in 2021
- Home office expenses - be sure to double-check recent changes to home expense benefits due to Covid-19. If you're claiming your actual expenses (the money you spent on a computer, printer, office supplies), you'll need receipts and a Form T2200S / Form T2200 signed by your employer.
- Mileage (tracked in a logbook)
Originally published March 28, 2022
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.