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Say “I do” to filing your taxes: Important Tax Tips for Newly Weds, from the CRA
March 10th, 2015
Thanks so much to the CRA for providing the following blog post with Victoria WoW: we're more than happy to pass along such great advice for newly weds!
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a deal with bridal consultants across the country: the CRA won’t give advice on whether you should choose the strapless princess ball gown in tulle or the sweetheart mermaid gown in lace for the bride's wedding day, and bridal consultants won’t try to explain the contribution limits to a spousal or common-law partner registered retirement savings plan, how to change your name, or, if you are blending your families, what you need to do to receive or change the Canada child tax benefit payments.
The CRA does know you should not say “I do” to participating in the underground economy. You may think you are getting a deal by paying cash and avoiding taxes for such things as flowers, catering, or even your dream venue, but it can leave you with no proof of payment or recourse, should a goods or services provider not fulfil their obligations. Not to mention, if you are caught evading taxes, you may face fines, penalties, or potential jail time.
Save yourself the trouble and don't participate in the underground economy. Under-the-table deals undermine the integrity of Canada's tax system. They deprive the Government of funds for vital programs that benefit all Canadians, including children and seniors. They also provide unscrupulous contractors with an unfair, illegal advantage over those who follow Canada's tax laws.
As for you, now that you’ve updated your marital status on Facebook (so long, single!) and splashed pictures of your nuptials all over Twitter and Instagram (#justmarried #heputaringonit #bigweddinghairdontcare), don’t forget to let the CRA know about your trending marital status. While the CRA doesn’t accept name changes via hashtag, you can update your status on the CRA’s My Account service, submit Form RC65, Marital Status Change, which can be easily found online at www.cra.gc.ca/forms, or call 1-800-959-8281.
The CRA has reserved a portion of its website for life events like marriage and the changes to your tax situation they can cause. Head to the CRA’s life events page for more detailed information.
Once you’re back from your honeymoon and have written all the thank-you cards, your life as a married couple can really begin. If you’ve bought a home together or are moving into a new place, let the CRA guide you through an address change, claiming the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, reporting rental income, or accounting for expenses related to the business use of your home. To get the complete information for homeowners, go to www.cra.gc.ca/myhome.
And if you’re now opening a joint bank account with your new spouse, don’t forget to update your direct deposit information to make sure your benefits and refunds go to the right place. And if you’re not already using direct deposit, you should both start now. If you file your taxes online and sign up for direct deposit, you may receive your tax refund in as little as eight business days! For more information, go to www.cra.gc.ca/directdeposit.
Taxes not your strong suit? You can always authorize your new spouse to act as your representative for income tax matters. That means they can file your return for you or contact the CRA to make enquiries on your behalf. Use the "Authorize my representative" online service in My Account or submit Form T1013, Authorizing or Cancelling a Representative.
The ‘big day’ your personal income tax return is due is April 30, 2015. If either you or your new spouse is self-employed, the deadline is June 15th. However, if you’re self-employed and have a balance owing for 2014, you still have to pay it on or before April 30th.
Now that you’re officially ‘together forever’ there are so many more important dates to remember…anniversaries, birthdays, date nights…you get the idea. The CRA can’t help remember those, but it can provide you with friendly reminders of tax deadlines, if you own a small or medium-sized business. With the new CRA Business Tax Reminders app, available free of charge on Apple iOS, Google Android, and Blackberry mobile platforms, you won’t miss an important date again. The app allows you to create reminders and alerts for key CRA due dates, such as instalment payments, returns, remittances, and other tax-related business matters, so you won’t get burned by penalties and interest. With all these services available online (and on your mobile!), it’s easy to stay on top of your tax affairs year-round.
This year, you can also file online using NETFILE as early as February 9th. The CRA has a list of certified software packages on their site, including some that are free. To find out more, go to www.netfile.gc.ca.
Congratulations on your wedding, and many happy (tax) returns! And don’t miss the latest CRA news or tax tips—follow the CRA on Twitter: @CanRevAgency