If you are like most sales people, you have a shoe box full of receipts from last year. Unfortunately, when tax time rolls around, you are going to have a big sorting job ahead of you.
For this year, however, why not start the year off right? I recommend throwing the shoe box away and replacing it with a filing system for your deductible expenses.
I am by no means an accountant, but here is a filing system that was recommended to me to organize receipts for sales representatives. Create a file folder for each of these categories: Automobile (gas, parking, washes, insurance etc.), Charitable Donations, Home Improvements (if you claim part of your home as an expense), Internet Service Charges, Meals, Medical, Office Supplies, Other, Postage, Telephone/Cellular and Utilities.
Put your receipts in the appropriate file at the end of each day. When it comes time to submit your taxes, all the sorting is done! You just have to total up the receipts.
If you need to keep a mileage log, and most of us do, simply enter your starting and ending odometer reading in your day timer or PDA each day. At the end of each week, month, or year, simply subtract the opening and closing mileage readings.
Wondering how much you need to contribute to your RRSP this year to minimize your tax bill? One of the best Canadian tax calculators that I have found is available online at http://www.taxtips.ca/calculators/taxcalculator.htm. Regardless of what province you live in, this tool will help.
When in doubt, seek the advice of a good accountant.
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