It’s the time…of the season for taxes.

Odessey_and_Oracle

As I mentioned on Tuesday and Wednesday, this week is all about time and all the ways it can affect your small business. Today’s post, and the last in the theme, is a much more literal interpretation.

Today, the focus is on a specific date: April 30th. When this gets posted, it will be April 28th. That’s only 2 days away from the end of the month. In Canada, that’s our tax deadline. Now, this year the 30th lands on a Saturday, so I guess you get a bit of a break if you’re running behind. Even with the 2 extra days, it’s safe to say that if you haven’t got started on your taxes, and you think you will owe money, panicking wouldn’t be the worst thing to do. I don’t normally advocate panic, but since traditional motivation hasn’t gotten you in tax mode yet, then take whatever you can get, as long as it keeps you from having to pay big late fees to Revenue Canada. If you’ve got a refund coming, they don’t seem to get as upset when you take your time filing.

Beyond just paying your taxes or getting a refund, there are other reasons you’ll want to file on time. Your tax return also affects other payments you may receive throughout the year, such as GST credit, or child tax credit. The previous year’s information is the basis for all of your payments from July to June. If you file too late, you may not receive your July payments on time. For parents like myself, missing out on a child tax payment puts a dent in the budget.

Once you’ve got this tax season behind you, maybe you should look at planning ahead for next year. Are you always filing late? Are you scrambling to find a post office on the 30th each year? Before the year gets much older, start organizing your 2011 receipts. Going through 4 months of paperwork, and then setting up a simple system sounds like a lot of work. Depending on your workload, it might mean writing off a full weekend. That weekend pales in comparison to trying to sort out 12 months worth of records in a panic next April.

If you find that your stack of receipts are getting bigger and bigger each year, it might be a good time to consider hiring someone. Hiring a bookkeeper doesn’t have to be expensive, and the reward is free time and peace of mind this time next year.

When you’re ready to outsource your tax time frustrations, why not contact me? I would love to help take some of the pressure off you and your small business.