Are you using an employer supplied email?

Is this really a good idea?

Some of my clients received surprises this year while they used their employer’s supplied internet and email services to send me tax records. Their records were either not received or were corrupted.

This is of principal consideration for those working for the Federal Government, but the restrictions are expanding to Provincial and Municipal Governments as well as to private employers.The Canadian Federal Government has imposed restrictions on the use of the employer supplied email service and internet.

Be advised that:

  1. If you have personal tax records on your employer’s computers, you may no longer be able to remove those personal tax records from the computers. Your employer now considers those files their property. They may deny you access and/orĀ erase those files without warning,
  2. If you wish to email tax records from your employer’s computers, including T4 and Releve 1 slips that you have downloaded from the employer’s systems (including mainly Phoenix,) you can’t, and
  3. If you use your work email address to obtain your utility and other bills, or use the computer to access your bank, that access may be cut without warning. There will be no sympathy from your employer.

Given that there were some publicized hacks of the government computers over the last two years, further restrictions are anticipated.

If your only internet and/or email access is through your employer, I highly recommend that you make alternative arrangements which no longer depend on your employer’s infrastructure.

Great Lies About Taxes

I have an interesting episode recently, which drew my attention one of the great lies about taxes. That lie (quote) is:

I am from the Government and I am here to help you.

I’ve forgotten who came up with that quote, but it is rather apropos in this age.

Now, we in Canada are familiar with Phoenix, specifically the government’s payroll system. Most people who receive a T4 out of this system approach the slip with some trepidation. They are not convinced that the slip is correct. Even when they check against their bank account and the amounts deposited match the slip.

So then, why do people trust the tax slip download (called Auto-Fill My Return) from the Canada Revenue Agency as if it is gospel?

Foreign Bank Account Reporting

US Citizens and Residents are reminded that the FinCEN Form 114 is due on April 16, 2018 for the 2017 year. Failing to file this report carries significant penalties.

You may apply for an extension before the deadline. You can’t apply for the extension following that deadline.

Confirming contact information

I am building in some automated confirmations into my business process. Clients will notice some of these changes when I start to work on their tax return.

My computer system will automatically ask for a confirmation of your contact information when I start working on your tax return. Also, if you ask for a change of information, you will be provided a preview of the change that I have entered and you will be asked to approve that change. The whole process should be completed within a minute and can be handled on a smart phone or other device any time of the day or night.

This is done to ensure that I have the correct contact information on your tax return when it is filed.