Deducting Legal Fees

It is permitted to deduct legal fees under the Income Tax Act, but only in specific cases and you must ensure that you hold the correct documentation.

If you are using the services of an electronic filer (efiler), you must present the documentation to them prior to the tax return being filed. If you are filing your own return, either paper or electronic, you are required to retain the documentation for six years past the date of the last Notice of (Re)Assessment for that return.

Should you do your own bookkeeping

(This article is a reprint of an earlier article that is no longer available on the internet. I am reprinting it here.)

Bookkeeping is a job that most business owners can handle themselves. Unfortunately, most business owners would love to forget about bookkeeping.

Should you spend your time focusing on core business activities or organizing and tracking receipts? Many business owners underestimate the amount of time it takes to track a company’s fiscal details especially in small business settings. Owners can get wrapped up in attending to every aspect of day to day operation of their business that there is simply no time left for bookkeeping. The success of any business depends on keeping track of your income and expenses, thereby improving your chances of making a profit.

I really enjoy preparing a tax return where everything comes together so beautifully.Saturday, I got through the entire return and know that, when the last questions are answered, I will have made a family of four, with an income in the… Oh, say, six digits, paying next to no tax. I think I may leave about two or three hundred still payable as I would be over using stuff they can use next year. But I think that they will have a five digit refund coming back, plus another four digits every month from Jan to Jun next year.

This is funny since I managed to get a five digit refund in another branch of the same family last year.

(Tim Parris, 2014)

Do you have a power of attorney

In the past year, I have had several clients’ affairs taken over by family members as they have aged and could not handle routine matters by themselves. But over the last month, I have been faced with a significantly more difficult situation. My client suddenly collapsed – he suffered a stroke and at an early age. This was completely unexpected and he has been unable to communicate, even write, since the stroke.

This presents his family with a difficult problem – he has no power of attorney prepared. There is no way for any of his family to handle his affairs without a power of attorney. His bank has had to put his accounts into trust. I, as his tax preparer, can prepare, but can’t file his tax return. I need a signature from an authorized individual and no one is permitted to sign.

I want to thank you for your attention to detail…

I don’t say this often enough, but I want to thank you for your attention to detail, your commitment to us your clients, your thoroughness and your knowledge. I know this is a rough month for you (& likely always will be!) but you are doing a great job (great seems like too small of an adjective actually… let’s try tremendous!) and you were clearly called to this line of work… it is what you are meant to do!

— Customer Comment