Whether you’re a first-time business owner or have been running your business for years, now’s the time to start preparing for tax season — and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) can help.
PKED’s Business Advisory Centre is offering three free tax webinars — on February 22nd, March 6th and 20th — for sole proprietors and partnerships, small corporations, and small business or self-employed individuals.
While sole proprietors and partnerships have until June 15, 2023 to file their 2022 taxes, any taxes owing for 2022 must be paid by May 1st to avoid late payment fees (April 30th falls on a Sunday this year). Corporations must file their return no later than six months after the end of their fiscal year (e.g., June 30th if the fiscal year ends on December 31st).
For business owners who are filing their taxes for the first time, struggling to keep up with tax law changes and associated requirements, or simply in need of a primer, the three webinars offered by the Business Advisory Centre will provide an opportunity to learn directly from tax experts — including representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
“A lot of our clients have asked for help to demystify things from a tax perspective side but also from the fiscal or financial management side,” explains Business Advisory Centre Manager Madeleine Hurrell.
“We thought ‘Why don’t we bring in some experts for our small businesses to take advantage of, so they’re better equipped when tax season rolls around?’ While a lot of information gets passed around by word of mouth, such as what you can write off, it’s important to hear from experts so you’re set up to do things the right way.”
The February 22nd webinar, titled 2022 Income Tax Preparation for Sole Proprietors and Partnerships, will be delivered via Zoom from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. by Carey McMaster, the owner and founder of Traicon. McMaster’s Bancroft-based company provides business training, knowledge, and expertise to aspiring entrepreneurs and innovative leaders.
McMaster’s review will include how to set up a business account with the CRA, how to submit HST and payroll remittances online, and how to properly complete Form T2125 (Statement of Business or Professional Activities), including calculating capital cost allowance and claiming allowable expenses such as business use of home and motor vehicle expenses.
The March 6th and March 20th virtual workshops, both running from 5 to 7 p.m., will be delivered via Microsoft Teams by Liaison Officers with the CRA.
The March 6th session, titled T2 Webinar: Free Tax Help for Small Corporations, will review general bookkeeping concepts and related practices, explain common tax errors, and demonstrate how to use financial benchmarks for relevant industries.
The March 20th session, titled T1 Webinar: Free Tax Help for Small Business or Self-Employed Individuals, will help explain tax obligations and cover general bookkeeping concepts and best practices, describe common tax errors, demonstrate how to use financial benchmarks for relevant industries, and provide information on the CRA’s services.
While each of the three webinars is free, advance registration is required at investptbo.ca/events/.
Although the 2022 tax filing deadline is still months away, Tyler Powers — a Chartered Professional Accountant with Peterborough-based Gauvreau Accounting Tax Law Advisory — says an investment of time now will save business owners a lot of pain when preparing to file. That includes following best practices, such as organizing receipts by category, and being aware of which expenses are deductible and which are not.
“If you’re accurately keeping track on your end, it’s going to save you a lot of money and time — plus if there’s a CRA review after you file you’ve got everything in the right spot,” Powers explains, adding a big common tax error is “mis-categorization.”
“The CRA is looking for specific things. When the numbers seem out of balance because they’re in the wrong spot, you’re prompting yourself for a CRA review. Nobody wants to deal with that.”
According to Powers, each of the three webinars will help business owners understand the documentation they need to set aside so that, when it’s time to prepare their 2022 tax return, everything is organized.
Although the three upcoming webinars will provide business owners with what they need to know to file their taxes, some may require additional assistance from tax professionals like Powers. While this can be an unanticipated business expense, Hurrell notes it’s a good investment.
“A lot of times people will say ‘I’m just getting started, I can’t afford to do that,'” Hurrell explains. “You can afford doing things right the first time. Having that peace of mind is worth more than the cost, and you can focus more on what you enjoy doing and on generating sales. At the very least, have a consultation with an accounting firm to see if they would be a good fit for you.”
For entrepreneurs seeking to grow their business, there’s another clear benefit to seeking advice from a professional to ensure their financial records are in order.
“It’s good for us to know if applicants are working with a professional,” says Devon Girard, Executive Director Community Futures Peterborough, which offers loans and financing for small- and medium-sized businesses. “Organizations like Community Futures and PKED want entrepreneurs to succeed. We work together to ensure that entrepreneurs are prepared and have the pieces in place so it’s easier for us to fund them and ensure their success.”
Being prepared includes taking advantage of no-cost opportunities like the three upcoming tax webinars being offered by PKED’s Business Advisory Centre, where business owners can also benefit from coming together to have a shared experience with their peers.
“People don’t like to talk about taxes,” Powers says. “It’s not a topic that people are having conversations around at the dinner table with friends. Attending these sessions, where there’s like-minded people asking good questions, is a great opportunity.”
The sessions can also help business owners avoid the time-consuming and potentially costly complications that could result from errors on a tax return, especially years down the road.
“Getting behind the eight ball can really set back your business when you have a tax liability you didn’t know about,” Powers adds.
To register for the upcoming tax webinars, or any of the other workshops offered by the Business Advisory Centre, visit PKED’s website at investptbo.ca/events/.
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