I write applications for relief from penalty and interest on tax liabilities. It’s a unique specialty in the world of tax. I know enough to know, what I don’t know. I’m not an expert in tax preparation, I’m not an accountant and accordingly, I DON’T PREPARE TAXES! Because I work in taxation, I probably have a greater degree of familiarity with Canadian tax requirements than most people, and I still wouldn’t attempt filing my own return. Admittedly, as a self employed person who travels for work and operates in every province and territory, my return is more complicated than your average T4 salaried employee, but still… The number of people having their mother-in-law or their cousin prepare their tax returns, it’s not good. And no, I don’t care how great they are with numbers.

Maybe you’re really handy. Maybe you can build your own backyard deck. Change your own oil. Re-shingle your garage. File your own corporate T2 return? Hmm. Probably not. Unless you’re a designated accounting practitioner with tax experience… you might want to re-think that. Maybe you can do all sorts of things other people pay someone to do. Filing tax returns shouldn’t be one of them. And yet I see it regularly. I never cease to be amazed by the number of people who proudly tell me they prepare their own tax returns. I suppose in plenty of situations this would be a fine, low risk proposition. Unfortunately however, I deal with hundreds of people every year who thought a do-it-yourself approach to taxation was the way to go and paid a heavy price. It’s an ongoing frustration in my business. The constant stream of people who find themselves in tax trouble that could have been avoided with the use of a certified professional accountant.

Get a designated accounting professional. Taxation is not a do-it-yourself endeavour. If I don’t prepare my own taxes, pretty good chance you shouldn’t either.

I have the privilege of working with amazing tax practitioners all over the country. If you need someone to prepare your taxes, contact me. I’ll point you in the right direction and get you set up with certified accounting professionals who’ll get your taxes done and keep you out of trouble.