Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

When it comes to income tax preparation, there are two types of folks: do-it-yourselfers and those who hire professionals.


For many businesses, having a professional such as a bookkeeper or accountant prepare their income tax returns is the most sensible option. Not all of us have time to become tax experts and mistakes can be costly. So why not hire an expert to get the job done right and cut down on tax-time anxiety?


To do the best job, your income tax preparer will need to have all the right tax records at hand – preferably organized. Here is a solid checklist to help you gather your records together for your tax professional:



Business Records:

  • Annual Revenue
  • Annual Expenses
  • Business Use of an Automobile 
  • Asset Additions
  • Business use-of-home details for example: office space, interest paid on mortgage

For business use of an automobile, be sure to include operating expenses and a vehicle driving log with business kilometers driven. There are some great apps out there that can help you track.

Previous Tax Records:

  • Last Year's Notice of Assessment
  • Amounts paid by installments
  • A copy of your income tax return filed last year (if you’re a new client)

Other Records:

This will depend on whether you’re asking them to prepare a T2 (corporate) or T1 (personal) income tax return. If it’s the latter, your tax accountant will need all the relevant information slips and tax-related documents. Here are some of the most common:

  • Income slips (if you have employment as well as business income)
  • T4A commissions & self-employed
  • T5013 Partnership Income
  • T3 Income from Trusts
  • T5 Investment Income
  • RRSP contribution slips
  • Charitable donations
  • Medical and dental receipts
  • Child care information

Tips to Save Money on Your Tax Preparation Fees

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Bookkeepers, accountants and tax preparers get paid by the hour. If you make their task a challenging one, it will cost you more.

  • Be sure to summarize and tally records wherever possible. Cheques, invoices, and business expenses should all be categorized and totaled. Sort all your information slips by type. Having your tax professional do the organizing and tallying is the expensive way to go.

  • If you have several businesses, remember that you will have to have separate revenue and business expense figures for each business, as business income has to be listed by individual business on the T1 form.

  • Be as organized as possible! For example, clip groups of receipts together by type and put a post-it-note stating what the category is on the top. The less your tax preparer has to figure out, the less time they will need to spend on your file.


Remember, having a tax professional prepare your income tax return(s) isn’t costing you as much as you think. When you receive the bill, you can set it aside as a legitimate business expense! That and the peace of mind you’ve gained knowing you are compliant and on time with the government. 

Of course, I'm here and happy to help. Contact me to book an online appointment. At KC & Company, you will get the personalized service and attention you & your taxes deserve!