Personal Tax Return Checklist

Here at Danielle’s SOS Financial we are committed to providing you with the largest tax refunds you deserve and finding every tax deduction you are eligible for.

To make sure you don’t miss something, and to help you get every deduction and credit you can, we’ve prepared this handy checklist.

Essentials and General Items

  • Current contact information, including SIN numbers, of the entire family
  • Last year’s tax return
  • Last year’s spousal return
  • Last year’s notice of assessments for the entire family
  • Key life events in recent years – marriage, child, new home, etc
  • Child care expenses
  • Investment income T5 slips
  • Medical, dental and other private health care expenses
  • T2202A for tuition and education amounts
  • Public transit passes
  • Details on any matrimonial or child support payments, if applicable
  • Direct Deposit information, if changed from last year
  • TFSA statements and contribution receipts
  • RRSP statements and contribution receipts
  • Confirmation on foreign property holdings
  • Information on any property, stocks or other assets bought and sold
  • T4E for income from Employment insurance
  • Charitable donation receipts
  • Interest paid on student loans
  • Political contributions

Employees

  • T4s, T4As, T4RSPs, T4RIFs and other tax slips
  • T2200 for Home Office eligibility signed by employer
  • Home Office expenses: utilities, mortgage, stationary, other purchases, etc
  • If eligible for motor expenses, details on kms driven for work
  • Professional dues, insurance, union dues (not reimbursed by employer)
  • Moving expenses (not reimbursed by employer)
  • Tools purchases documentation for trades people
  • If commissioned salesperson, documentation for advertising, promotion, meals & entertainment and other expenses
  • New motor vehicle purchase details and other motor vehicle expenses
  • Legal expenses related to employment or child support amounts

Small Business Owners & Sole Proprietors

  • Software backup of bookkeeping records
  • Manual records of sales and expenses if books are not kept in a software
  • Partnership agreement, if applicable, along with profit sharing perentage
  • Vehicle expenses used in business – vehicle cost, mileage, maintenance, etc
  • Key contracts and agreements summary or soft copy of conracts
  • Details on capital assets purchased and sold during the year
  • Home office expenses, similar to employment section above
  • Inventory count records – last year and end of current year, if applicable

Rental Property Owners

  • List of units owned with address and ownership percentage
  • Expenses on each unit, categorized by expense type – such as, mortgage interest, real estate agent fees, utilities, cleaning fees, management fees, property tax, office expenses, etc
  • Copies of all rental agreements
  • Rental income details for each unit
  • Details on capital additions (greater than $500) categorized by unit

Bookkeeping vs. Accounting

Did you know we do both!

–Bookkeeping vs. Accounting–

If you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering if you need to get a bookkeeper or an accountant – or both.

And now that you understand the need for bookkeeping, you’re might be wondering, “How does it differ from accounting?”

Good question.

The words “bookkeeper” and “accountant” are often used interchangeably. However, there are some key differences that determine the main responsibilities of each role.

–Bookkeeping is a Subset of Accounting–

37883981_2140118849644035_5128132333710344192_n.jpgAn accountant, professional bookkeeper, or an employee of the business can do your bookkeeping.

If you’ve just started a business, chances are you’ll be doing the bookkeeping yourself.

This is no bad thing. When launching a new business venture, it’s crucial that you have an intimate grasp of your financial situation. What better way than to do the bookkeeping yourself?

Essentially, bookkeepers take care of the day-to-day financial work.

They keep detailed and accurate financial accounts and use this financial clarity to help make informed business decisions.

–Accountants are Financial Experts–

Accountants are usually qualified, registered members of a statutory association. So they often have titles like CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CA (Chartered Accountants).

That’s how they can charge the big bucks.

These experts will use the accounts provided by the bookkeeper. They focus on analyzing the transactions to provide financial advice.

They’ll also use the information in the accounts to file tax returns and other reports.

Whereas bookkeepers handle the day-to-day financial tasks, accountants often step in on a quarterly basis to provide advice and make adjustments.

CPP Annual Update – 2021

CPP contribution rates, maximums and exemptions 2021

Important notice!

Changes to the rules for deducting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions.

Changes to the rules for deducting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions

In 2012, the rules for deducting CPP contributions changed. These changes do not affect the salary of an employee working in Quebec or an employee who is considered to be disabled under the CPP or QPP, nor do they affect the salary and wages of a person who has reached 70 years of age.

Services and information
YearMaximum annual pensionable earningsBasic exemption amountMaximum contributory earningsEmployee and employer contribution rate (%)Maximum annual employee and employer contributionMaximum annual self-employed contribution
2021$61,600$3,500$58,1005.45$3,166.45$6,332.90
2020$58,700$3,500$55,2005.25$2,898.00$5,796.00
2019$57,400$3,500
$53,9005.10$2,748.90$5,497.80
2018 $55,900$3,500$52,4004.95$2,593.80$5,187.60
2017$55,300$3,500$51,8004.95$2,564.10$5,128.20
2016$54,900$3,500$51,4004.95$2,544.30$5,088.60
2015$53,600$3,500$50,1004.95$2,479.95$4,959.90
2014$52,500$3,500$49,0004.95$2,425.50$4,851.00
2013$51,100$3,500$47,6004.95$2,356.20$4,712.40
2012$50,100$3,500$46,6004.95$2,306.70$4,613.40
2011$48,300$3,500$44,8004.95$2,217.60$4,435.20
2010$47,200$3,500$43,7004.95$2,163.15$4,326.30

The above table is available in comma-separated value (CSV) format at the following link: 

  • 2000 to 2009 
YearMaximum annual pensionable  earnings Basic exemption amount  Maximum contributory earnings       Employee and       employer contribution   rate (%) Maximum annual employee and employer contribution    Maximum annual   self-employed contribution
2009$46,300$3,500$42,8004.95$2,118.60$4,237.20
2008$44,900$3,500$41,4004.95$2,049.30$4,098.60
2007$43,700$3,500$40,2004.95$1,989.90$3,979.80
2006$42,100$3,500$38,6004.95$1,910.70$3,821.40
2005$41,100$3,500$37,6004.95$1,861.20$3,722.40
2004$40,500$3,500$37,0004.95$1,831.50$3,663.00
2003$39,900$3,500$36,4004.95$1,801.80$3,603.60
2002$39,100$3,500$35,6004.70$1,673.20$3,346.40
2001$38,300$3,500$34,8004.30$1,496.40$2,992.80
2000$37,600$3,500$34,1003.90$1,329.90$2,659.80
  •  1990 to 1999 
YearMaximum annual pensionable  earnings Basic exemption amount  Maximum contributory earnings      Employee and       employer contribution   rate (%)Maximum annual employee and employer contribution    Maximum annual   self-employed contribution
1999 $37,400$3,500$33,9003.50$1,186.50$2,373.00
1998 $36,900$3,500$33,4003.20$1,068.80$2,137.60
1997 $35,800$3,500$32,300     2.925 *$   944.78$1,889.55
1996 $35,400$3,500$31,9002.80$   893.20$1,786.40
1995 $34,900$3,400$31,5002.70$   850.50$1,701.00
1994 $34,400$3,400$31,0002.60$   806.00$1,612.00
1993 $33,400$3,300$30,1002.50$   752.50$1,505.00
1992 $32,200$3,200$29,0002.40$   696.00$1,392.00
1991 $30,500$3,000$27,5002.30$   632.50$1,265.00
1990 $28,900$2,800$26,1002.20$   574.20$1,148.40

Footnote * For 1997, the CPP rate was adjusted to 3.0% with a payment on filing a return (max. $969). 

  • 1980 to 1989 
YearMaximum annual pensionable  earnings Basic exemption amount  Maximum contributory earnings        Employee and       employer contribution   rate (%)Maximum annual employee and employer contribution    Maximum annual   self-employed contribution
1989 $27,700$2,700$25,0002.10$525.00$1,050.00
1988 $26,500$2,600$23,9002.00$478.00$   956.00
1987 $25,900$2,500$23,4001.90$444.60$   889.20
1986 $25,800$2,500$23,3001.80$419.40$   838.80
1985 $23,400$2,300$21,1001.80$379.80$   759.60
1984 $20,800$2,000$18,8001.80$338.40$   676.80
1983 $18,500$1,800$16,7001.80$300.60$   601.20
1982 $16,500$1,600$14,9001.80$268.20$   536.40
1981 $14,700$1,400$13,3001.80$239.40$   478.80
1980 $13,100$1,300$11,8001.80$212.10$   424.80
  • 1970 to 1979 
YearMaximum annual pensionable  earnings Basic exemption amountMaximum contributory earnings      Employee and       employer contribution   rate (%)Maximum annual employee and employer contribution     Maximum annual   self-employed contribution
1979$11,700   $1,100$10,6001.80 $190.80$381.60
1978$10,400   $1,000$  9,4001.80 $169.20$338.40
1977$  9,300   $   900$  8,4001.80 $151.20$302.40
1976$  8,300   $   800$  7,5001.80 $135.00$270.00
1975$  7,400   $   700$  6,7001.80 $120.60$241.20
1974$  6,600   $   700$  5,9001.80 $106.20$212.40
1973$  5,600   $   600$  5,0001.80 $  90.00$180.00
1972$  5,500   $   600$  4,9001.80 $  88.20$176.40
1971$  5,400   $   600$  4,8001.80 $  86.40$172.80
1970$  5,300   $   600$  4,7001.80 $  84.60$169.20
  • 1966 to 1969
YearMaximum annual pensionable  earnings Basic exemption amountMaximum contributory earnings      Employee and       employer contribution   rate (%)Maximum annual employee and employer contribution     Maximum annual   self-employed contribution
1969$5,200$600
$4,6001.80$82.80$165.60
1968$5,100$600$4,5001.80$81.00$162.00
1967$5,000$600$4,4001.80$79.20$158.40
1966
$5,000$600$4,4001.80$79.20$158.40

Related topics

WCB Changes 2021 – Part 2: Annual Returns

Annual returns

Reporting the assessable earnings paid to your workers for the current year and estimate of what you expect to pay in the upcoming year will ensure that you have the correct WCB-Alberta coverage in place. Through filing your annual return, the information you provide will help make sure you are paying the correct premium amount and receiving a fair and accurate invoice.

File your return online

New this year: You will no longer receive an annual return PIN letter in the mail. Just log into myWCB and select file my annual return starting Jan. 1, 2021. It’s that easy!

To sign up, go to myWCB. Click Sign up now and then follow the steps to set up a profile. You will need to select the ‘Account Administrator’ role and answer one of three key fact questions to authenticate your access.

What’s new this year [PDF, 0.29MB]

Resources

WCB Changes – 2021 part 1

Recent changes to the Policies and Information Manual

Date of distribution: January 5, 2021

TRANSMITTAL SHEET No: 01 – 2021 January 5, 2021

WHAT’S CHANGED (Please read the policy documents for complete information).
Please note that policy changes since the last issue are indicated by shaded text or shading in the left margin.

  • Legislative Changes – Bill 47:
    Bill 47, which amends the Workers’ Compensation Act, received royal assent on December 9, 2020. Some amendments are effective January 1, 2021 and have resulted in the following policy changes:
    • Maximum Compensable Earnings (MCE) – Policy 04-01, Part II, Addendum A
      Bill 47 reinstates a cap on MCE and gives WCB the ability to determine this amount through a Board Order. A maximum of $98,700 comes into effect January 1, 2021.
    • Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) – Policy 04-01, Part II, Application 4
      Bill 47 gives WCB the ability to calculate COLA through a Board Order. Effective January 1, 2021, COLA is calculated based on the change in the Alberta Consumer Price Index for 12 months, ending September 30, less 0.5 per cent. Policy 04-01, Part II, Application 4 has been updated to reflect this change.
    • Presumptive Coverage for Traumatic Psychological Injury – Policy 03-01, Part II, Application 6
      Under Bill 47, effective January 1, 2021, the presumption for traumatic psychological injury no longer applies to all workers, but still applies to correctional officers, emergency dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, peace officers, or police officers, or any other class of worker prescribed by the regulations. Policy 03-01, Part II, Application 6, has been updated accordingly.
  • Employer Services Policy Review:
    The final stage of a comprehensive review of employer account related policies includes the following substantive changes:
    • adding a business test to Policy 06-01, Part II, Application 2 to determine an individual’s status as either a worker or business owner
    • clarifying how businesses providing support to an industry are classified in Policy 07-01, Part II, Application 1
    In addition to the substantive changes above, a number of non-substantive changes have been made to many of our 06 and 07 policies. These non-substantive policy changes codify current practices and do not impact stakeholders. These changes include such things as updating references in policy, correcting grammatical issues, and adjusting examples to generate a better understanding of the intent of our policies.
  • 2021 Annual Updates:
    • 2021 Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
      A number of policies have been revised to reflect the 0.84 per cent COLA that is effective January 1, 2021. These policies are 04-01 – Addendum B, 04-04 – Addendum A, 04-07 – Addendum B, 04-08 – Addenda A and B, 04-10 – Addendum A, and Appendix F.
    • Burial, cremation, and memorial expenses – Policy 04-08, Addendum A
      The maximum allowable amount for burial, cremation, and memorial expenses has been reviewed using methodology approved by the Board of Directors. For 2021, the amount remains unchanged from the amount that was effective January 1, 2020.
    • Maximum Clothing Allowances – Policy 04-07, Addendum A
      The clothing allowance amounts for all six categories have been increased effective January 1, 2021, in accordance with the formula approved by the Board of Directors.
    • Allowance Rates – Policy 04-02, Addendum A
      There were no changes to the amounts as a result of the annual review; therefore, the document is not included in the “Complete list of changed documents,” below.
    • Maximum Compensable Earnings (MCE) and Maximum Assessable Earnings (MAE)
      • For MCE, see Bill 47 changes above.
      • There are no changes to MAE for 2021 – MAE remains at $98,700.
    • 2021 Compensation Tables (Appendix E)

Complete list of changed documents

DocumentOld (remove)New
03-01, GeneralPart II, Application 6Policy 03-01, Part II, Application 6 [PDF, 0.52MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
04-01, Establishing Net EarningsPart II, Application 4Policy 04-01, Part II, Application 4 [PDF, 0.18MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Addendum APolicy 04-01, Part II, Addendum A [PDF, 0.06MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Addendum BPolicy 04-01, Part II, Addendum B [PDF, 0.09MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
04-04, Permanent DisabilityPart II, Addendum APolicy 04-04, Part II, Addendum A [PDF, 0.04MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
04-07, Services for Workers with Severe InjuriesPart II, Addendum APolicy 04-07, Part II, Addendum A [PDF, 0.07MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Addendum BPolicy 04-07, Part II, Addendum B [PDF, 0.03MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
04-08, FatalitiesPart II, Addendum APolicy 04-08, Part II, Addendum A [PDF, 0.19MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Addendum BPolicy 04-08, Part II, Addendum B [PDF, 0.12MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
04-10, Other Home ServicesPart II, Addendum APolicy 04-10, Part II, Addendum A [PDF, 0.06MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
06-01, Employers and WorkersPart IPolicy 06-01, Part I [PDF, 0.26MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 1Policy 06-01, Part II, Application 1 [PDF, 0.18MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 2Policy 06-01, Part II, Application 2 [PDF, 0.37MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 3Policy 06-01, Part II, Application 3 [PDF, 0.31MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 4Policy 06-01, Part II, Application 4 [PDF, 0.18MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 5Policy 06-01, Part II, Application 5 [PDF, 0.23MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
06-02, Optional CoveragePart IPolicy 06-02, Part I [PDF, 0.28MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 1Policy 06-02, Part II, Application 1 [PDF, 0.25MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 2Policy 06-02, Part II, Application 2 [PDF, 0.33MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
06-03, PremiumsPart IPolicy 06-03, Part I [PDF, 0.25MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 1Policy 06-03, Part II, Application 1 [PDF, 0.27MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 2Policy 06-03, Part II, Application 2 [PDF, 0.16MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 3Policy 06-03, Part II, Application 3 [PDF, 0.29MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 5Policy 06-03, Part II, Application 5 [PDF, 0.31MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
07-01, ClassificationPart IPolicy 07-01, Part I [PDF, 0.26MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 1Policy 07-01, Part II, Application 1 [PDF, 0.21MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 2Policy 07-01, Part II, Application 2 [PDF, 0.20MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 3Policy 07-01, Part II, Application 3 [PDF, 0.16MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
07-02, Experience RecordsPart IPolicy 07-02, Part I [PDF, 0.26MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 1Policy 07-02, Part II, Application 1 [PDF, 0.18MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 4Policy 07-02, Part II, Application 4 [PDF, 0.27MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 5Policy 07-02, Part II, Application 5 [PDF, 0.15MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 6Policy 07-02, Part II, Application 6 [PDF, 0.16MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
07-03, Financial Administration of Safety Association GrantsPart IPolicy 07-03, Part I [PDF, 0.23MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Part II, Application 1Policy 07-03, Part II, Application 1 [PDF, 0.16MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Appendix E,
Compensation Tables
Entire Document2021 Compensation Tables:
For accidents on or after April 01, 2003 [PDF, 0.20MB]
For accidents on or before March 31, 2003 [PDF, 0.20MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)
Appendix F,
Minimum Permanent Disability Awards & Dependants’ Pensions, with Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA), Minimum Personal Coverage, Maximum Annual Assessable Earnings & Maximum Annual Compensable Earnings
Entire DocumentAppendix F [PDF, 0.28MB]
(issue date January 5, 2021)

2021 Policy Transmittals

New 2020 T4 Updates – CRA

New 2020 T4 Reporting Requirements for All Employers

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced new reporting requirements for all Canadian employers who issue T4 slips.

In connection with the COVID-19 support programs launched in 2020, employers will have to submit more detailed T4 information, regardless of whether they applied for the various wage subsidy programs or not.

For more information on the new reporting requirements, including the new Form PD27, read our detailed summary.


All Canadian employers who issue a T4 slip, Statement of Remuneration Paid, will have additional reporting requirements for the 2020 calendar year. These additional reporting requirements will help the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) validate payments under the various COVID-19 government programs including:

  • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS),
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
  • The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB)

These new reporting requirements apply to all employers, regardless of whether they applied for these programs or not. 

New T4 Slip Information Codes and Reporting

For the 2020 calendar year, in addition to reporting employment income in Box 14 or Code 71, the new information codes below should be used to report employment income and retroactive payments made in the following periods:

  • Code 57: Employment income – March 15 to May 9
  • Code 58: Employment income – May 10 to July 4
  • Code 59: Employment income – July 5 to August 29
  • Code 60: Employment income – August 30 to September 26

E.g. If you are reporting employment income for the period of April 25 to May 8, payable on May 14, use code 58.

10-percent “Temporary Wage Subsidy” for Employers (TWS) and Form PD27 Requirement

Employers eligible for the TWS are required to complete and submit Form PD27, 10-percent TWS Self Identification Form for Employers, to the CRA. This includes employers who have already claimed the TWS and those who haven’t but still intend to, as well as employers who qualified for both the TWS and the CEWS but elected to claim a TWS of 10 percent or less (including a claim of zero). However, I

  • If an employer elected not to participate in both the CEWS and the TWS, Form PD27 does not need to be filed.
  • Employers who did not qualify for the TWS will also not be required to complete Form PD27. 

The CRA will use this form to reconcile the TWS remittances to the amounts reported on the 2020 T4 Summary. Employers can also instruct the CRA on how they want to apply any balances of TWS available on the Form PD27.

Submission of Form PD27


Click here to fill out the PD27 form right on the Canada.ca’s website

The self-identification form can be submitted online, by mail or fax. The form requires the following information to be provided:

  • Gross remuneration per pay period
  • Income tax, Canada Pension Plan contributions (employer and employee portions), and Employment Insurance premiums (employer and employee portions) deducted from remuneration paid
  • TWS claimed in dollars and as a percentage
  • Total number of eligible employees employed from March 18 to June 19, 2020

There is currently no due date for Form PD27, however employers are encouraged to complete and submit this form as soon as possible to avoid receiving a discrepancy notice from the CRA. 

As the T4 reporting deadline approaches, it is important to be aware of the new reporting obligations associated with the various government wage subsidy programs introduced in response to COVID-19. These new reporting requirements will necessitate employers to spend additional time to gather information and ensure the proper disclosures are made for each employee. Detailed payroll information is needed and if not readily available could be an onerous task.  

For more information on the new T4 reporting requirements or assistance with completing Form PD27, please contact us.


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

crop payroll clerk counting money while sitting at table

What the changes are:

Calculation details for claim periods 11 to 13 are now available.

January 2021 changes:

Changes to CEWS as of January 6, 2021:

  • details for claim periods 11 to 13 (December 20, 2020, to March 13, 2021):
    • the maximum top-up subsidy rate is 35%
    • the maximum subsidy amount for employees on leave with pay is $595
    • the base revenue drop comparison months for period 11 will be the same as period 10

November 2020 changes:

Changes to CEWS as of November 19, 2020 (Bill C-9):

  • the subsidy is extended to June 2021
  • the maximum subsidy rate for periods 8 to 10 will remain at 65% (40% base rate + 25% top-up)
  • beginning in period 8, the top-up rate and base rate are is now calculated using the same one-month revenue drop
    • for periods 8 to 10, use the new top-up calculation or the previous 3-month average drop, whichever works in your favour
  • the deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, whichever comes later
  • starting in period 9, the calculation for employees on leave with pay now aligns better with EI benefits
  • you can now calculate pre-crisis pay (baseline remuneration) for employees who were on certain kinds of leave, retroactive to period 5
  • the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) has been introduced for businesses, non-profits, and charities

July 2020 changes:

Changes to CEWS as of claim period 5 (Bill C-20):

  • the subsidy rate varies, depending on how much your revenue dropped
  • if your revenue drop was less than 30% you can still qualify, and keep getting the subsidy as employees return to work and your revenue recovers
    • for periods 5 and 6, if your revenue dropped at least 30%, your subsidy rate will be at least 75%, up to a maximum of $847/week per eligible employee
  • employers who were hardest hit can qualify for a higher amount
  • employees who were unpaid for 14 or more days can now be included in your calculation
  • use the current period’s revenue drop or the previous period’s, whichever works in your favour

Periods 1 to 4:

For claim periods 1 to 4 (Bill C-14):

  • you must meet a minimum of 15% (period 1) or 30% (periods 2 to 4) revenue drop to qualify for the subsidy
  • if you qualify for a period, you automatically qualify for the following period
  • the subsidy rate is 75% of eligible employees’ remuneration, up to a maximum of $847/week per eligible employee
  • employees who were unpaid for 14 or more consecutive days in the period can’t be included in your calculation

More Direct Section Links:

Related guides

Reporting on outcomes