Over the last few months, Nevcon Accounting has been reviewing the way it collects documents and gives you a copy of your personal tax returns. Previously, we have been using e-courier to send you any sensitive documents securely, including any documents needing to be signed. Well, this has been a great product over the last six years, but we have outgrown the services it provides. The only way to continue using it would be to introduce other services, which would have meant having everyone perform multiple logins. The service was fine, but we have found it to be a bit lacking in clear navigation and it was getting harder for long-term clients to find information on older returns.
With this in mind, we started looking at different solutions that would let us expand how we share information to you. As a result, we are introducing a new, improved client portal. The new portal is more like what everyone is used to in that it is a folder-based design with different folders for each tax year. Over the next few months, as you do your taxes with Nevcon, we will be sending you an invitation to set up a password to the email address we have on file. You will notice different folders and one will hold all copies for your personal tax returns. Nevcon will be slowly moving over the old return information to the new portal so you only have one place to go for everything.
One particular area of improvement is the upload folder. This will allow you to upload your tax slips or information securely without having to use email. Once you have uploaded a document, we automatically receive an email letting us know.
Another enhanced area is the items requiring signature. This area will have any documents that need a signature by you. An additional benefit is that, where allowed, you will be able to digitally sign the documents and once done, it will automatically notify us of the completion.
Overall, this will let you find historical information much easier and faster. The added benefit of being able to digitally sign documents will greatly improve the turn around times for all transactions and deadlines.
We have decided to make this the year of improvements. Our systems that we used have been static for the last 10 years – still reliable but perhaps lacking in new features and enhancements – and this year our goal is to make your experience with us much more straightforward, efficient and hey, maybe even fun!
I recently took part as moderator for a couple of public events at an industry festival. I was approached to do the job through someone who knows me from my work in the industry. For doing the job, the festival organization gave me an honorarium of $200. Since the connection is work-related, how do I account for this as income?
This would be considered part of your income, and should be accounted for on your personal income tax return. If your accountant manages both your business and personal returns, he/she can assist you accordingly.
I would like to maintain an accurate log but am struggling with determining what qualifies as allowable business mileage.
I work mainly from my employer’s office but use my personal car to see customers and suppliers, but do not get compensation from my employer. If I see a customer/supplier on my way to the office in the morning, does that leg count as 100% business mileage or does the leg from the customer/supplier to the office? Or does it only count as business mileage if I go to the office first and then visit the customer/supplier and then return to the office?
Can you please advise?
Business mileage is sometimes not cut and dried. First, for you to be able to claim the mileage, your employer needs to complete the form T2200 Declaration of Conditions of Employment. Once this is completed, you are then able to claim your mileage.
Travelling from your home to the office is not considered business travel, but personal. But in saying that, if you go to a customer or supplier on the way to the office that would be considered business mileage. You have one of two ways to keep track of this: you can use the whole trip and then deduct the mileage used from office to home, or just use the mileage from the customer/supplier to the office (times 2 for a round trip – this one is easier to use, in my opinion).
When calculating the actual expenses deductible, remember to use all the expenses of the car for the full year, including, gas, maintenance, and parking if any, and then it is prorated between business and personal. Also, I would keep some sort of diary (either a planner in the car or electronic record) of the trip and who you went to see. Also, the proration is total km driven for business divided by total km driven in the year.
I live in Barrie, Ontario and work in Ajax. The drive is 130 kms one way – that’s 260 kms per day – 1300 kms/week and 5200 kms/month. I keep all my gas, maintenance and car insurance receipts. Should I claim the mileage rate or the exact amount of my expenses per year? Can I expense both? Also, I will be moving to Oshawa in the next four months. What expenses can I write off with the sale of my home and moving expenses that will reduce my drive to 40 kms per day?
Hi. Thanks for writing. The travel from your home to work is not deductible as it is considered a personal expense. For the moving expenses, it depends on whether this is a new job for the expenses to be deductible. If you are just moving closer to your current office, the moving expenses are not deductible. However, if you are moving to a new office (within your company) or for a new job, then the moving expenses become deductible.
My employer pays for my personal vehicle including loan payment/gas/maintenance. The vehicle is in my name and is used for business and personal use (approximately 80/20). Can I write off vehicle depreciation or anything else on my tax return?
My employer adds this as income to my taxable income on my T4; as this my personal vehicle used for both business and personal use, should the entire loan payment amount be added as income?
Yes, if the reimbursement is added to your income, then the allowance you are getting is considered unreasonable (which is why it is taxable). If it is not to be taxable, the reimbursement would have to be based on a per km usage of your car. You can deduct all expenses of the car using the form T777 Employment Expenses, and you will need to get the form T2202 (Conditions of Employment) signed by your employer so that you are able to claim your auto expenses. Auto expenses include: gas, maintenance, insurance, parking, license plate and drivers license payments, depreciation, interest on car loan, or lease payments.