Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Business

September 28, 2017

By Julie Morris

Small business owners usually cringe at the thought of tax season. They are busy enough with their daily operations that they don’t want to spend all of their time and energy getting ready to file on time. They also may dread the thought of paying more in taxes than they feel they should. While small business owners cannot avoid taxes altogether (even though they wish they could), they can take some steps now to avoid the hassles that typically come at tax time.

Consult last year’s return

One of the best moves small business owners can make now to prepare for the upcoming tax season is to review last year’s return carefully. You may realize that you missed some deductions or expenses that you want to be sure to take advantage of this year. Or, you may realize that you underestimated this year’s taxes and need to start saving now.

On the other hand, if looking at last year’s return makes you feel completely overwhelmed, it’s time to invest in tax software or hire an accountant or tax lawyer who specializes in small business taxes. Sometimes it’s better to admit defeat, utilize the tools and resources available to you, and leave the hassle to someone else. It’s also important to note that it’s not advisable to wait to consult with a tax attorney or hire an accountant. These professionals become swamped after the first of the year and may not be able to schedule an appointment with you if you wait too long to reach out for help.

Have your records in order

Even if you are diligent about keeping receipts, a tax organizer or tax diary is a must. It’s also critical that small business owners keep their expense logs separate from their tax organizers, especially because high-quality tax organizers cover all of the questions the CRA will want answers to regarding travel, entertainment, and expenses should you be audited. Small business owners who keep tax organizers are better protected if they are audited because the burden of proof rests on the CRA when they have all of their expenses and taxes in order and logged properly.

Be diligent about deductions and expenses

While you are keeping your records in order, you need to be diligent about it. Taking legitimate deductions is one of the best ways to lower your tax liability, but without the proper documentation, it is difficult to take the deductions and arm yourself should auditors come calling. It’s also a good idea to decide now whether you are taking the home office deduction or not; if you have a dedicated space in your home where you conduct business and nothing else, you are entitled to the home office deduction.

Categorizing expenses as equipment instead of supplies can cause a lot of headaches when it comes time to file your taxes. Keep in mind that supplies are things that you use during the year and replenish frequently, such as printer paper, pens, staples, file folders, and printer ink. On the other hand, equipment typically includes items that are more expensive and that last longer than a year. Equipment usually includes computers, software, furniture, and servers. You also should decide now whether you are going to write off the whole cost of new equipment this year or take depreciation over several years.

As a small business owner, you have the power to make your tax season hassle free if you learn from past years and take advantage of available tools and resources, have complete records in place, and correctly categorize deductions and expenses.

Julie Morris, a life and career coach, is a guest blogger in this issue for Shawn McCadden. Find out more about Julie: http://juliemorris.org

Shawn McCadden is a consultant, educator and speaker who offers business consulting and coaching services for remodelling business owners who want more for and from their businesses and their lives. He also consults with construction-related product manufacturers and suppliers, helping them understand, find, educate and better serve remodelers. Check out Shawn’s website http://www.shawnmccadden.com/ and blog www.shawnmccadden.com/Subscribe-to-The-Design-Builders-Blog

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For the eighth year in a row, Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, participated as a proud sponsor in the 17th annual Tremblant 24h. With support from family, friends, employees, and the company, Schneider Electric Canada employees raised funds and presented a cheque for $101,840 to support local children’s causes. 

The company was one of 366 teams participating in this year’s events, which took place December 8 to 10 in Mont-Tremblant, Québec.

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EFCElectro‐Federation Canada (EFC) and Cámara Nacional de Manufacturas Eléctricas (CANAME) of Mexico, have submitted joint recommendations to their respective governments to safeguard future trade in North America.

The recommendations call on the strong need for governments to retain, modernize and improve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to increase market access, reduce business costs and improve global competitiveness.

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Now in its 24th edition, the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I includes a number of significant updates and changes to better help electrical workers in the safe maintenance of electrical equipment and create safer electrical installations.

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

 Sean Freeman

Sean Freeman is a vibrant, enthusiastic and selfless individual who has taken his trade expertise beyond that of a simple career. Not only is he a Master Electrician but he has traveled around the world as an electrical technician delegate with the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit. His skills are a vital part of emergency response and disaster relief.

In 2013 Sean responded to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2014 Sean spent almost a month in Kenema, Sierra Leone working at the Ebola Treatment Centre. There he was responsible for ensuring electricity and clean water were available, and worked to strengthen the infrastructure of the facility. 

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